Your 12 Step Search Action Plan
Any professional in transition needs to have a well thought through and implemented search action plan. These 12 steps will help guide you.
1. Write down very clearly your career objective(s) in your resume and covering memo. You may have more than 1 objective depending on the organization you talk with. Fit the objective to the organization you are trying to get to work with.
2. Develop a great resume. You may have several versions depending upon the type of opportunity you pursue when you send it out or hand in to someone. Send it in Word and not as a PDF. Get feedback from othjrs as you develop your resume.
3. List the major clusters of your contacts of people possibly able to help you. Consider for example the people you are connected with from previous or current employers, your college alumni group, your community, various clubs you belong to, your personal and family friends, your religious affiliations and non-profit groups you know and help support.
4. For each of these groups list the 5-10 people most likely to be able to help you in your job search.
5. Contacts the top 5-10 people in each category in person, by phone and/or via email and ask for their help in your search. You are not asking for a job with them or through them. You are asking for them to meet (if possible) or talk by phone (Skype) with you to comment on your career objective, your resume, your current search strategies and to suggest others they can connect you with for the same type of discussion.
6. Identify the top 10 organizations you would like to work with and learn everything you can about them. Then find contacts within your network who can introduce you to appropriate decision makers within those 10 organizations. Find other possible connectors through social media tools such as Linkedin.
7. Make certain you have a complete profile on Linkedin and Facebook. Network through these channels.
8. Always have business cards with you. Never leave home without them.
9. Find relevant groups to join and events to attend where the people you need to meet will be. Ask others with careers of the type you are pursuing to suggest groups and events for you. Search for relevant groups and events on the web.
10. Put together a team of friends, family members and/or business associates with whom you can meet regularly to discuss your search progress. Being accountable to 3 or 4 others will be an important tool for you. This group becomes your personal search advisory group.
11. If you are serious about successfully landing a new suitable opportunity then spend at least 50 hours a week on the process. Your job, when you get up every morning, is finding a new, better job.
12. Spend 80-90% of your job searching time networking with people in person. Use your 9 to 5 time this way. Do your web searching, resume writing, and sending applications outside the 9 to 5 time frame. We would be happy to share a networking newsletter with you.