Don’t Short-circuit Your Job Search Campaign with Poor Strategy Choice

January 21, 2017 Steven Watson, PhD, CPRW Job Search Frame of Mind

A successful job search campaign requires careful planning and a focus on doing things that have the greatest positive impact. There are a range of job search strategies that you can use to find a great job. It is not practical to do them all, so developing an overall approach that includes strategies that are most practical for you and that are compatible with your personality and interests is critical.

There is no blueprint etched in stone for a successful job search campaign. However, here are some things to keep in mind to avoid compromising your job search campaign.

A Shot-gun Approach to Job Search is not Optimal. It is not the quantity of things that you do to attract potential employers; it is the quality of the few things you chose to prioritize. It is certainly possible to build networks, apply to job boards or newspaper classified ads, join relevant associations and organizations, create or obtain top-notch materials, contact recruiters, and do a host of other things. All of these efforts are reasonable. However, just doing things for the sake of doing them is not in your best interests. An effective job search campaign requires a focus on the “big picture” or how the steps you chose to take fit together into an overall strategy.

Conversely, Choosing Just One Job Search Strategy and Ignoring All Other Options Will Not be Very Productive.  A successful job search campaign requires a combination of strategies that are well thought out and compatible with each other. A common mistake that job seekers commit is to place all of their efforts into embracing one job search strategy.  For example, applying for work on various job boards without having first generated a top-notch resume, cover letter, and other materials, or possibly creating a LinkedIn or other social media profile may prove fruitless.

Track the Various Tasks You Have Completed in Your Job Search Campaign Along with the Results. Proper planning and meticulous outcome tracking are critical to not becoming repetitive with the things you are doing and enabling you to remember and act on opportunities that arise from efforts you made in the past. For example, if you met someone while networking and you do not document the name of the person, when you met, and what you talked about, you may not be able to respond quickly if that person contacts you with an opportunity. There are a variety of specialized spreadsheet-like tools you can use to document and track job search progress (or even failures). You can also use a Microsoft Excel or similar program to do it.

In a nutshell, it is important to avoid using a broad range of job search tools and techniques without ensuring that you have a plan in place and that your overall strategy is reasonable based on your personality, time constraints, and priorities. It is also important not to commit all of your resources to one job search technique that prevents you from taking advantage of all potential opportunities. Finally, it is essential to document what you have planned or have done, along with outcomes and any follow-up requirements.

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