Join Jolie Miller for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a plan for job hunting, part of Job Hunting Online.
Because there's so much you could do to find your next job, it's all the more important to decide what you should do. I've created a handy plan-of-action you can use to document your notes and needs so they're all organized and in one place. This is a document I recommend that you fill out and keep with you in case someone calls about a job that you've applied for. Let's walk through this document page-by-page. It's available to all members in the exercise files for this course. So starting here on the first page of the plan-of-action, you'll notice that we have our objective from the last movie.
My one-sentence objective for this job search is, "Within six months I'll work at a fully remote "developmental editor job that uses my project "management and editorial skills to create travel books." Your one-sentence objective goes here also and it's not an accident that it's at the top of the document. Remember, this is the vision statement that you want to refer to as you continue through your job search. The next thing I want you to consider is taking a survey of your current job-hunting materials.
So go ahead and find your resume, find your cover letter templates, locate those letters of recommendation you may have from a few jobs ago, and then in each of these boxes I want you to check, is this something I have, is it something that needs to be redone completely, maybe it's okay but it needs a few updates, maybe just a few minor tweaks. Maybe you have documents that are pretty much ready to send out. So note the state each of these meterials are in in these columns.
Down beneath, I want you to document the three top priorities related to these materials and their due dates. So let's say that you know that you don't have any letters of recommendation, I want you to put that as a priority to gather those materials and give yourself a due date so that you have that goal to work toward. Also, jot down the time you want to spend per week on this, just to give yourself a rough framework of how much effort you are willing to expend in this area. This is something that's really up to you, you might choose to spend an hour to two per week if it's a case where you need to create your resume, your cover letter, you need to get those letters of recommendation, or if you're in pretty good shape here, you may not need to spend much time at all.
The next thing I want you to take a look at is a survey of your network. So many people think of job-hunting as this one-way activity, and one of the things I want you to walk away from this course understanding, is that job hunting is a two-way street, it's about growing your network and it's about giving in both directions. Ideally, you're getting a job out of the equation, but you're also giving to your growing network as you do so, so that you're creating value for everyone as you go through your job search.
So ask yourself some hard questions about your current network, how many people are in it? Do you have strategic connections across industries? Do you know people who are at different stages in their careers? For example, if you're just starting out as a student, let's say, it would be great if you had a variety of folks you could turn to in your network who are at different stages in their careers. They might be in a position to give you much different advice, based on their unique experiences. Have you helped refer at least two people in your network to jobs in the past year? This is a really important one to me because I believe that in order to get a job, you also want to be that person who's opening up connections for other people.
It's one of those situations where those good favors return back to you, over time. Next, I want you to consider whether you have a personal board of directors. A personal board of directors is a group of trusted advisers who you can go to periodically throughout the year, maybe once a quarter or every six months, and you can get their feedback on your directions in your career and in your life. This is a very tight inner-circle for you. It's people you trust and respect.
The goal is for each of the people on your personal board of directors to give you a different perspective on your life. For example, you might have a professor from college, you might have a mentor at your company, you might have a colleague who works in a similar industry but a different company. Diversity is your friend on the board of directors. Use this as an advisory counsel that helps guide you and your career in the right direction. Next, consider whether you belong to any free or paid networking groups, on or offline.
This might be a meet-up, it might be a chamber of commerce, it might be industry-specific. Go ahead and take stock of that next. On the next page, I want you to think a little bit about building a more robust network. So jot down some of the people you could ask to be on a personal board of directors. Also, give some thought to the kind of networking events you're willing to commit to attending in the next month. I suggest that you think about mixers in your community or in your industry. If you have the budget available, you might want to go to a conference or a one-day seminar.
These are great places to meet people, and as much as job-hunting has gone online, connecting to others and networking is still a core component of getting to that acceptance letter. The last thing I want to leave you with in this networking section, is make it a goal to share two things in your network every week. It might be a clipping of a news article from a magazine that you clip and send to a mentor, someone on your board of directors, or it might be referring a friend who's out of work to a job at your last company.
I want you to list out some of the giving activities you're prepared to commit to on your job hunt so that you're adding good will as you're going through your job search. Next, I want you take a survey of your job-hunting accounts such as Monster.com, SimplyHired, or Glassdoor. Keep this document safe as you fill in the details here because I'm going to suggest that you include your log-in documentation and your passwords for each of these sites so that they're easily available to you on your job search. As you go through and create accounts for each site or as you reactivate accounts you made a long time ago, I want you to note the status of your professional bio, your photo, the resume that you have listed with the service and again, make notes where your priorities are to make updates and to bring everything to it's current state.
In addition, list out the goal of the time you want to spend per week on this activity. It will be variable depending on that state of your current log-ins for each of these accounts. Next, take a survey of your social accounts. This is a great place to spend a little bit of extra time. I want you to go through all of your social media accounts and I want you to note whether your feed, your statuses, you photos are all clean. Are they photos, feeds, status updates that you would want a potential employer to see? Think of yourself as someone who's curating relevant content on social media and know that recruiters and hiring managers can easily access things that you may think are quite private on your social media feeds.
Make sure that you log-in, take a good look, and make any adjustments that you need to make so that you're putting your best professional foot forward. Again, list out those top priorities and the goal of time to spend per week. The next thing I want you to list out is your dream companies to work for and why. This is a really great list to keep you inspired and motivated throughout your career. We all have a few of those dream companies that we have wanted to work for for the longest time. If we got a call from them, we might jump at the offer, whatever the job was.
Give some thought to who those companies are for you and why. Make it a goal to check back regularly on those companies' sites, just seeing what jobs are available, noting what direction the company seems to be moving in and making a note of what is newsworthy, what is this company up to and why? Finally, I have a job-tracking sheet at the end of this plan-of-action. This is where I'd like you to track every job that you eventually apply for, where it came from, the name of a contact if you have it, the URL company site, the status of your application and materials, when you submit, and what those next steps and notes might be.
This again is a really handy place to keep all of your information in one place and I'll emphasize again, it's critical that this document is something that you keep for your eyes only. You don't want to leave it out on your desk where other family members or friends could take a look because it does have sensitive information about your job search. It's also a great document to keep with you as you go out an about, in case someone calls you. Let's say you get a number that's unknown on your cellphone and you want to quickly take a look at the jobs you've applied for so you can put a name with a face.
It's really helpful to keep this in a purse or a briefcase so that it's always with you and you're always prepared to take that phone call in case a recruiting manager or hirer reaches out to you. The key to investing your time is not that there's a magical formula that equals a new job, but more that you're making a conscious decision about your most precious resource, your time. As you track time-spent against each of the activities in these documents and as you prioritize and maybe even re-prioritize, I want you to stop and reflect on whether you're seeing effort from each investment and whether they're significant enough or maybe it's time to do a little bit of re-balancing.
Then take a quick workshop on applying for a job—from finding the ad to researching the company, tailoring your resume and cover letter, and submitting the application.
- Making a plan for job hunting
- Using popular job sites such as Monster, Simply Hired, and Indeed
- Networking and finding jobs on LinkedIn
- Using Twitter to search for jobs
- Scanning sites of companies you want to work for
- Approaching recruiters