JobTabs Job Search & Resume

March 5, 2009

The Job Search Game Plan

Filed under: Job Searching,Motivation,Networking — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:36 am

Image of a football huddle.If your job search isn’t going anywhere, how can you change it if you never had a game plan in the first place?

Show me someone who advocates looking for a job by the seat of your pants and I will show you someone who is unemployed.  Gentle reader, a game plan doesn’t have to be a complicated flow chart or something constraining.  A simple agenda is all we are talking about.  The means which people use to find their next job will be as varied as the people themselves. What works for Bob may not work for Ann, however anything that helps both Bob and Ann keep their head on straight and objectively plan and implement their job search will work for both of them.

I work with a lot of job seekers and I often advise them to work with  job listings and recruiters first.  Most people are not used to writing or even looking for a job for that matter. This is the reason that I advise them to, initially, work the job boards. They have to get in the groove of selling themselves and that like many things this will take practice. While networking is touted as the best means of getting a job, it is better to make a mistake/faux pas on your job search in the anonymity of cyberspace than it is to make a mistake networking with your next door neighbor.

The recruiters will serve as pseudo-career coaches because when you meet with a recruiter, that recruiter can give you a lot of advice on honing your resume and helping you sell yourself. Granted, a cannot recruiter provide the comprehensive feedback that a career coach can provide. However, when you work with a recruiter you are, so to speak, their product, and they have a vested interest in helping you convince employers that you are the candidate of choice. Recruiters are battle hardened professionals and they have much to gain by helping you get a job offer.

After job seekers prep their skills with job boards and recruiters, I encourage them to start working their network. They will be much better at selling their qualifications after getting some exposure to recruiters and job boards. Planning/implementing your job search is important.  Write down, how many jobs you will apply to on the job boards.  Commit to sitting down face to face with recruiters in an effort to get their feedback on your marketability.  Beg them to shoot straight with you  if you have to – just get the facts. Come up with a plan that allows flexibility to create more resumes and tweak each one depending on the requirements solicited.  Schedule time to meet with your networking groups.  Finally – and this is so important – review the plan and change it.  You know, like wash, rinse, repeat.

Show me someone who advocates looking for a job by the seat of your pants and I will show you someone who is unemployed.

As job seekers work with different channels, their job search skills need to evolve and get stronger. They need to build upon a foundation and pay dividends. The job search for most job seekers is a crap shoot where you put your chips on the table and roll the dice. As the job search progresses they think they are becoming better job seekers, but in actuality they are just becoming better gamblers. It is still a losing game and is leading job seekers down a path of dejection and despondency. They can’t see that because they have no plan nor a record of a an implementation to give themselves or a mentor/career coach an objective view as to what they have been doing.   Write down your goals, write down your agenda, and stick to it until it is time to reevaluate it.

John Coffey is the President of JobTabs, LLC.  Through JobTabs Job Search & Resume, thousands of job seekers have taken control of their destiny in finding new and fulfilling careers.  JobTabs Job Search & Resume motivates job seekers by making the job search easier by a huge order of magnitude.  John Coffey can be reached via his website at JobTabs Job Search & Resume, by email via jpcoffey at, as well as by phone at 404-255-0248.


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