Job Seekers: Plan to Succeed or Fail by Not Planning

Job Search PlanningWhat I emphasize to clients and people who attend my presentations is that the keys to a successful job search are no different than the keys to launching a successful new business, and the desired results are virtually the same.

Statistics on new small businesses say the failure rate is astronomical; most do not take off as quickly as anticipated and struggle to survive until they learn how to do it right. Too many run out of money and close or sell what they have built up at a loss within the first year. Then again there are people who get their small business off to a smooth start, quickly, achieve their expectations and prosper.

The most key factor defining who succeeds, who fails, and who underachieves in opening their small business is planning for success before taking action. Just as successful aspiring small business entrepreneurs conduct their research and develop a business plan at the onset, so too job seekers who want to land the right position as quickly as possible must do the same.

So here is a partial list of common sense keys for business entrepreneurs and how they are juxtaposed to a job search.

A: You need to know your niche in the market and why people would want to do business with you. For a job seeker this means you need to know which jobs you qualify for and why people would hire you for them.

B: You need to know as much about your customer base as possible and what they are in the market to buy. For a job seeker this means you need to know about the companies you are applying for, their culture and the type of person and skills profile they are looking to hire.

C: You need to know your marketplace and competitors’ price points, where you and your product fit in, how much your overhead is, and how much of a profit margin you’re seeking to begin with until you become established. For a job seeker this means knowing the salary range for the jobs you’re applying for, understanding your budget, factoring the cost of paid or unpaid health insurance, and determining what your worth is and how much above or below this figure you will accept for the right opportunity.

D: You need to have the right marketing tools, promotion and advertising plan, a website, and a defined budget. For a job seeker this means you need to have a quality resume, an appealing and optimized LinkedIn page, and a networking plan. Some of you will also benefit from having a website or some examples of your work that can be viewed online. Most important you need to have a budget to acquire and execute your marketing program. You get what you pay for and a one thousand percent ROI on a $0 investment is still $0.

E: You need to have a team of experts i.e. an attorney, accountant, banker and a marketing and social media consultant etc. to help you get off the ground by offering professional advice during your incubation and start up stages. As a job seeker some of the people you may want as part of your team are industry specific recruiters, a job search coach or advisor, a social media strategist and a resume writer.

Once you have all the information and the people you need lined up and ready to go, then it is time for the final steps; to come up with a written game plan of how you will conduct your job search and come up with your budget.

You will outline the specific job search actions you will take and the amount of time you will spend on each in terms of day-to-day activity and set for yourself daily and weekly goals i.e. the number of people you networked with this week, the number of resumes you sent out to people where there were no actual jobs but there might be hidden opportunities, the number of jobs you applied for online or by email, the number of recruiters you contacted, and the follow up results and next contact for each activity.

I do not mean to make a job search sound simplistic, there is a lot of hard work that goes into the planning and execution stages.

However if you have something worthwhile to offer an employer and go about your job search ad-hoc with a well-conceived plan and the proper support network and checks and balances in place, you will succeed at finding a job in much less time than if you approach it with a casual fly by the seat of your pants approach.

As always I am available to review your resume at no cost if you email it to

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