First, you must ensure you have all of the necessary tools. Having these items listed below and ready to go will help you streamline your job search:
1. An effective resume
2. A tailored cover letter
3. A good follow-up letter
4. A sincere thank you letter
5. A spreadsheet to keep track of your job search efforts
Once you have your tools ready, it’s time to get started. You should wake up at 7am; go through your daily morning routines and be ready to start at 8am. It is imperative that you have a plan and that you are prepared. The first thing I recommend is researching 5 major job boards that you check out each day. Time spent 1 to 1.5 hours
Your daily goal should be to identify 5 jobs for which you can apply. Once you have identified them you must start customizing your resume and cover letter to perfectly fit the job. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to use the same resume for each job for which they want to apply. You want your resume to stand out.
For example: If you have multiple computer software certifications and your MCSD certification is listed last in your qualifications; you may want to change it to the first qualification if that is what is most important to the employer. Many times the job requirements are listed in order of their need. Time spent 2 to 2.5 hours (Yes that’s right – 2 hours customizing your resume and cover letter to fit these 5 jobs) Do not sell yourself short!
In one of my last articles I spoke about the importance of follow-up. Your next daily job search task should be to follow-up with the employers with whom you have already applied. I recommend following up with the employer once a week for 3 weeks. After 3 follow-up actions, cross them off and move on. I suggest creating a spread sheet to track your progress. The follow-up is critical and you must also customize your follow-up letter to fit the employer and the job for which you are following up. Time spent: 1 to 2 hours
After this your brain needs a break. Catch up on some of the current events that are happening. Read the paper or watch your favorite news channel for a while. You never know what an employer might bring up in small talk on the way back to the interview. It’s good to keep up with current events. Time spent: 30 min to 1 hour
Last but not least, you must be networking. This is one of the most effective ways people get jobs these days. You have one of the best resources at hand here and it’s free. Workforce Solutions Career offices offer a variety of seminars from networking, interviewing, and resume seminars. By the end of the class, many of the customers have shared their experiences and have created new networking contacts.
Attend networking groups. If you are in the Hospitality Industry, are you attending the Hotel and Motel Association meetings? Are you attending your local Chamber of Commerce meetings? If you are a plant worker; are you hitting the strip on Center St. in Deer Park where all the construction and plant workers hang out looking for work? Time spent: 1 to 2 hours
All of the above outlined tasks can add up to 8 hours of work each day. Oh and by the way – don’t forget to take a lunch break. Your body and mind need the fuel for your adventure!
Using this plan, in just one month you will have applied for 100 jobs! As you can see “Getting a Job is a Job.” In fact, some have said that it is harder than actually working.
Tim Lopas is the Office Manager at Workforce Solutions – Pasadena. He has been in Workforce Development for seven years. His career began in the hospitality industry where he was manager of guest services. Tim is a native Houstonian whose passions include mentoring youth and going fishing.