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How to Create a Strategic Plan for Job Search Success?


In United States according to an extensive research undertaken by Jobvite, around 18% of current job seekers change their jobs when they have a work experience of 6 to 10 years. But the largest percentages of active job seekers are people who have worked in a company for more than 10 years. USA today has an employment rate of 59% and an unemployment rate of 6.2%. Currently every month there are around 4.99 million jobs available in the US job market. If you are planning to look for your dream job now, then its time you plan a strategy for yourself. This strategy would help you to make your job search plan successful and also enable you to find a job that you would love working on 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Below we have just outlined the plan that you need to undertake, along with high level of commitment and focus from your end.

Strategic Job Search Plan

Do you Need any Specific Strategy During Job Search?

When you are developing a job search strategy for yourself, you have to understand that a hiring manager takes only a few seconds to scan through your resume. Thus your resume should be crisp and decorated with all your work accomplishments accurately. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics in United States, an average job search would take around 3 to 4 months. One of the most common questions that a job seeker asks is whether any specific strategy needs to be undertaken when developing a strategic plan for job search. Here you can adopt either an active job search strategy or a proactive job search strategy.

Active Job-Search Strategy:

When you adopt an active job search-strategy, you do research regarding the current job market scenario and the various positions available there. You also polish your interview skills and make your resume attractive and crisp in nature. You are seriously looking for a job and thus you look for jobs in various online portals and also heavily network among your close circles of friends and colleagues. Here you are focused and take initiatives at the various opportunities which arrive at your door. A study undertaken by researchers at University of Denver Career-Center indicated that only 20% of the current job opportunities are available online. Thus you would take a few months before you land up with your dream job.

Pro-active Job-Search Strategy:

While undertaking the pro-active job-search strategy you would undertake all the steps which have been taken by a person following the active job search-strategy plan. Additionally you would take up a few initiatives like visiting a few reputed companies and placing your resume with the concerned HR there. You would also participate in various networking activities and seek referrals from a few important people in the industry. Here you also join in various professional groups and widen the area of your job search based on your work experience and skills. When employing the pro-active job-search strategy you are assertive and aggressive in your job search plan. This strategy is very suitable for people who are in a high profile jobs like sales managers.

Understand the importance of your online presence:

21% among the current job seekers have received their current jobs using social online networks. Classified ads have opened up only 19% of the current job opportunities. Thus it is essential that you do some work on your online presence before you start looking for a job. If you are still not convinced, here are some bare facts to convince you. In LinkedIn 94% recruiters or hiring managers consistently read various prospective job seekers LinkedIn profiles in order to reach out to their candidates. Facebook has helped 76% of current job seekers arrive at their dream jobs. Therefore when you understand these important facts, you have to improve your online presence and show what the recruiters want to see. The first thing to do here is make a Google search with your name and find out various online contents which might have your name in it. If you have undertaken any online chatting in various forums which could be controversial, instantly delete them. If your Facebook has too many personal details in it, make it private. Finally join a few networking sites where you can publish your accomplishments.

Taking your First Networking Steps Confidently:

Networking is an important element when you are developing a strategic plan for your successful job search. If you are new to networking here are a few guidelines which you can follow. These are:

Spend time on research:

Before you start your job search it is mandatory that you spend time in research. During research you identify the important companies which are currently hiring and in which positions. If you have decided to move to a different domain, it is essential that you speak to a few seasoned professional there and find out how you can fit your profile. Develop a list of people you know and then understand how they would be able to help you in your job search.

Become your own marketing manager:

When you begin networking, you would realize that you have only a few minutes to market yourself well. You do not have much time in hand and thus would need to market yourself using a few sentences only. It is best that you practice well before you speak about yourself, in front of important people.

Master the art of small talk:

To be an efficient networker, it is essential that you learn the art of small talk. Here you speak to a person for a few minutes before you market yourself. You have to understand that if you directly market yourself, you might be considered selfish and aggressive. Thus engage them and then market yourself subtly.

Be consistent in your follow up:

You might meet a large number of people. But how often do you follow up with them. After you have introduced and marketed yourself well, you can invite a few of them for coffee and request them to promote you. Here you can also call or mail them and thank them for showing interest in you.

Learn and ask relevant questions:

When you have begun to network, you have begun a journey to learn more each day. Thus gain as much knowledge as you can and also ask the right questions. This would help you to clarify your doubts and also create the right impressions among important influential people in the industry.

Polish your business skills:

When you are planning your strategy for job search understand the significance of business skills. Thus use this time well and attend various workshops or seminars which would help you to polish your business skills like mastering the art of negotiations. Here you can also learn any technical skills required and also understand how to use social media marketing, when you are promoting yourself online.

Slowly build your social network system:

Initially you might feel embarrassed to ask for help. But slowly you can get back to people who you have helped earlier and ask them to return the favor subtly. Here you would need to be prepared if they mention abruptly that they cannot help you. Remember to take all the experiences positively and learn from each of them. After a few weeks of hard work from your end, you would begin to notice a few job openings coming your way. Use these opportunities well and soon you would have a new job opportunity in hand.

Create a master resume and also customize them:

If you are a senior management professional, you would be looking at various multiple job opportunities. The trick here is to create a master resume and then customize them according to the job openings. For example if you have been a VP-Business Development in your last job, and are currently applying for the position of Sr Consultant- Project Operations, you have to mention a few project management and team management skills in the CV. Otherwise the CV will not enjoy any weightage.

Learn regarding the current industry trends:

One of the important elements to understand when developing a successful strategy for your job search is to understand the current existing trends of the industry. You might be looking for a job after 15 years. But you have to play the game according to the current trends. Here it is essential that you speak to your close friends and understand the trend or do exhaustive learning using the internet. You have to understand that no matter how skilled you are, there is always a good chance that there is someone better than you.

What do you do when you are stuck and your strategies fail you?

Sometimes things would be moving fast and you would be near to getting your new job. Suddenly things get stuck and you start feeling suffocated. Remember that getting a good job takes time and you should be positive and motivated always. If you still have a few problems, here is what you need to do:

Speak to a hiring manager:

When you feel that you are stuck in your job search, it is best to seek the help of a professional hiring manager. The manager would immediately point out the mistake that was committed and put you back on track again. It is essential that you listen to his observations and make the necessary changes suggested by him.

Give your resume a new look:

Your resume might be filled with vital accomplishments and facts. But it might not highlight the skills necessary to get you the job. Therefore seek the help of a professional resume writer and change the format of the resume. When changing your resume, do add important keywords in them and this would help the recruiter shortlist your CV immediately.

Widen your search:

The slow economy has made many people lose their jobs and you might be one of them. Here many people make the mistake of getting back to their old job domain which is already saturated or stagnated. Thus it is essential that you understand your skills well and take a decision to embark into a new career. Initially this attempt might make you work very hard but after a year, this decision could be the best decision that you have ever taken for your work.

Seek a mentor:

In your long career of 15 years, you might have mentored many people. But now that you are starting to look for a job, it would be a good idea to seek a mentor. The mentor would understand your accomplishments and guide you to do the necessary things to be done. You cannot take too many risks here and also you cannot waste time. Thus seeking a mentor and following his path would be a good idea.

The above points are just an attempt to equip you to create the right strategy for your job search. Remember the golden words of Andrew Carnegie when he mentioned that “if you cannot motivate yourself, then you should be content to be a mediocre, even though you might have great skills.” Therefore plan your strategy well and make it powerful enough to give you the job.