Mapping out a successful job search


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  • NOTE TO DESIGN: Can we get a new cover slide if we are not partnering up with anyone?
  • Evaluate your goals Identify the scope of your job search – It will help you immensely if you take some time up front to identify the scope of your job search. Determine which industries you have interest in, and line out positions that you are qualified for. Determine your job-seeking strengths and weaknesses – Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are aces at networking, but struggle for hours/days/months to put together the perfect resume. Others feel exactly the opposite. What are you best at? Where do you need some help? Take some time to be honest with yourself about this and you’ll be able to compensate for your weaknesses by reaching out to others for assistance or reserving more time for difficult tasks. Set location, level and salary parameters – In order to make an executable plan, you’ll need to set parameters so you can focus your attention in the right place. - Are you open to relocating for a desirable position? If so, decide which cities or areas you are open to beforehand. - You’ll need a rough salary range to start. Of course the salary will range across positions, but you should be shooting for a particular bracket based on your skills and experience. You’ll need to figure out where the bottom of the range lies. At what number will you no longer be interested in a position? This should be thought out beforehand.
  • Taking care of the basics The basic resume – Getting your resume together can be tough and time-consuming, but it’s a necessary evil. One of your first tasks should be making sure you have a resume ready to go at a moment’s notice when that perfect opportunity arises. You’ll need a version that has been thought-out, formatted, spell-checked, and reviewed by at least a few others with a fresh pair of eyes. Customized versions of your resume – Now that you have your basic resume, you’ll need to create a version for every type of job you are seeking. The truth is that you will have to customize a version of your resume for every job that you apply for, and incorporate keywords that appear in the job description if they are relevant to your experience. But you should have a templated version ready for every type of job. It will make it easier for you to add in little changes quickly when you want to apply for an open position. The basic cover letter – You’ll also need a cover letter frame that you can update and revise as needed. Of course you’ll want to add information that pertains to your experience for the particular job in question, and you’ll need to add a personal touch to each version. Update your references – You will most likely need 2-5 people who you can rely upon to vouch for your professional strengths and discuss the particulars of your working style. Make sure they know they may be contacted –this is a common courtesy. This will be helpful particularly if you haven’t spoken to your reference in a while. Perfect your elevator pitch – The elevator pitch is a concise explanation of who you are professionally and what fields and titles you are interested in pursuing. It should be tailored to fit a short interaction (no longer than 45 seconds) and focus on the benefit you can bring to an organization. Think of it as a short commercial advertising yourself. Crafting your elevator pitch will help you focus your job-seeking direction. Evaluate your online presence - Make sure you have a clear idea of what is visible to the general public by evaluating your online presence. Examine your public presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And make sure your privacy settings are set up in the proper way. If you don’t want others to find random pictures of you, then be sure to mark ‘for friends only’. You should also Google yourself and comb through the results. It’s likely that a recruiter or interested employer will do some research on you before they consider hiring you. What will they see when they search for your name? Make sure you know the answer to this question.
  • Narrow your search to set workable goals Create a shortlist of attainable positions – Once you’ve identified the scope of your job search ( bulletpoint on slide 4) , you should identify the positions you are qualified for. It will save you time and effort in the long run if you think about this before starting your job search. Create a list of job titles that are desirable. Search the job boards for these titles – does the wording vary? A Marketing Specialist position could also be listed as a Marketing Coordinator, or a Digital Marketer. Sometimes the title depends on something as simple as the opinion of the person posting the position. Bear in mind that different companies use different terms. You may even want to make a list of key terms that are found in the titles of the positions you are seeking to make scouring the job boards a little easier. Identify attractive companies – Now that you’ve set geographic parameters, you should take some time to identify attractive companies in the area you are seeking work. Do some research – check out well-known companies within your area. Next, check out their reputation as an employer. Utilize sites like to view reviews from former and current employees. Utilize your network to discover potential contacts – You may have connections that you are not aware of – utilize your network of former co-workers, supervisors, friends and family to identify opportunities and connections to the companies on you’ve selected as a possible good fit. You’ll never know who you may be connected to until you start asking. Break down the job search into manageable segments – When you get started, the job search can seem daunting, even larger than life. But you don’t have to be afraid – you can break large tasks like this into manageable segments. Line out the areas that need immediate attention, and then block it out into segments of time.
  • Treat your job search like a job Block out your time into increments based on task - Map out your day before getting started. Figure out which tasks you should work on during the day, and allot a certain amount of time for each task. Create a practical schedule for yourself – your goals should be aggressive but not unrealistic. You may want to work on perfecting an alternate version of your resume for 2 hours, and then take a break by researching attractive companies for an hour before lunch. Be reasonable with your daily goals and you will feel accomplished. Unemployed vs. employed – Your current employment status will affect how you go about your job search. They say it’s easier to find a job if you are already employed, and ‘they’ could be right – at times. Sometimes it’s easier to leverage your current connections to find the next job, and some employers are more likely to hire someone who is already working. But if you are employed full-time, it can be difficult to find the time to search for a job outside of work. You’ll need to block out several evenings and weekends in order to put in the time necessary to find a job, and you won’t be as available to discuss opportunities during business hours. And if you are unemployed, don’t count yourself out. You have more time to devote to the job search, and you will be more readily available during business hours in case someone tries to reach out to you. You should treat your job search like a full-time job. Get up in the morning at an early hour, and get ready for the day in the same way you would if you were going into the office. You’ll be more likely to take your search seriously if you are dressed nicely, as opposed to staying in your pajamas. Pick a starting time and stick to it every day. Many unemployed job-seekers find comfort in this routine, and you’ll feel more likely to relax in the evening if you’ve put in a full day. Determine a task schedule that suits your needs – There is no one-size fits all plan for everyone. You’ll need to determine a task schedule that fits your individual needs. You may only have time to search for positions after the kids have gone to bed, or in the early morning hours before you head to work. Visualize your calendar for the week or month and build in time to your schedule beforehand. Clear all other tasks off your plate during this time so you can concentrate fully on your job search.
  • Key items to be included in your job search plan Staying current with industry news and developments – Let’s say you receive an opportunity for an interview at your dream company for tomorrow. Will you be prepared to discuss recent events and developments in your industry? You’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in what you do at some point during your interview. You don’t want to be scrambling the night before to appear educated and up to date. Work time into your job search schedule every day, or at least every week, to stay current with relevant industry news and developments. Professional associations – It may be to your benefit to explore professional associations that are popular in your field. At the very least, you’ll gain access to industry information, through online forums or newsletters. However, there is much more opportunity for those willing to invest more time. Consider going to networking events that are sponsored or approved by the association. You’ll meet others who have similar professional interests and get the chance to try out your networking skills. Be on your best behavior, because you never know who will you meet – and when you may run into them again in the future. Also, several associations post job listings, and some may not be available to the rest of the general public. Finding the right channels for your job search – There are so many places to find job listings, so you should take some time and think about where the most relevant job listings you’re seeking will be found. There are specialized job boards that cater to particular fields. For example, solely lists non-profit jobs, and Media Bistro specializes in media-related jobs for editors, writers, producers and graphic designers. You should also try working with a recruiter, and as I’ve mentioned, you’ll certainly need to explore your network of professional contacts (and you network of family and friends) in order to seek out hidden opportunities. Informational interviews – If you’re stumped about the next step in your career, you should consider scheduling an informational interview with someone who has the job you think you may want someday. Utilize your network to find an individual who fits this description and who is willing to meet with you for 15-20 minutes. Prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask, including the following: What is a typical day like in your office? What is a common challenge you run into on a regular basis? What kinds of decisions do you make? How did you get this job? What previous professional experiences have you had that led you to this position? Reference articles
  • Keeping organized It’s important to stay organized during your job search. If you put time and effort into keeping track of your job search activity, it will pay off immensely in the long run. Database of professional contacts – Keep a database of every contact you make, and leave space to log encounters and follow-up notes. It may be easier to make changes by doing this on the computer, but some people still prefer the handy Rolodex or an old-fashioned notebook. The medium you use to organize is not as important as the continual effort it will take to maintain the most current information. There should be a place to set reminders for future follow-up, like sending a hand-written thank you note, or calling to follow-up after the interview. Keep a log of all interactions – You should keep a log of all job seeking activities. This can be separate from your log of professional contacts or combined. It should include a list of job leads and active applications, along with space to detail efforts to follow-up and people that are associated with each application, from the family connection that got you in the door to the hiring manager. Keep a correspondence log that details every interaction you have, with links or printouts of emails you’ve sent back and forth. You’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t when you look at all this information together. At-a-glance calendar – I find it easier to manage my time when I have a calendar of events and tasks for the day, for the week, and also for the month. You may want to consider putting the effort into maintaining and referring to a calendar. You’ll be able to map out your job search plan more effectively. At the beginning of the month, line out the tasks you’d like to accomplish, decide on a reasonable amount of time for each task, and then block everything out on your calendar. It can be a wall calendar, attached to your gmail account, or displayed on your smartphone. Use whatever method works best for you. Set up alerts to keep you on track – This is a helpful trick that helps me keep on track in my daily life. I have alerts set up on my smartphone, and also on my Outlook calendar to remind me of tasks that I need to accomplish that day. This goes for both personal and professional tasks. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the minutiae of daily life, and honestly I think I would forget half of the things I need to do if I didn’t have a helpful reminder. Your options range from automated smartphone alerts to a good ‘old post-it note. Try it out and see if it works for you.
  • Sample spreadsheets We wanted to provide you with a few samples of spreadsheets to help you get started. Excel templates - Excel has an excellent job search template that you can download for free. The easiest way to find this is to type “Excel job search assistance template” into an online search engine like Google. This template is divided into 4 tabs – Resume submissions, Networking contacts, Interviews, and Career websites. Create your own – If you prefer to organize things in your own way, or if you do not like Excel, you may want to consider creating your own spreadsheet. There are many ways to organize your job search in an effective way. The important thing is that you take the time to think of a task and interaction management system beforehand. Note to design – can you please use an image of the excel spreadsheet somewhere on the page?
  • Online tools and sites Email alerts – Many job boards and employment agencies have automated emails that you can set up to be notified of vacancies as soon as they open. Often you will be able to enter several job titles and geographic areas to cater the search to your needs. Keyword alerts – Keyword alerts can help you in many ways. You can set up alerts to keep you updated on industry developments and news. Or you can set up alerts for particular job listings in a particular area by detailing several keywords in combination with one another. The most popular key word alert is set up through Google. It’s easy to use and the notifications go straight to your inbox at a pre-determined time and frequency. LinkedIn – There are so many ways to use LinkedIn for your job search and professional image that we could present a fresh webinar solely on this topic. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, I strongly suggest that you put one together – today. It may take you several days to fill in everything you want to display on your profile. If you do have a profile, make sure that it is up to date and relevant to the types of positions you are seeking. LinkedIn is also great because you can manage your references in a much more organized way. If someone recommends you on LinkedIn, those words will be indefinitely linked to your profile. Potential employers can pull this up at a moment’s notice to see that you are a legitimate prospect. They’ll also be able to verify the legitimacy of the recommendation by researching the recommender. – Jibberjobber is an online job search tool that you can use to keep organized. This site can help you keep track of sent resumes, interviews, interactions with professional contacts, and more. It useful for the overwhelmed job seeker, mostly because it is easy to use and because many of its features are free.
  • Prioritize Daily list of tasks – I’ve already suggested setting up an at-a-glance calendar of tasks and various reminders/alerts to keep you organized. But there is something simple and so useful about a daily list of tasks. Every morning when I wake up, I put together a shortlist of tasks that I would like to accomplish during the day. And it is sweetly satisfying when I finish a task and place a big check-mark next to it. Once you have your list for the day together, prioritize. What is most important? Circle it, or number your priorities on the paper (or notepad file, or spreadsheet). Reserve ample time for follow-up – Make sure you leave ample time for follow-up in your schedule. It’s important that you get back to people in a timely fashion, particularly when you are looking for a job. Remember there are only so many hours in a day – Remind yourself that there are only so many hours in a day. It can be easy to get overwhelmed when you are trying to cram 10 hours worth of work into 6 hours. Take a deep breath, and then prioritize your tasks for the day. If you work hard during the time you have allotted, you can finish the day feeling accomplished. Don’t make yourself feel bad if you didn’t finish every single task on your list.
  • Fighting discouragement – It can be tough to remain resilient if you’ve been searching for a long period of time. It’s important to fight the discouragement you may feel. Here are a few tips to help you stay positive and productive: Stay active – Don’t sit at home and watch television when you are not actively searching for a job. Of course it’s important to take breaks from time to time, but try to pick a more lively activity that will help keep your mind and body active. Also, it’s important to stay active within your industry. If you are currently unemployed, consider volunteering your time somewhere that is relevant to your industry. If you are in construction, help build a playground for a community center. If you are an accountant, volunteer to manage the financial end of a school fundraiser. It will make you feel good, and you’ll have relevant experience to talk about during your next interview. Plus, you never know who you’ll meet, and what role they may place in your job search. Job search support groups – You may want to seek out job support search groups in your area to further fight discouragement. You may find comfort in developing networking relationships with like-minded individuals who are also searching for a job. It will provide additional opportunities for networking, and you’ll keep each other motivated. You can find job search support groups on LinkedIn and by visiting to scroll through over 800 job search support groups across the US. Realize it may take longer than you expect - Finding and accepting the right position often takes longer than you think it will. It will certainly take longer than you want it to. You’ll need a lot of hard work, preparation and a little bit of luck to find the right job. It may take longer than you expected, even if you think everything is in place. Try your hardest, and then remind yourself it’s okay that you haven’t found what you’re looking for just yet. Don’t stop searching until you’ve accepted an offer – Say you’ve found your dream job, gone in for two interviews, and have been told you’ll here back within the next 7-10 days. You’re so excited that you’re day-dreaming about what it’s like to work in the office, and you figure you have it in the bag. Not so fast – excellent interviews don’t always equal a job offer, and even though you may think you’ve all but signed your offer letter, you should still be actively seeking out new positions while you wait. Don’t stop your job search until you’ve accepted an offer.
  • Mapping out a successful job search

    1. 1. Mapping out a successful job searchJennie Dede, Vice President of Recruitment at Adecco Staffing US
    2. 2. Adecco provides free temporary, contract and direct-hire staffing services to job seekers.We offer career counseling, resume enhancement, interview preparation, skills trainingand advice about local job markets and workplace trends, as well as one of the mostcomprehensive benefits programs in the industry.Please visit us at to learn more.About us2
    3. 3. About our presenterJennie Dede• Vice President of Recruitmentat Adecco Staffing US• Has over 10 years of recruiting experience• Develops innovative recruitmentstrategies nationally3
    4. 4. Evaluate your goals•Identify the scope of your job search•Set location, skill level and salary parameters•Determine your job-seeking strengthsand weaknesses4
    5. 5. Taking care of the basics•The basic resume•Customized versions of your resume•The basic cover letter•Update your references•Perfect your elevator pitch•Evaluate your online presence5
    6. 6. Narrow your search to set workable goals• Create a shortlist of attainable positions• Identify attractive companies• Utilize your network to discoverpotential contacts• Break down the job search intomanageable segments6
    7. 7. • Block out your time into incrementsbased on task• Unemployed vs. employed• Determine a task schedulethat suits your needs7Treat your job search like a job
    8. 8. • Staying current with industrynews and developments• Professional associations• Finding the right channels foryour job search• Informational interviews8Key items to be included in your job search plan
    9. 9. • Database of professional contacts• Keep a log of all interactions• At-a-glance calendar• Set up alerts to keep you on track9Keeping organized
    10. 10. • Excel templates• Create your own10Sample spreadsheet ideas
    11. 11. 11• Email alerts•• Keyword alerts• LinkedInOnline tools and sites
    12. 12. • Daily list of tasks• Reserve ample time for follow-up• Remember there are onlyso many hours in a day12Prioritize
    13. 13. • Stay active• Job search support groups• Realize it may take longer thanyou expect• Don’t stop searching until you’veaccepted an offer13Fighting discouragement
    14. 14. 14Visit us on