In previous posts, I’ve written about the What, Who and Where of preparing for a job search. In this article, I explore the question “How do I go about doing it?”

There is a lot to do in a modern job search. Building an effective strategy requires a degree of planning. It’s helpful that we’ve already figured out the What, Who and Where – it makes it much easier to tackle the How.

I recommend breaking down the job search strategy into four phases:

  • Preparation
  • Conducting The Search
  • Closing The Search
  • Maintaining Your Network

Preparation consists of:

  • Creating the artifacts needed to support the search (resume, business cards, etc)
  • Defining your processes to conduct the search (web search processes, networking processes, post-event processes, tracking processes etc)
  • Creating Your Calendar and blocking out specific appointments with yourself to perform job search activities
  • Obtaining the Resources needed to conduct the search (new clothes, a laptop/printer, file folders, a special work area or home office, etc)
  • Defining Your Point Of View for conducting the search (Am I looking for the first thing that comes along, Am I looking for the perfect fit for my current skill set, Am I looking for a stretch assignment, Is looking for a job my full-time job or is it something else etc)

Conducting The Search consists of:

  • Time – Using the time you’ve set aside to notify and communicate, network, interview, research, respond to offers, etc.
  • Discipline – executing, monitoring and adjusting your plan and your calendar.
  • Accountability – Partnering with another job seeker or seekers, or a mentor to report progress, review options and brainstorm other opportunities and approaches.

Closing The Search consists of:

  • Notifying your network and the in-flight opportunities that you’ve successfully landed
  • Thanking the people that have helped you in your job search
  • Archiving the job search material so you can find them again for the next time or to help others
  • Updating your resume with your new job information

Maintaining Your Network consists of:

  • Continuing with some of the networking opportunities to grow your network
  • Staying in touch with your existing network and maintaining your social network presence

There is more to a modern job search than applying for jobs on job boards and seeking out recruiters. The best results come from your networking efforts, and from being well prepared to take advantage of the opportunities when they arise.


Job Search Table Of Contents Page