Plan Your Job Search
A 5 Step Plan

I highly encourage you to plan your job search. Looking for a job can be an overwhelming task, but having a plan in place can make the entire process easier for you.

  • Are you looking for a career change?
  • Perhaps there is no opportunity for advancement at your current job.
  • Are you unemployed and trying to get back to work?
  • Maybe you’re just not satisfied in your current position.

Regardless of the reason that you are looking for a job, you will need an plan. Proper planning will make the process more organized, and in turn, more successful.

Once you have developed your plan, click here for job search strategies.

1. Determine what skills or experience you can offer.

Every person is good at something and you will be most satisfied doing the type of work that you are skilled at.

  • What are you good at?
  • What type of work do you enjoy?
  • What skills or experience have you gained in previous jobs, volunteer work, or in school?
  • What was your college major or degree?
  • What accomplishments have you been acknowledged or rewarded for?
  • What is your area of expertise or advanced knowledge?

These are questions that you can ask yourself to determine what skills you can apply to the job if you are hired. Once you are clear about those skills and qualifications, the next step is to decide on a target job or career field.

2. Choose a target job or career field.

Your job search should be targeted and focused on a specific job or career field.

Once you are clear about the skills and experience you have to offer, decide what job or career field matches those skills and experience. When a recruiter is looking for the right candidate for a position, the first thing we do is review your resume for proof that you have the right skills.

So, it is important that the information on your resume agrees with the information in the job description.

Note: If you are skilled in more than one career field, you will need more than one version of your resume. Make sure that each resume clearly shows that you are eligible for the specific job that you apply for. Keep reading to learn how to tailor your resume.

3. Tailor your resume and cover letter.

Tailor your resume and cover letter for each position that you apply for.

If you are looking for a job in finance, but your resume is focused on customer service, you will not likely be considered for the position, so review your resume and make sure it matches the job description before you apply for the job.

Job descriptions are filled with job-related keywords. Scan the job description for those keywords and sprinkle them into you resume and cover letter where they make sense.

4. Evaluate job descriptions.

Use job search engines such as Monster or Career Builder to search for job descriptions of your target job.

  • Use keywords that relate to the target job to perform these searches. Use the keywords that are found in multiple job descriptions in your resume and cover letter.
  • Review each responsibility for the job. Place statements in your resume that state the you can perform or have performed those responsibilities.

Perform this research before you apply to “match” your qualifications to the expectations of the job. Your resume must express that you can do the job well.

5. Decide which job search strategies you will use.

  • Will you apply on job search engines?
  • Do you plan to attend any job fairs?
  • Will social networking and word of mouth advertising play a part?

Looking for jobs in a variety of places will increase your chance of finding the right job, because you’ll have more jobs to choose from.

The diversity will speed up the process because you’ll be searching on a broader scale.


Not all jobs will be posted on the search engines, so it is important that you do not use the engines as your only source of searching. Some companies post positions directly on their own website, so you will miss out on those opportunities and others, unless you use more than one strategy.

Now that you have followed these instructions, and you have a plan click here for job search strategies.

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