Here is our super helpful job search planning template
Let me guess. You have been procrastinating all year about looking for a new job. You have taken time off at the end of the year and now 2019 is right here, you feel you need to finally crack on. As our New Year’s gift to you, we thought it would be helpful to give you a job search planning template to support you in your career transition. You can use this template over and over again. Why should you adopt it and start using it now? Women tend to stay in touch with the general job market less than their male counterparts. This puts them at a competitive disadvantage and means that they tend to be reactive not proactive which makes them vulnerable in a crisis situation.
There are two golden rules to remember from the beginning.
- It’s always easier to find a job when you have one. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
- Never wait for a crisis to tackle job search.
So it’s always best to stay in touch with the job market to find out what is going on. Then you can decide if you want to move. 3Plus is on a campaign to encourage women to be more aware of the job market in 2019!
1. Do your inner reflection work.
Aristotle said “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Set about creating a career strategy and plan. Women spend much of their time thinking about others, so they neglect themselves. Now is the time to anchor your core values, vision and goals. Make time for yourself and just think about what is important to you. How do you envision your life? Spend time thinking about your hard and soft skills as well as your transferable skills. You don’t need a special place for this. You can think in the shower, on a bus, in the car or during a walk. Whatever works best for you. You just need to get this done. Many people try and skip this stage but it makes life really difficult. “If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.” said Lewis Carroll and he was right.
Don’t forget to communicate your goals with your partners. Very often women fail to share their ambitions with those closes to them.
If you get stuck download our FREE career reflections worksheets.
2. Designate a workplace which is distraction-free zone.
Find a part of your house to make a workspace which is off-limits to your family especially the kids. This is not always easy in a family home. Make sure it is laid out in a way that suits you and your work style.
3. Create an impactful message
Do your core inner work you know who you are, what makes you special and where and how do you add value. Identify and craft powerful success stories to share whenever you get the opportunity. Remember you will need more than one and make sure they are tailored to fit every occasion. Include metrics and use powerful language which showcases the problems you solved and the solutions you brought to the table.
4. Share your new message
Update your documentation and online presence and be ready to share your new message with your network. Design a CV template which you can tweak to target specific openings. Have it ready on your phone to send at a moment’s notice. Update your LinkedIn profile.
Stuck for the right words? Download our FREE Power Word List
5. Build a strategy
Draw up a written plan. Create a to-do list with easily achievable interim steps to start you on your path to a dream job. Set some deadlines and write all of this down so that you can hold yourself to account. If you are easily distracted find a job search buddy or look for a coach. “Goals are dreams with deadlines”
Sit down and write an outline job description for your dream job with a wish list of benefits and conditions.What sort of job titles should you be looking for and what level of responsibilities aligns with your goals. Be thorough in your work. Organisations frequently have different titles for the same function. LinkedIn is a great place to check out this information. You can connect with people and ask them questions about the nature of their jobs. You can’t ask them for a job. This is one of the greatest social media turn offs. If you have a list of preferred target companies on your wish list you can check them out on the company pages.
Investigate market rates for the jobs you are looking for and also any comments on social proofing sites such as Payscale, and Glassdoor. Pay attention to the comments. It’s possibly not a good idea to accept the content unquestioningly factor the responses in when you prepare your interviews and be mindful of what to look for. They can be serious red flag if there is a consistent pattern and if necessary ask the recruiter or hiring manager directly.
7. Do a GROW analysis
A G.R.O.W analysis is taking an objective view at your goals, the reality of your situation the options you have and the decision you make your way forward. What are you strengths for any particular role? If you have any doubts ask friends or co-workers for feedback. It is important to have a good understanding of your hard and soft skills as you will need to showcase these at every stage of the process. Hard skills (skills that are learned and measurable) play a key role in optimising your documentation and online presence. Your soft skills hold them all together. These are the intangibles that make our workplaces run smoothly. Remember to have a success story to showcase each of your significant soft skills. You may find that you will need to highlight different strengths when you apply for different roles. Think of your skill set as a tool box. You don’t need the same tool for every job. The key is flexibility and agile thinking and you may need different tools according to the requirements of the hiring company.
8. Examine your network
Who do you need to connect with to get where you want to go? Don’t forget there is nothing more annoying than having someone you haven’t heard from for 10 years sending you a message saying they are on the look out for a new opportunity. Network proactively with people in your target companies early on and try and see if you can set up informational interviews. This does not mean asking for a job or giving them your CV.
If you are busy download our FREE eBook LinkedIn routine for today’s super busy woman
9. Create a cover letter
Each cover letter should be set up around the advertised role. Adapt your content to weave in your success stories which address the organisations’ primary requirements. These are called pain points or opportunities. It actually doesn’t matter what you call them, that is almost irrelevant. You just have to do it. These are normally the top 3 or 4 requirements in the job advert. Don’t put anything in your cover letter that is not in your CV as they frequently get separated.
10. Prepare for the interviews
You have researched your target companies. Now you need to get an understanding if you can of the culture from the web site and other platforms. What are their key values and are the aligned with your own? Loop back to your reflection work. Look at the job advert and anticipate questions you could be asked and prepare responses designed to highlight the potential value you can add. Draw up a list of your own relevant questions. Don’t forget to send a thank you email at least. If the response is negative, don’t lose heart, ask for feedback and incorporate any changes into you strategy for next time.
If you need interview coaching check out this 3Plus Interview Coaching Programme.
This job search planning template is timeless and can be used over and over again. If you find you are getting stuck at any point, think seriously about enlisting the help of a career coach or taking one of our specific programmes. You never know what opportunities that are out there which could be your dream job.