How to Build Your Job Search Plan
Last updated March 4, 2022
Are you feeling overwhelmed while applying to jobs? Don't know where to look, or how to start? We've created a job search plan to help you! Here we break down what steps to take to get a job: find your motivation, set a date to job search, prepare your resume, find your references, and more!
Set a dedicated day to job search
Define your motivation. Ask yourself why you're looking for a job and what the job would mean for you and write it down. When the job hunt gets rough, read what you've written to keep you going.
Dedicate 2-3 days per week to your job search. Pick days you can set aside for applying to different jobs. For example, block-out your schedule every Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours to dedicate to your job search. Once you set these dates, it's time to prepare.
Prepare for your dedicated days of job searching
Make or update your resume. This means updating your resume (or creating one if you don't have a resume). You can also create or update your job profile on sites like LinkedIn. Find helpful resume building tips here!
Create a cover letter. Most jobs ask for cover letters. Don't skip them, even if it's optional! Cover letters are your first introduction to employers, so it's important to start with your best foot forward. Need help starting? Check out our tips on how to write a great cover letter.
Proofread your resume and secure references. After you've created or updated your resume and/or cover letter, get another person to read it. Ask your teachers, a parent, a guidance counselor or another person you trust.
Secure your references. Professional references are people in your network who can speak positively about your skills and qualifications for the job you applied to. Your references can include your teachers, guidance counselors, or past employers. Make sure to get their contact information and let them know you'll be using them as a reference, so they aren't surprised when they get a phone call from employers asking about you. Check out more dos and don’ts of asking for job references here.
Clean up your social media profiles. Take some time to refresh your social media accounts: delete pictures or posts, change privacy settings, and update your "about me" sections. For tips, take our "Social Media and Work Don't Mix" quiz.
Do your research. Create a list of companies that you'd be interested in working for. Go to their corporate websites and read about their values so you know what they are looking for in candidates. Search on job search sites like JobLaunch.org to see if those companies are hiring near you. Be open to looking at companies that you didn't know about or think about, and research them, too.
Search for jobs using our tool, JobLaunch! It filters for entry-level positions in relevant fields for young people in their early career. Find a job that’s right for you in your area!
Reward yourself on a productive day. Take some time to relax and treat yourself, or try practicing some self-care. You've accomplished a lot!
After you've sent out the job applications:
Keep busy while you wait. It may take some time to hear back from the companies you've applied to, and sometimes you may never hear back from them at all. Keep yourself busy so you're not constantly checking your email (but remember to check it regularly). Companies may call you so answer phone calls from numbers that are new to you.
Become a lifelong learner. While you're waiting to hear back from employers, keep learning as much as you can to add new skills to your resume. Check out the EDGE training modules which help you develop your skills in topics such as: customer service, active listening, difficult situations, leadership and more! You'll get a certificate as you complete each module.
Update and repeat. Keep setting aside dedicated days to job search and complete job applications. Update your resume, revise your cover letter (if you need one) and research/find new companies to apply to. Stay positive! Job searching is hard but also super rewarding when you get that job!