There is a saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail and this definitely applies when you are job hunting. If you are looking for a new job, for whatever reason, now is the time to start planning your job search strategy and the following 7 tips are designed to help get you started.

  1. Set your career goals – without a clear goal to aim for, you won’t be able to efficiently focus your job search strategy. Think about what you want from your career, what type of company you want to work for and what type of job you are after. Once you have set yourself a clear goal you can break it down into bite size pieces or easily achievable milestones (a bit like mini goals) and then break these down further into action steps (attend 2 networking events per week or update your social media profiles for example). Each step you take will bring you closer to achieving your milestones and ultimately your goal and this sense of achievement will help to keep you motivated and working toward reaching your goal.
  2. Take time to analyse your skills and write down examples of where you have used these skills effectively. Remember, your skills are not just things that you use in a work environment so think about skills that you use in your personal life as well because many of them will be transferable. List skills that you would like to improve or develop and research ways of doing this.
  3. Define your personal brand by looking at what makes you unique. Think about why a manager should hire you and where your uniqueness will add value to the company. Find ways to stand out and be memorable to the recruiter.
  4. Update your profile on all your social media sites and make sure that there is nothing on them that might stand in the way of you getting the job. While recruiters favour LinkedIn to find out more about candidates, many are also turning to Facebook and other social media sites so make sure that you always come across as being professional. And make sure that your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete with a professional looking photo.
  5. Be prepared. You never know when you may get called in for an interview at short notice so as soon as you have sent in your CV or job application, start preparing for the interview. You will come across as far more motivated and you will feel less stressed.
  6. Stop sending your CV out for every job vacancy you see. By trying to be everything to everyone you will greatly dilute your CV. Remember that you are trying to sell yourself and like any successful business, you need to know your niche market and pitch only to it. Know the industry you want to work in and tailor your CV to the specific requirements of each job that you apply for and you will have a much greater chance of getting an interview.
  7. Get out there and network! Networking online has its benefits but sometimes it is too easy to sit at your computer and tell yourself you are working on your job search strategy. It is meeting people, connecting with them, sharing information, letting people know the type of work you are looking for, communicating your strengths and listening that will ultimately open the door to job opportunities.

Work is where you spend most of your waking life yet despite this, most people spend more time planning their annual holiday than they do planning their career. Don’t be one of them; start planning your career today!

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Abraham Lincoln