Hunting for a job is a tough and lonely business. You’re out there on your own, for the most part, and it’s hard to know when you’re botching it up. It’s always difficult to observe our own behavior and understand if there is anything wrong with it. When we’re working, we do get feedback (although not always welcome) from the boss when our work is less than stellar, but that is about all we ever get. When we’re job hunting all we know is that we are not getting interviews or offers. We know that might be an indicator of something, but we’re just not sure what.
My plan with this article series is to outline the most common mistakes I see Job Seekers make and the issues that most commonly plague them.
If I were to pick out an almost universal mistake, it is the failure to plan. A lack of a Job Search Strategy is tantamount to a cross country trip without a GPS.
The idea of simply jumping in a car and heading down the highway doesn’t occur to most people, yet we seem to do that with a Job Search. I can identify a couple of reasons why I think this might be:
1. Most people think the most planning should go into a resume and that’s all they need to do.
2. A Job Search Strategy is something most people don’t think of or aren’t even aware of.
Now that I have pointed this out, let’s look at the “what’s” and “why’s” of a Job Search Strategy.
What is a Strategy?
Strategy wiki definition: Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal.
Example: A player’s strategy in a game is a complete plan of action for whatever situation might arise; this fully determines the player’s behavior. A player’s strategy will determine the action the player will take at any stage of the game, for every possible history of play up to that stage.
Strategic Plan wiki definition: A comprehensive plan for accomplishment in relation to stated goals and objectives.
Example: Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people.
Example: The process of comprehensive, integrative program planning that considers, at a minimum, the future of current decisions, overall policy, organizational development, and links to operational plans.
In other words, a Job Search Strategy is:
- A comprehensive plan to accomplish the goal of being hired
- Integrates and determines the person’s actions in advance
- Unique per individual planning
- Ensures that advanced thought and comprehensive decision making are done
Why have a Job Search Strategy?
To be as productive as possible, which is equal to:
1. Getting the most out of the time spent
2. Achieving your goal of finding a job in the shortest amount of time possible
3. Ensuring all aspects are considered
4. Following the best tactics to ensure a professional appearance
5. Knowing where and how to course correct, when necessary
6. Instilling confidence in you that you know what you’re doing
7. Avoiding costly mistakes and possible embarrassment
Putting together a Job Search Strategy is not complicated or difficult. It does require some “thought” time, but well worth the effort in order to ensure you are covering all the bases. Your job search is more than updating and distributing your resume.
Here is your feedback: If you’ve been active in your job search and it hasn’t even yielded you informational interviews, then you need to create your Job Search Plan. You need a roadmap of your actions and activities that will be more effective from this point forward. “You always need a plan. A plan can change, but you always need a plan.”
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a Career Coach and expert on helping her clients achieve their goals. Her programs cover: Career growth and enhancement, Career Change, Retirement Alternatives and Job Search Strategy. Want to discover specific career change strategies that get results? Discover how by claiming your FREE gift, Career Makeover Toolkit at: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/