How to Build Your Job Search Plan
Last updated September 27, 2020
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. Write this 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. 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, as many employers consider Need help writing a cover letter? Take a look at this piece of content here.
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. These people can also be used as a reference. 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.
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. Do exploratory searches 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.
Start searching for jobs!
Ready, Set, Apply. Take your list of companies and look on their job boards. Apply to the positions you're interested in and have the skills for. Try to apply to positions at five different companies, take a break and then continue applying to more. You may have to update your resume a little to match the keywords used in the job description, and you will always need to tailor your cover letter to each job.
Search for jobs using our tool, JobLaunch! It filters for entry-level positions in relevant fields for young people in their early career.
Reward yourself on a productive day. Take some time to relax and treat yourself. 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. Keep yourself busy so you're not constantly checking your email (but do 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!