The five components of a comprehensive job search strategy

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

About to dust off your resume in anticipation of an upcoming job search? I want to let you know that your toolbox is much bigger than you think and extends beyond just a resume.

A comprehensive strategy is a multi-step process that, when employed properly, can save you time and help you land your ideal role. With further ado, a good strategy should consist of the components below.

  1. Career Objective

  2. Targeted Resume

  3. Polished LinkedIn Profile

  4. Job Search Resources

  5. Interview Preparation


Career Objective


Prior to writing your resume, cover letters, or LinkedIn profile, you’ll need to figure out what the next step of your career is going to look like?

  • Are you looking to move up a level? Consider whether you want to take on more responsibility.

  • Have you narrowed down the roles to less than a handful? This will allow you to create targeted resumes and improve success rates.

  • Do you value stability? If so, you may want to target roles with large and established companies. Don’t mind a little thrill? Focus on startup roles!


These are all things you need to consider carefully before taking any further steps.


Targeted Resume


By all accounts, the resume is still the most important component of your job search tools and is required in a vast majority of cases.


After you’ve narrowed down the target roles to two or three, the next step is to review the job postings carefully to understand what the employer is looking for in each case. The goal here is to identify key requirements to be emphasized. For example, if you’re seeking business development opportunities that require extensive cold calling experience, be sure to highlight instances where you’ve used that skill.

Taking the time to create multiple versions of your resume may seem like a chore, but you’ll reap the rewards down the line with a better employer response rate. Once you’re done, go through the following resume checklist:


  • Does it have up-to-date contact information and LinkedIn URL and professional email address?

  • Does it list career-wide accomplishments that would be relevant to a future employer?

  • Is it easy to read?

  • Does it adequately cater to roles of interest?

  • Does it use power/action verbs?

  • Is one page long (or two if applying for an executive position)

  • Does it have any spelling or grammar mistakes?


Polished LinkedIn Profile


There is no doubt that LinkedIn has become a powerhouse platform for job search. With almost a billion members worldwide, it’s more influential than ever before and many recruiters will use the platform to search for and recruit candidates.

So what are the components of a great LinkedIn profile?


  • Professional photograph

  • Relevant headline

  • A summary that succinctly summarizes your career and accomplishments

  • Well-endorsed with colleague recommendations


Taking the time to keep an up-to-date profile will tell viewers you’re engaged and will also make the platform’s algorithms work for you by keeping you higher in recruiter search rankings.


Job Search Methods


Before you start applying, take some to consider the various options at your disposal as each will have various pros and cons.

Online Job Boards and Company Websites


This is likely the number one option for most job seekers (especially entry to midlevel candidates) and includes sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Ziprecruiter.


Advantages


  • It’s quick and convenient

  • It’s suitable for a large number of applications

  • Little extra effort required


Disadvantages


  • Low recruiter response rate

Networking


If you’ve ever found a job through someone you know (i.e., colleague, friend, or even a family member), you’ve seen the value of networking firsthand.


By establishing a link between yourself and the recruiter, you’ve established trust, which has huge benefits. You’re more likely to buy a product that a best friend has vouched for because yo trust their opinion. Similarly, a recruiter is more likely to take a chance on you if you can establish a connection with them.


What are some ways you can do this?


Option #1 - Take advantage of your connections. Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues and dig - can they help you make a connection? If not, do they know anyone that could? The goal here is to establish second and third degree connections that are in hiring positions at companies you want to work for OR, help you connect with someone in a hiring position.


Option #2 - Find and follow recruiters on LinkedIn. The platform’s powerful search features and filters can help narrow your search.


What do you do when you find them? Follow them, engage with their posts, build rapport, and finally, make a genuine connection.

Interview Preparation


So you’ve done all the legwork and its paid off. The interviews are starting to trickle in. What next? Time to start preparing - here’s how:


  • Review the job requirements and thoroughly research the company. What do they do? What products and services do they offer? What do they have on the horizon?

  • Come up with an elevator pitch that sums up your career in a few sentences. Practice it over and over and get right.

  • Research and practice common interview questions. If you struggle with this, a great way to refine your skills is to recruit a friend or colleague to help play the role of the interviewer.

 

About the Author


James Cooper is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and has been in the recruiting, career coaching, and writing business for almost 14 years. He began his career recruiting for AECOM, a Canadian engineering firm, and he's gone on to work with and help professionals land roles at top Fortune 500 companies.


Have questions about resume writing? Reach out at jc@finaldraftresumes.com.



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