A job search can be daunting. There is a plethora of advice floating around out there. This can all make your task of finding the right job even more challenging. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Tune out all the noise, and create an action plan that works for you!
The first step to creating an action plan is to reflect on what you want. If you are unsure of your strengths and real interests, take an online quiz to help guide you in the right direction.
This task is easily accomplished by typing ‘Free Career Quiz’ into your search engine and taking one or two free assessments to learn your strengths and areas of interest. I can’t attest to the validity of these free assessments, but they can be a cheap alternative to help steer you in the right direction.
Quick Market Research
Once you know the industry you want to enter, it is time to conduct some brief market research. Try to assess your strengths and competencies against similar roles. Use your search engine and the power of LinkedIn to your advantage. Research people and their qualifications, skills, and competencies who are in similar roles.
Examine companies of interest. Determine if there is a market in your area. Will you require skill upgrading? Will you need to relocate to land the job of your dreams?
This quick market research is to help steer you in the right direction. Focus on learning what you need to do to get a job in your targeted area.
Define Your Product
With the quick market research complete, it is time to define your product – YOU! Know what you have to offer. Compare your strengths and abilities from the earlier reflection step against the target roles. Catalogue your achievements and identify your values.
Design Your Brand
With achievements catalogued and values identified, craft your marketing material. Define your Value Proposition (don’t know what a value proposition is? Read here). Create a winning resume and cover letter. Write the perfect LinkedIn summary and customized headline for your online profile.
Demonstrate consistency in your brand across all material. Highlight your key accomplishments and craft a brand statement that showcases your added value. The key is to ensure that your brand is complemented (not carbon-copied) from one marketing source to the next.
It is not enough to search online job boards for your perfect job. You need to dedicate some time to researching companies of interest. Create a list of your top 5 to 10 companies that you want to work for. Research their culture and their people.
With 80%+ of jobs being found in the hidden job market, you need to categorize your contacts. Look to see if anyone in your network can put you in touch with the right people at one of your target companies. Attend a community networking event and secure an informational interview with someone at a company of interest.
A job search action plan doesn’t have to be complicated; but, it does have to be strategic. With your career brand developed, and your target companies found, it will be easy to tap into the hidden job search market. The action plan above is not a magic formula. It will not guarantee a job.
It will help you tune out all the noise and advise. It will ensure you update your resume and online profile. It will support you to categorize your contacts and network connections. It will assist you to target 5 to 10 companies of interest.
This action plan will make it easy for you to answer the question “why should we hire you”; and this will bring you one step closer to landing the job of your dreams.
Thank you for reading my blog. I am the founder of Skye Is The Limit Resume and Career Solutions. As a Master Certified Resume Writer and Job Search Strategist, I help job seekers bring their career to new heights. If you have questions and/or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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