Your job search process needs to be just as structured as when you are working. Whether you are still working, unemployed or looking to re-enter the workforce after a period of time, everyone needs to have structure, a budget, and a schedule to help you achieve your job search.
Manage your time: In order for you to have a successful but also efficient job search you have to develop a plan and schedule for the strategies and steps you are going to take. Without this, your job search will last for much longer and not guarantee the results you want. Your job search needs to be treated as a new job (part time if you’re employed, but full time if you are not), and then it becomes easier to manage when you give it a set schedule with a routine and know what you will be doing or need to do.
If you are unemployed, you can devote more time to your job search and should be spending up to 30 hours per week on your job search. If you have reduced income coming in now, you should create a budget which details your essentials: food, housing, transportation, and job search expense. The actual amount of job search time varies depending upon your occupation, experience and training, job market demand, and the strategies and resources you utilize so you could be job searching for one month or up to one year so budget accordingly.
Manage your current job: If you are currently employed, you need to make you’re your job search doesn’t interfere with your current work and jeopardize the job you have right now. Devote as much time as freely possible without again interfering your current job and depending on how quickly you want to move to the next position. This could a few hours in evening, one day on the weekend, or during your lunch period. Remember not to use your company email or phone number when applying for jobs because when you do, you are sending a negative message about your respect for your employer’s time and money and will not create a strong impression on another company. To avoid all of this, use your non-work contact information, and make sure that you check the email and phone number you have listed day to day.
Have the right tools: If you don’t have the following items, you need to start on them immediately.
▪ The right documents which means a CV tailored for each job, cover letters for each position you apply for, follow-up letters, and prepared reference sheets.
▪ Solid references will be expected and required for most jobs and you should already have a list of references, either current or past managers, professionals in your industry with whom you’ve worked, or key clients, which you have asked if they are willing to provide a reference for you.
▪ A professional network helps you stay on track, can give you pointers on your job search and could even lead you to access to job opportunities before they are posted.
▪ Polished interview skills came from practice, practice and more practice. A strong resume and references will only get you so far, and if your interview skills are weak, you can convince the employer not to give you the chance for the position. Look up common interview questions and practice your answers, even consider video-recording yourself so you can see what the employer would see and how you can improve.
Maintain a positive attitude: Whether you are currently employed, unemployed or reentering the workforce, looking for a job is a challenging process and can drain your energy. It is important to maintain a positive attitude and one way of doing this is to have a strong support system. A positive family and friend support system is important, but just as important is a professional and peer support system that can understand your industry and keep you on track.