Develop a Job Search Action Plan
Organise your job search
with an action plan and get to work sooner.
Looking for work can be a daunting task
if you don't have a job search action plan with clearly
Goals turn wishes into reality.
start your employment market research and job search it is advisable to
develop a job search action plan,
many types of action plans. Some are comprehensive and look at doing a SWOT
analysis, anticipating any obstacles you may come up with and how to
overcome them. This type of action plan is not necessary. Ideally, of
course, it should be comprehensive. This may be ok if you are already employed.
If you are unemployed you need to get on with your job search and write a
simplistic plan to get back to work faster. Some people like to work with flow charts and boxes
and other people may prefer lists.
Why use and action plan?
It will assist you to decide how to go about your job search.
Can cut your job search time in half.
An action plan will also help you decide what is important and
what isn't and will assist you to decide where to put your energy.
You need to decide how
much time are you going to spend on learning job search skills and
calculate how much time you will spend actually looking for work in
the most effective way, and write you plan accordingly. If you are
unemployed this should be at least 30 hours a week. If you are
looking for a new job you need to use your time effectively
and an action plan can assist you to work out a timetable.
a job search action plan it will make it much easier to see where
you are going and keep you focused.
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"
Source: How to Manage and Market yourself, McInnes,
Johnson and Marsh
How to develop an action plan
Research is absolutely necessary no matter what job search
method you use, so allow time in your action plan. This is where
job seekers come unstuck. They do not plan and then make critical
mistakes and sabotage the contact, whether it be a job application
letter or a phone call, because they have not had time to do
research or background reading on how to write an effective job
application. All these things need to be considered when
writing a job search action plan.
Will you use cold calling or networking methods? - Do you even
know what they are? Both very effective.
If so, you need to do some research on the company you identify
as being one where there may be jobs or where to find a career
- Goals turn
wishes into reality
Goal setting is the most important part of writing your action plan.
If you do not set goals
and write them down in an action plan they merely become a wish. For example, if you want to buy a particular car and don't
plan how you are going to get it, it just becomes a dream or a wish.
On the other hand, if you decide you are going to get this car in 18 months
you need to do an action plan. You would work out how much it cost and maybe
divide this price into monthly payments. You know that you have to save that
amount every month. You may need to prioritise your spending and take
into account any emergencies etc. This is an action plan.
Your dream is now achievable.
efining your goals
is the most important part of your action plan.
Setting goals will
assist you to focus your energy on job opportunities.
Start with a primary goal. What is your primary goal? for example it may be "to get a job within three weeks". You sub goals are
how you are going to achieve them
your primary goal. "to get a job within three weeks". this is your
goal you need to:-
much time per week are you going to spend on you job search
Divide this time into the
primary areas where you are going to spend your time.
Set a sub goal for each
If you only have 20 hours per
week and 60 hours in total, you will assess how much time you have to spend
on research, and to gather
For example, you will probably
want to know the following:-
The latest labour market
statistics to find out where the jobs are.
employers and sources of vacancies.
many methods of contacting employers and decide which is best for you.
latest job search techniques that work.
contact employers by any
one of the many methods shown on this site.
Now set sub goals for each of
these areas, "i.e. find 10 employers to cold call by (date). Always
set a date or time to achieve each goal.
The "to do list"
Once you have developed your
action plan you
then need to allocate time to each activity. Do a daily "to do list".
Prioritise the tasks you hope to achieve each day, from most important to
least important. Be realistic.
If you find you are carrying
over the same tasks to the next day they are probably not important,
so scrap them.
Although it was stated at the
beginning research is critical. However, it is very easy to get bogged
down at this stage, so you do need to develop a research plan as part of your
overall action plan to keep you on
the right track and to stay focused. If you develop a research plan you
within your action plan you will make
faster progress and move on to actually taking action by targeting employers.
this site to look for comprehensive resources and career and job opportunities.
For labour market information, potential employers and sources of vacancies
Employment Opportunities. For
recruitment methods and developing a job search strategy go to
How to Look For Work
and Recruitment Methods
On this site there
are 17 sections on job search tips, techniques and resources.
These sections will give you an idea on where you need to focus your job
Take what you need for your
job search or career planning and move on.
Comprehensively covered in
and Career Opportunities
Good record keeping
I cannot stress how important
good record keeping is to job search in general.
You need to capture all the
information you have collected. When you get to the stage of
contacting employers you will need a contact sheet. Spend some time
making one. You can use a spreadsheet or just an A4 notebook.
If you dont make notes after each contact you could find
yourself in an embarrassing position if you speak to the same person twice.
You think you will remember, however when you are making a lot of calls you
do forget. Ensure you use codes or you will run out of space. Make up
a set of codes and stick to them.
until August 1st. In follow up section use code
hol. 14/8 = may mean the person is on holidays and you should contact
him/her a week or two after he returns.
Ring back unavailable at that time. You may put a date R/B 30/8
NA, m = You
have phoned once today and he is not available until Monday. Cross it
out when you ring again.
Methods of contacting employers
you may use in your action plan.
your lists, i.e. colleagues first. Use most probable to least
probable. Now you need to find their addresses and transfer onto a
contact sheet. Decide on how you will contact them and write it down.
Then find out where they can be contacted and write this
information onto the record.
looked at all the information given in the previous pages and decide on the
most probable to the least probable. (See
Cold Calling Tips) Note that
cold calling is spam unless you make it specific to a person within the
company and specific to the organisation. Even then it is unlikely to be
read. A letter by post is now a "novel idea" and it will more than likely be
read as very little mail comes over the desk now. See how to cold call by
phone and cold calling letter in
prioritise the types of companies you want to target from the largest to the smallest.
Then categorise into regions or suburbs if you have a lot of companies to
contact. Find out the contact persons name. However,
dont approach this person yet.
make a contact sheet for each category.
make out a list of people or companies you will contact.
You should now have a good idea which industries will have jobs in your
area. The next step is to work out a plan of who to contact first and
how. If you have done your research correctly you will have identified the
most likely contacts.
a combination of contacts
approach is to test about a dozen contacts in each of the categories and
find out which ones are giving you the most leads and best contacts.
Dont waste time on areas where you are not getting results.
target the area where you are getting the best results
You will also find some very useful
information in the
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