Job Search 101 Tutorial: #1 – Job-Search Plan

Step 1: Your Job Search Plan

Tips and strategies to help you succeed in your job-search.

Determine the Job You Want

The very first thing you need to do is determine the exact thing you want to do in your job. If you really have no idea, first make a list of the things you like to do and the things that you feel are a strength for you. If you are still struggling with an idea, consider reading: Finding Your Career Passion.

If you already have an idea — you are a marketing major, but just aren’t sure what in marketing you would like to do — then your next step is investigating various job titles in your area of interest.

Determine Where You Want to Live

Are you open to relocating, or do you have a very specific geographic location in mind? If you have a specific location in mind, then your next step is identifying the companies that have offices/plants/locations in those areas. Probably the best way to identify these companies is through local chambers of commerce or other business directories.

If you are opening to relocating, then you can move on to the next step.

Determine the Best Companies for You

You need to make some decisions about the types of companies that fit your needs, style, and personality. Examine such issues as the size of the company, corporate culture, management style, employee empowerment, and other issues of importance to you. Not sure of exactly what you’re seeking in an employer? Take our Workplace Values Assessment to learn more about what you seek in an employer.

Determine Your Job Search Strategy

Here are the key tools to uncovering job leads — most of which will be covered in later sections of this tutorial:

  • On-campus Recruiting (see tutorial step #4): no matter what size your college or university, there are a certain number of companies that recruit on your campus. You need to investigate what companies are coming and plan on interviewing with some of them — even if only for the experience (see step #3).
  • Career Fairs (see tutorial step #6): many college and universities sponsor fairs, many local or regional communities sponsor fairs, and some industries have their own fairs. Go to as many as makes sense.
  • Networking (see tutorial step #8): one of the still-hidden gems of job-hunting and one of the keys to a successful job search. The vast majority of jobs are filled through referrals, through networking.
  • Direct Mail Campaign: the traditional method still works, where you identify a number of companies and specific hiring managers and send them a dynamic cover letter and superior resume in hope of obtaining some interviews. Learn more in our article, Cold Calling: A Time-Tested Method of Job-Hunting.
  • Internet Job Sites (see tutorial step #7): one of the most talked about areas of recruiting and one that might work for you… just don’t put all your efforts here and ignore other job-hunting methods.
  • Company Websites (see tutorial step #7): many employers now post all sorts of employment information and job listings on their Websites, so if you have some specific companies in mind, you should definitely take advantage of these resources.

Return to the main page of the Job Search 101 Tutorial: 10 Steps to a New Job.

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