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Career Search Strategy: develop a career search action plan.

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Dream Big, Set Goals and Take Action!

You want to get the most out of your career search. You want to land those interviews and get a job offer sooner, than later. Well, look no further. The foundation of an effective job search is a well planned career search action plan. And in this blog, I'm going to outline the steps to create an action plan.

The benefits of a job search action plan? Well here are a few:

  • sets goals

  • strategies to find a job

  • identify what strategies are effective and what's not

  • cuts your job search in half

A job search action plan helps you see where you are going, keeps you focused and reach your goals.

Develop a list of action items to find a job:

  • Networking: make a list of your professional network and notify them that you're looking for a job.

  • LinkedIn: update your profile on LinkedIn, make sure it reflects your personal value statement. Connect with hiring managers.

  • Professional Associations: connect with associations in your industry or job function. Many professional associations offer job boards with active job listings. They also offer networking opportunities.

  • Research companies you would like to work for. Send your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. Do this even if there are no current job openings, you are taking proactive steps to market your skills and background for future job openings.

  • Job Boards: make a list of job boards to search weekly. To make your job search more efficient, job boards will notify you when a new job is posted.

Timeline: once the action plan is created, you need to include a timeline to complete each action. Prioritize each action based on most important to least important. Checkoff when an action item is completed. Block out one to two hours each day.

Career Search Tracker: use a spreadsheet to track the details of each action taken for your job search. The spreadsheet will allow you to keep everything in one place. What should you include in your Career Search Tracker?

  • Job title and link: keep track of all the positions you applied to.

  • Date applied: and the dates you applied. This way you can follow-up with employers who haven't heard from.

  • Contact Information: hiring manager's name, job title and email address

  • Where did you hear about the position? Did you apply through LinkedIn or Indeed or was a referral from a friend? This is important information to track

  • Status of your application: this should be if you heard back from the employer; yes, no or never heard back.

  • Notes: track updates such as follow-up emails or thank you letter.

Accountability Partner: an accountability partner provides feedback, helps you maintain focus, weeds out the details that are not important to your search, holds you accountable to completing specific goals and action items. An accountability partner can be a friend, spouse, coworker, teacher or a career coach.

Meet the author: Elizabeth Ushamirsky has over 20 years experience in career coaching and human resources. Helping people find jobs is her passion. She writes about the job search, resumes, career solutions, and human resources. She is the founder of First Impressions Resume and Career Solutions. Learn more about First Impressions at:

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