A Few Methods for Reinventing Your Job Search

Another day at home and you find yourself submitting one online resume after another. You may feel discouraged, as though every application goes into the “electronic black hole”.

Start with a plan and work the plan.

Once you have conducted your self-assessment and job market assessment, it is time to prepare a weekly, written job search plan. Think about your specific career goals and adjust your plan accordingly. Are you transitioning from a national role to a local role that requires building a new, local network? Has it been a long time since you had to search for a job? Part of your strategy should include getting up to speed on current resume standards and effective use of LinkedIn and other social media.


Your “secret sauce” for getting hired fast.

Choose a regular time each week to write your plan. My career coaching clients tell me that the best times are at the end of the day on Friday or Sunday evening. Take 20-30 minutes to plan your schedule and set goals for the week. Commit to spending 30+ hours a week on your search. Allocate your time so that you are focused on the most productive activities:

  • 10-20 percent on job board applications. Only 10-20 percent of all hires are made through job postings! The other 80%-plus are found through networking and relationships.
  • 10-20 percent on researching your target job market. Develop a specific list of companies that hire people with your skills. Get to know their products, leadership team, values, and competitive advantages.
  • 10-20 percent on development. This includes developing your elevator pitch, self-marketing materials, and LinkedIn profile, as well as taking classes to refresh or add skills.
  • 20-30 percent on active networking. Schedule a variety of professional association, community, alumni and social events, as well as one-on-one coffee meetings. Volunteer for a non-profit or professional association. Your goal is to expand your contacts and knowledge of companies that are growing, and to find unpublished job opportunities.
  • 10-20 percent on interviewing. You will have less control over this, however, the more you focus on the other activities, the more interviews you will get.

Adjust your formula weekly, and aim to increase your networking activity. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and enlist an accountability buddy to help you stay on track. Having a plan will prevent you from drifting into a lengthy job search, and will help you uncover unpublished job opportunities more quickly.