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The 20-Point Job Search Game Plan

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Job Search Game PlanAutumn is football season and as I listen to the TV analysts handicapping each game two words are ubiquitous in their conversation when they discuss what it takes for each of the two teams to win. These words are ‘Game Plan’.

In football, more than in any other sport, regardless of the disparity of talent, a game can be won or lost based on a coaching staff’s game plan designed around their teams’ strengths and the perceived weaknesses of the opposition, with the deciding factor lying in the execution and the coach’s ability to assess and adapt midstream as needed.

This is also true about conducting a job search; however we substitute the phrase Job Search Action Plan for Job Search Game Plan.

For a successful job search you need to define your goals, create a step-by-step Action Plan with defined benchmark and results, and you must commit yourself to execute and adapt the Action Plan to the best of your ability. For executives and professionals at a senior level it is helpful to have coaches and advisors help you throughout the job search process.

Here are 20 basic steps I recommend incorporating into a job search game plan.

1: Define the job/s you’re seeking and the Hire Profile of the ideal candidate employers are seeking to interview and hire.

2: Define, qualify and quantify your qualifications, strengths and weakness based upon the Hire Profile.

3: Identify your relevant achievements and accomplishments based upon the Hire Profile.

4: Investigate how employers for these positions recruit and prefer to receive and process resumes and referrals.

5: Craft a resume(s) with a unique personal brand in the favored style and format based on points 1-4.

6: If you have a DIY resume and LinkedIn profile have it critiqued before (not after) you begin to use it.

7; Prepare all addendum documents you will need for your document portfolio.

8: Craft a generic cover letter that is also adaptable for specific positions.

9: Create a LinkedIn profile with a unique personal brand based on factors 1-4 listed above.

10: Identify existing LinkedIn connections and other people you know who you can reach out to for networking.

11: Set a reconnect and follow up plan for all the existing people you want to network with.

12: Set a goal of acquiring 5-25 new connections each week and define how you will approach them.

13: Identify people who will recommend and endorse you on LinkedIn and how to approach them.

14: Vet your references or have them vetted for you by a trustworthy 3rd party.

15: Identify interview questions you are likely to be asked and prepare brief on point responses.

16: Have people conduct mock Interviews with you as part of the prep process.

17: Research potential employers and how you can get on their radar screens.

18: Make a list of company websites you will check constantly for new postings.

19: Create an Action Plan tracking booklet.

20: Keep focused on working the Action Plan a minimum of 25 to 40 hours each and every week.

These are some of the essentials of a successful Job Search Game Plan, and as in football the desired results are dependent on commitment and the quality of the execution.

As always I am happy to critique resumes and LinkedIn pages and they can be sent to perry@perrynewman.com.

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Career

Career Direction: From Storyteller To Storydoer

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Career DirectionDo you wish you had a crystal ball to see your future career direction? Do you wish someone will tell you what path to take? It really won’t help you. The past can help you to understand and articulate your story to date, and having excellent eyesight and insight can help you to see clearly right now. The future is unknowable, que sera sera.

Since I graduated from university with a Law degree, my career has zig-zagged in many different directions and being a lawyer has not been one of them (through choice). I’ve been a cameraman for a small media company, a pizza restaurant manager, a sales assistant in a department store, an administrator for a professional institution, a researcher for a start-up in professional services, a manager in a public service, a consultant in a small organisational development consultancy, and now an independent coach, facilitator, author, blogger and Associate for several consultancies in developing people for job, career and improved performance.

I’ve lost my job three times, once because I was ill-suited to the role and twice because the companies folded. This is the third recession I’ve experienced.

What conclusions do you draw about my working life and career? Did I end up where I thought I’d be? No way.

It’s been a non-linear, varied journey of exploration that has been characterised by regular change. It’s helped me to survive and thrive in a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. It has required agility, flexibility and being open-minded. I’ve been hard to label, being generalist and specialist at different times.

On the face of it, my career history seems really random. But it hasn’t been. There have been consistent threads drawn from a commitment to lifelong learning and personal growth. It has enabled me to be a storydoer, creating my own narrative as I’ve gone along. The ability to reflect and understand myself has allowed me to also be a storyteller – about who I am, what I can do, my strengths and the talents I have honed. I’ve pointed them at the thing I feel most passionate about – helping people “learn to leap” in their jobs and careers.

If you are setting out at the beginning of your working life, or making a shift in career direction, you are about to write a chapter in your own story.

Develop your narrative or story consciously through investing in your self-awareness – from regular personal reflection on what you are doing and how you do it, as well as seeking feedback from other people… so your story makes sense to you and helps guide your direction.

Are you career gazing, using hindsight or your 20/20 vision?


Guest Expert:

David Shindler is one of Career Rocketeer’s top 150 career bloggers for 2014. He is also the author of Learning to Leap, a Guide to Being More Employable and co-author of 21st Century Internships: how to get a job before graduation. An experienced personal and professional development coach and consultant, David helps students, graduates, educators, professionals and organizations develop the people skills and mindsets they need now and for the future. He runs the Employability Hub (free resources for Millennials).

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