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Four Keys to an Effective Job Search

For many job seekers, the act of searching for a new job is one of the most stressful periods of their lives. Additionally, the average job search can take six to nine months to complete, leading to a prolonged period of high stress and anxiety. No matter how unique or different your career transition is from the last, there are four key tactics that work each and every time to help make your career change a little less stressful and a lot more effective.


Get Organized

Being unorganized is not only deadly to your project goals and deadlines, but it can be catastrophic to your job hunt as well. Imagine never following up on your application because you forgot you submitted it, or accidentally applying to the same job multiple times with different versions of your resumes.

In order to be effective, you have to be organized.

Kick-off your job search with a time block on your calendar to create a spreadsheet to organize all of your tasks and to-dos for each job application you submit. This should include items such as the date you applied to a company, where/how you applied, network contacts at the company and whether you spoke to them about the job, and follow up tasks you have done or need to do (such as follow up after your interview or send a thank you note).

Get organized early and stay organized and your job search will feel less like a stressful job full of unknowns and uncertainties.


Define Your Non-Negotiables Early On

Before you even begin searching job boards you have to sit down with yourself and define your non-negotiables for your next job. Non-negotiables can be basically anything- a specific pay range, certain benefits, special perks, or even a set schedule. Basically, anything that the position must have at a bare-minimum for you to even put it on your radar

Too often, job searchers don’t sit down with themselves at the beginning of their hunt to define what they really are looking for and then are left wondering why they are in another job that isn’t meeting their needs.

One of your first steps in your job search must always be clearly defining your non-negotiables, writing them down, and committing to them, no matter how many dollar signs or bonus perks are on your next job offer.


Take Core Actions Steps For Every App

Getting yourself prepped and ready for submitting your application and resume is immensely important to ensuring you get into the interview room, but you also have to know of the right action steps to actually take in order to be asked for an interview.

Here are some top action steps to take:

  • Save a copy of the job description
  • Tailor a copy of your resume to fit the job
  • Follow up within a business week to check-in on your application status

Once the interview is scheduled:

  • Prep your own interview questions
  • Print off and bring with you copies of your submitted resume

Post interview:

  • Follow up within 24 hours with a thank you note
  • Send thank you notes or messages to network contacts who helped you out
  • If you don’t hear a response back from the company, follow up within 3 business days

Download the free Application Action Steps printable to get all of the steps you must take for every job app you hit submit on!


Ask For a Referral

Referrals are 5x more effective of getting you in an interview room than a killer resume and cover letter. Asking for referrals can be awkward if you don’t know how to ask them right and who is right to ask for them. For every referral you reach out for be sure to:

  1. Always start your message with a polite greeting and personal message or opener to create connection.
  2. Cut to the chase. Let them know that you’ve applied for a position that you’re seeking a referral for (be sure to mention the specific department and job title!) and ask if they’d be comfortable doing so.
  3. Thank them for their time and let them know your resume is attached if they’d like to review it. (PS- Also, attach that resume!)
  4. Politely sit and wait and, even if they say no- still thank them and wish them the best of luck!


These core job transition actions are just the beginning for your big career change. If you’re needing a complete break down of the strategies and techniques you need to implement in your upcoming career transition, enroll in Surviving the Hunt: Your Complete Job Search Guide to be walked through your entire career change, step-by-step and day-by-day.


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