Career Development Part II – Searching and applying for positions

Personal agenda

You’ve done the first step covered in part one of this series, and now know  where you want to put your focus when taking the next step on your career and job search journey. For this post I’ll keep the focus on traditional job search.

Create a daily plan

Create a plan for how to conduct your job search. This is especially important if you’re out of a job, and job search is you job. This is a time when it is very easy to slip into some less than constructive patterns and habits (like sleeping all day or becoming an avid day timeTV addict).

Based on your wants and needs for your career, your job search process could have two structures. If you’re already employed, you have some limitations time wise for looking for jobs. The advantages of this situation are that you’re not in need of accepting the first thing that comes your way, and you’ll probably be more focused since you have less time to do your search. If you’re unemployed, my suggestion is to structure your day as if you were employed. That means creating a schedule from 9 am to 4 or 5 pm. Here are some of the activities you’ll want to consider:

  • Searching for jobs online through job boards
  • Researching companies that interest you
  • Researching companies within your industry of interest
  • Resarch LinkedIn and other social media (I’ll get back to that) platforms
  • Do a thorough analysis of the positions and industries of interest
  • Write applications / cover letters
  • Tailor your resume to the positions you’re considering
  • Contact employers to get more information on positions
  • Examine your network (both online and offline)

Work these activities into your schedule (and remember to take time off for lunch), and you’ll get a functional content for you job search.

Here’s an example

08 – 09 am Get up, do your morning routine (shower, get dressed, breakfast, etc)
09 – 10 am Research jobs (online, papers, google, linkedin… all that apply for you), and make a  note of the top 3 in your opinion (remember, if you know what you want, you’ll know what to look for and focus on), and make them the focus for your day (or days, depending on the time you need).
10 – 11 am Analyze the positions you’ve found (or companies if you’ve focused on industry). What are they looking for, what can you offer them. Why will they find you interesting? Write all this down to make sure you keep track of all the things that can get you noticed. Make a note of all the things you’d like to know  about the job. Research the companies websites to make sure your questions are relevant, and not something you could have figured out on your own if you’d only taken two minutes to research it.
11 – 11.30 am Call people and get more information based on your analyses.
11.30 – 12.00 am Lunch
12 – 14 pm Work on you cover letter. Why do you want this job? Why should they hire you? What value can you contribute?
14 – 15 pm Polish and tailor your resume. You must show the employer also through your resume that you have written it with the job in mind. This makes it easier for them to pick you out of the pile, and it also tells them that you’re one of the people who cared enough about the job to do so.
15 – 16 pm Apply for the jobs. Either online (which is the common way), through the mail or delivered directly if that’s appropriate.

This setup may or may not work for you, but it is one way to do it. Creating a schedule like this will help you figure out just how much time is appropriate for you to spend on each area, it will keep you on top of your job searching process, and you’ll get better every day.

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3 Responses to Career Development Part II – Searching and applying for positions
  1. […] Career Development Part II – Searching and applying for positions […]

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    May 3, 2013 | 7:01 am

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  3. […] covered some basics in career development and job search in part 1 and part 2. Before going into the practical side of your standard job searching tools, there’s an important […]

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