Man rolling out blueprint.

Once you’ve actually decided to sit down to start your job search, you may notice something. It’s not easy to jump right in. It’s very much like writer’s block. For many writers, the first paragraph is the most challenging portion. Just like to many job seekers, the first step is the hardest to take. This is why it’s incredibly important to have a job search plan. A well thought out plan can make it easier to dive in, and apply to the jobs that you truly want and have a shot at. We’ll help you build the beginning of that plan in the paragraphs below. 

There’s No I in Job Search Plan, However…

Before you even begin to think about the job you want, you have to consider something else: you. There is no doubt that you know yourself pretty well, but it will aid you greatly to figure out what kind of candidate you are. Start by putting pen to paper, (or hand to keyboard) and writing out all of your skills and qualifications. Ideally you already have this in a resume, however it may not include soft skills.

Write out not only your work experience, but also skills and traits that make you a great candidate. Now that you have a better idea of your qualifications, think about who you are from a different perspective. Picture yourself on the opposite end of the table at an interview. Being able to put this lens on yourself will make you better understand why you may or may not get a call back from a hiring manager.

Tying Together Companies & Connections

The next step is to put together a list of target companies. These should be companies in your field that you would like to work for. When you write the list, don’t be afraid to include long-shots, as well as some more realistic options. Carry out some research into these companies. Find out why your background might be a good resource for them to have.

Next, you should scour your network for connections at any of these companies. This is accomplished the easiest with the aid of LinkedIn (Not familiar with LinkedIn? Click here). Once you have a list of company connections, reach out to these people. Whether you ask for advice, to reconnect, or directly for a job is up to you. Now that you’ve tried to connect personally, you should focus on the more typical methods of hire. Look to see if companies on your list have job postings, and apply with your resume. Make sure your resume is tailored to each job’s required skills and qualifications. Depending on if you hear back or not, you may need to expand your list and broaden your search.

For Your Consideration

This final step is something that only comes into play fully once you’ve interviewed. Consider the job and how it would benefit you. Ideally, you’ve been given an offer. However, you can do this consideration even after an interview. Think about the salary. Consider if it is a livable wage for you, and an increase or decrease. Think about the feel of the culture at the company from your interview. Do these seem like people you could get along with? Would you be happy here and satisfied with the work? Most importantly, would the position allow you to grow in your career?

These are all important considerations to have at every step of your job search. It’s easy to focus on each job individually. However, it’s important to step back every once and a while, and look at it in the greater scheme of things in your career. We hope this brief guide to constructing a job search plan helps you! Also, you have any other pieces of your own plan you’d like to share, please do!