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How to Develop an Effective Job Search Plan

Nov 17 , 2021

Typing on a laptop keyboard.

Like most things in the professional world, you have a greater chance of job search success with a plan. Full-fledged job searching isn't as simple any more as looking at job ads (postings) and putting in your applications. Here is how you can develop a robust job search plan that boosts your chances of long-term success.

Fight the panic. If your job search is due to a recent job loss, it can be a natural reaction to panic about your paltry savings account, which can lead you to a very unhealthy place. Unfortunately, others can sense a panicked job search, and it can really turn off hiring managers. 

Taking some steps to destress and get to a calmer place will bring tremendous benefits to your search and will help you face whatever comes. It's not easy to fight through the stress, but it is necessary and worthwhile for your overall health, too.

Tend to your reputation. What some job search experts call personal branding, others call reputation management. Really, it's all about how people perceive you professionally, and you should be intentional about managing your professional reputation. 

Some ways to do this include using recent, professional photos on networking and social sites, keeping your LinkedIn updated, and even writing some blog posts or LinkedIn posts about your career or professional experience. Whatever you can do to boost your profile and make yourself look more desirable for jobs in your field will pay dividends as your job search progresses. 

Walking down a street.

Pitch yourself. Of course, networking is essential, but it's even more important to have something prepared to say about yourself when you get the chance in a networking situation. It's all too easy to freeze or to forget your most important selling points, but if you prepare a 30-second pitch ahead of time and practice it, it will be second nature when the time comes.

Stay organized. Apps like JibberJabber and others can do the work of tracking your applications and interviews so that you can see at a glance where follow-up is needed. Without some kind of system, follow-up tasks may get lost in the shuffle, which can reflect poorly on you at a time you most need to make ongoing positive impressions.

Set smaller goals. An all-out job search can consume all your time and energy, but how will you know you are doing what is needed? Breaking the search down into smaller goals, such as applying for a certain number of jobs each week or attending a number of networking events per week, will ensure that you stay on track and don't overwork or slack off too much.

GDH can help job seekers with their search process.  Join our talent network to find out which businesses in your area are seeking talent just like yours.