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For many, the job search process is a long and tedious one. What you may not know is that it doesn’t have to be! Creating a strategic job search plan can help you land the job you’ve been eyeing quickly. In this blog, we will cover what you need to do to create your perfect strategic job search plan and how it can help you advance your career.
When beginning a fresh job search, having a strategy in place can eliminate stress, allow you to focus on finding the right job for your skills, and give you an edge over other applicants. Figuring out where to get started with that strategy can be challenging, however. That’s where a strategic job search comes into play!
In this article, we will learn more about building a job search plan and what you need to do to make the perfect one for your job search. Here’s what we will be covering:
What does a strategic job search look like?
How to conduct a strategic job analysis
Tips for building the perfect strategic job search plan
Six steps to job search success
Since applying for jobs is such a time-consuming process, creating a plan can be quite beneficial. Not only can a plan help you save time, but it can also help you decide which areas of the job search process you want to spend more time on. But what does a strategic job search look like in the first place? What steps do you need to take to get started?
Before you can begin searching for jobs, there are several steps you will want to take to ensure you are searching strategically. Below, we will take a closer look at some of them.
Research your desired job title. The first step in creating a strategic job plan is to spend time researching the job title and description you are most interested in. Make a list of all the duties you will have in this role as well as the different industries you might work in. You can use this information to determine where your skills currently are and what skills you might need to expand on to be successful in the future.
Update your resume. Once you know what job titles and industries you will be targeting, it’s time to set your career search goals and begin working on your resume. Along with updating your resume, make sure your cover letter and professional profile on LinkedIn have been upgraded as well. Keep things consistent across all platforms so you can begin building your personal brand.
Build your network. One important part of the personal brand-building process is your network. After you have your goals and new resume, start connecting with others in your field via LinkedIn and through in-person and virtual networking events. You never know where you will make a connection that can be beneficial during your job search.
Make a job application plan. Now that you have your brand built and a job search plan in place, it’s time to develop a job application plan. Knowing what exact steps you will go through when applying for a job will help you streamline your efforts so you can have time to develop even more opportunities for your career. Some things you should plan include how often you will view job listings, how you will keep your search organized, and the steps you will take to customize your resume and cover letter for each position.
Keep track of things. As you are searching for a job, don’t forget to keep track of the jobs you are applying for so you can follow up with hiring managers as needed. This also helps you to avoid applying for the same job more than once or forgetting which jobs you’ve already applied to.
Performing a strategic job analysis may seem daunting for some, but it’s simpler than you might think. It boils down to spending time researching your chosen job title and industry and learning how your skills align with the needs of companies in that industry.
But before you can determine what you bring to the table, you should start by deciding what your wants and needs are. During any portion of your career, you should have professional goals in place, so you should first make note of those goals and what type of work environment you will need to reach them.
Next, take note of all the skills and capabilities you currently have. While you may not use all of these skills in your next job, it’s a good idea to know what you are capable of so you can make the best decisions regarding your career.
Now, it’s time to research your chosen field itself. Start by looking at the requirements of the various jobs in your industry. You can do this by reading through job descriptions of open positions you find online or on companies’ websites. You should also take a look at the expected outlooks of your desired fields so you know what your career path might look like in the future.
Once you have a strong grasp of your industry as a whole, it’s time to dive deeper into the specific jobs that are available and the companies that are hiring. When reviewing potential companies and jobs, be sure to look at the company’s financial health, business model, competitors, and even some of the customers they work with. All of this information can help you learn what it takes to be successful in your role.
When you are working through these steps and building a strategic job search plan, there are things you can do to make things a little simpler. Keep these tips in mind as you are building your plan.
Have clear goals. When researching potential jobs, think about whether that particular career will meet both your career happiness and your financial goals. Consider both your long-term and short-term career goals when you are considering your wants and needs.
Watch trends. You should also take a look at the industry as a whole and track important news, business expansions, and industry trends.
Tailor your resume. Each application will require a tailored resume and cover letter that uses keywords from the job listing. The goal is to showcase yourself as the ideal candidate for the specific job you are applying for.
Curate your network. Don’t be afraid to expand your network beyond those you have worked with, but while you are job searching, try to keep your professional network related to your field or industry. One great way to use your network is to ask people for introductions within companies you want to work for. This is especially true if there is a job you are considering applying for. Having a contact within the company can help move your resume to the top of the list.
Generate alerts. Keep yourself open to a variety of jobs and consider setting up job alerts for the titles you are most interested in. It’s a good idea to be one of the first to apply for a position, so seeing a listing the moment it goes up can help you achieve this goal.
Now that we understand more about what a strategic job search plan looks like, let’s dive a little deeper into what it takes to complete the job search process successfully. Here are six steps that will help you be more successful in your job search.
Identifying the company, department, and hiring manager you are targeting is the first step you will take when it’s time to apply for a job. You should learn as much about these three items as you possibly can because the knowledge can help you build a better application package that caters to the needs of the organization.
Putting yourself in the right position to land an ideal job can be accomplished by building your personal brand, optimizing your resume, and figuring out what employers are looking for. However, you can also accomplish this by working with mentors in your industry and your network to stay connected to your desired industry.
As you are applying for various positions, keep building your skills. Through your research, you should have identified areas where you can grow, so now is a great time to begin gathering the knowledge you need to be more successful in future roles. Continuing to build your skills also shows potential employers that you are dedicated to continually learning and improving, which makes you valuable as an employee.
While you are putting in your application to a variety of jobs, you should also start working on your interviewing skills. Develop answers to the most commonly asked interview questions and get together a list of questions you want to ask a potential hiring manager. Having these skills in place long before an interview can help ensure you are comfortable and relaxed throughout the process and can help you to stand out from other interviewers.
Whether you have sent in an application or have completely gone through the interviewing process, you will need to follow up regularly with any job leads you come across. Send a thank you note to any hiring manager you interview within 24 hours and ask for updates on any open job applications weekly.
When you do receive an offer from an employer, take your time. This is where your prior research can come in handy. Since you already know what the industry standards are for your role, you will know what an appropriate salary will be for the offered role. Don’t be afraid to negotiate terms that make you feel valued as an employee. Remember, negotiation should include benefits and other amenities, such as paid time off, as well as the salary itself. You want your overall compensation package to be one that fully meets your needs and expectations.
We are here to make building a job search strategy simple. Stop by our website today and check out our Job Search Strategy tool and begin taking charge of your career.
A strategic job plan starts with researching your industry and a specific job title but also includes building your personal brand, expanding your network, and improving your resume.
When analyzing a potential job market, start by examining your wants and needs as well as your skills before researching specific job markets and companies that are hiring.
A successful job search involves identifying your target, positioning yourself as an ideal candidate, continually building your career and interviewing skills, following up on all job leads, and negotiating a fair job offer.
Holly is a writer and editor based in Oklahoma. She specializes in social media, small business, and human resources content. She has previously written for a collection of country music media outlets, including Wide Open Country. Holly loves writing cozy mysteries and fantasy stories. She is the proud pet-parent of two dachshunds who are forever taking over all the blankets and pillows.