Updated: Jun 26
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is true when searching for a job too. There are some who think planning is not that important in a job search, but they’ll likely change their minds as they get into the process. Having a strategy for seeking a new job involves several steps, and here’s why they are important.
It gives you an idea what you’re good at. One part of a good job search plan is taking a self-assessment. When you do this, it gives you an idea of your core interests and competencies. Not only does this help you find a job with duties that matches what you’re skilled at, it also sets you up to be able to describe these skills to others. When you can talk confidently about your competencies, you’ll stand out in interviews and on your resume.
It gives you structure. Everyone is so busy with life, it’s easy to put off the things you need to do when looking for a job. Having a plan in place gives you a list of to-dos necessary to complete. Mapping out what needs to be done to update your resume, network with some new contacts, and research companies that interest you is necessary for your job search. When you list out all the things you need to accomplish to find that job, you can start putting entries in your calendar to address them.
It lets you know who to target. Finding a new position by applying to openings on a job board can be limiting. When you make a plan and determine what organizations you want to work for, it allows you to target the company itself rather than the openings. You can then use this to network with key contacts at these organizations and find openings that aren’t listed yet. This kind of strategy needs you to have a plan in place first.
When you put a job search plan in motion, it also allows you to achieve an 80/20 rule of thumb. With this mindset, you use 80% of your time proactively networking and targeting organizations for openings and 20% of your time on more passive activities like searching and applying for jobs online. The atmosphere of job searching is much more active today, and this is another reason setting a plan in place is a good idea. This kind of thinking ahead will set you apart from your competition.