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Before you start your job search in earnest, make a few decisions.  This post includes questions my clients pose on targeting their ideal job and resources for making some of those decisions.

Note that most of these questions are related to the daily tasks in the How to Get a Job in 90 Days Plan.  Get day-by-day guide to the perfect job search here.

The old saw, "If you don't know where you're going, how are you going to know when you get there?" was never so true as it is in this point in your search. Here's how to figure out "where you're going"!

1.  Decide where you want to live

Do you have an example of how to make this decision?
Yes, you can get your Where Will My New Job be Located? Decision Chart by clicking the button above.

Where can I find information to help me decide where to live?
[
[This is a list for 2015, but these lists are continually updated. So be sure you have the latest!]

Forbes:  Where the Jobs are in 2015
Willing to move (maybe to a colder climate?) More where the jobs are in 2015
CNN Money:  Where You Are 18 Times More Likely to Find a Job
CNN Money:  Best Places with Quick Commutes to Work
CNN Money:  Best Places with Most Affordable Homes
The 10 Most and Least Expensive States in the U.S.
The 10 cheapest towns to live in (over 50,000 in population)
Forbes Best Places for Business and Careers
Comparison of Cost of Living in Various Locations
Conducting a job search in a new location
Best cities for new grads
Learn all about any locationHow

est employment prospects for African-Americans
Jobs that are most prolific in each state

2.  Define your ideal working arrangement and office location
What are my options?
Here are some of the ways you can work today.
Which of these is ideal for you?. 
  • Full time in an employer's office
  • Home office, meeting with clients or customers
  • Home office, meeting with clients or customers in public venues or at an employer's office
  • Hoteling, mostly in the field, but "popping in" to an office to work at a desk designated for non-routine use
  • Telecommuting, regularly scheduled or full or part time work at home, typically within range of the office for easy drive in
  • Flextime, regularly scheduled periodic day off, such as every other Friday
  • 100% of the time in the field with clients or customers

Where can I find information on different working arrangements and office locations?
You can find lots of information to explore alternatives to in-office, full-time employment:

3.  Define your strengths, skills, interests, and experience
How can I assess my strengths, skills and interests? 
  • Discover your strengths and how to tap into them

Can I have an example of a Job Search Datasheet?

A Job Search Datasheet is a repository for data about yourself.  You'll update it, reflect on it, and refer to it throughout your search to recall the key skills, knowledge, and experience that you want to emphasize in your marketing materials, relationship-building, and interviewing. Think of it as a single source of data from which to make informed decisions.

You'll also add previous employment information for use in completing applications, just to keep everything in the same place. 

You can format your Job Search Datasheet however you like.  Some job searchers use Word, others PowerPoint or Excel.  Some prefer to compile the data in OneNote or even EverNote.  What should you use?  The application and format that is the most comfortable for you.  Here's an example on a PowerPoint slide.  Note that you may have several slides (or pages or worksheets) as you add to your datasheet.


4.  Define 1-3 potential job titles
What if I want to change careers?
These are my top three recommendations for exploring a new career:
     a.  Info interview people in the job (see below for how-to's).
     b.  Check out Virtual Job Shadow for great videos, etc. of various careers
     c.  Go to oNetOnline for everything you could possibly want about every career
          you could possibly imagine.

How do I conduct an information interview?

An information interview is a great way to find out more about an industry or role you are considering.  Here's how to line up information interviews. 

This article outlines how to conduct an effective information interview, one that gets the information you want and creates a positive relationship with the person you are interviewing.  If you do not conduct a full-blown interview, you can use one or two of these questions to learn more from your social media contacts. 

How can I get feedback on how I might fit into an organization?
See the question above for advice on getting information in an interview with someone who is in the role or organization currently.  But you can also try this technique:
  • Send an email to former colleagues and trusted advisors who know you and your industry/role well. 
  • From a list of potential titles you provide, ask them to rank a list of titles with #1 being the most likely next step in your career. 
  • Include choices that would allow them to indicate where they see you fitting into an organization: manager, director, junior, senior, etc.

How can I learn more about jobs I might like? 
                     Knowledge
                     Skills
                     Abilities
                     Personality
                     Technology
                     Education
                     Job Outlook with salary

Everyone keeps saying "Follow your passion!"  Is this the time for me to do that?
Maybe, but maybe not.  But it is the time to do some life planning.  Then you'll be able to see where "your passion" fits in.  This article will help you understand the variety of ways you can follow your passion and fulfill your other life goals. 

5.  Finalize your Ideal Work Situation Statements
How do I finalize my Ideal Work Situation Statements?
Just fill in the blanks and sit back and admire your hard work for a few minutes.  Then, figure out how you can best use your Ideal Work Situation Statements (including abbreviated, "talkable" versions). On the back of a business card?  As an "I'm available" ad on Twitter?  As a post on your Facebook page? To communicate with your Board of Advisors?

My ideal work situation is in [city, geographical area, country, my home, either ____ or ____] as a [full-time employee, telecommuter, worker from home, part-time employee, temporary or seasonal employee, contractor, consultant, project worker] in the [specific industry, any industry, or any industry except...] as a [title(s)]. 

My main task would be to [task that can be understood by anyone desiring to help you].


Not looking for a job? Share this post with someone you love who needs to find a job fast!
 
 
Just because you’re following the same How to Get a Job in 90 Days Plan as others doesn’t mean that your job search should look and feel like theirs.  No way!  Review the profiles below; select the one that is most like you. Then check out my thoughts on how you may want to adapt your job search so it reflects who you are.

So how would you describe yourself? 


The Hipster
Moving fast and taking advantage of every tech and trick in the book to keep up the pace?  You've got big plans.  Maybe you're a Hipster.

The Social Butterfly
Constantly connected to others?  Into sharing and helping others? Have you ever in your life met a stranger?  You thrive on interacting with others.  Maybe you're a Social Butterfly

The Traditionalist
Confident?  Are you just looking for someone to point you in the right direction and you're good to go?  You have some things to learn, but you have some things to teach as well.  Maybe you're a Traditionalist.

The Newbie
Uncertain, but not unprepared?  You know you can do the job, but need some help landing in the right place?  Is this your first rodeo?  You need guidance, not constraints.  Maybe you're a Newbie.

The whole point here is to follow the plan, because every step is critical, BUT do it your way.  Inject your personality.  Go with your strengths. 


Some ideas to get you moving...

Please share this post with someone you know who is looking to find their ideal job!
 
 
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I was brand-new to job search consulting when Richard became my client. Richard had been a client of the previous consultant for over three months, a long time, given the excellent job market at the time.

Richard was very overweight, which would have been fine IF he carried himself well and projected a high level of energy. Richard did neither of these. His posture was poor and he seemed to shuffle rather than walk through the office. I was concerned about how prospective employers would perceive him.

And he wouldn't leave the office. Richard would come in at 7:30am and spend the entire day on the computer. He would rarely leave the technology center. A real problem in 1996. Sure, there were some job postings on “listserves” and “bulletin boards” (I think they were called).

But an online job search twenty years ago was not the introvert’s dream it is today.

Successful clients got out of the office, did lunch, met supporters and new contacts for coffee, and attended professional organization meetings and career fairs. 

He wore a suit every day in anticipation of the interview we were sure would never come.

Although Richard was shy, he was well liked in the office.  Because he was a technology whiz and always available, he often helped fellow clients use the computers. But he would sit silently in lead exchange meetings and was uncomfortable and inarticulate in practice interviews. 

From our conversations, I realized that Richard was highly skilled in accounting software that was becoming popular in the manufacturing industry. He wanted a job implementing that software.

So we formulated a research and communication plan. Richard, because of his technical skills, used our online job search tools to develop a solid list of software users and distributors. And we developed introductory emails highlighting his skill and experience in software implementations and maintenance.

Richard sent one email to companies he had identified as current software users.  He sent a variation of that email to distributors asking for recommendations to new clients and prospective buyers.

While Richard responded to inquiries during the week, I developed a plan to make Richard interview-ready. With him in mind, I negotiated a deal with the fitness center next door to offer our clients a free one-month program.  I found myself rehearsing the following Monday morning on my way to the office, how I would talk frankly with Richard.  My plan was to to advise him to start an exercise program and adapt his demeanor to project more energy and engagement. He was a sweet guy and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I was not looking forward to the conversation.

It was my job, however, to ensure that he present his best self in what I hoped would be a coming round of interviews.     


I was surprised that Richard was not at his usual computer when I arrived and ducked my head in the technology center. But i was thrilled when, an hour later, the receptionist buzzed me to say that Richard had a job. A job? She must mean an interview, right?

“No,” she said, “He got a job. Starts next week.” Richard had gotten a job between Friday afternoon and Monday morning.

I had only a few minutes to debrief with Richard. Turns out, that’s all it took for his new employer to make a decision. He received the offer after a 30-minute interview. They had a problem – how to successfully implement new software. Richard had the expertise to solve their problem.    

Would my efforts to help Richard present a sharper presence to prospective employers have been wasted? Absolutely not.

Fortunately, it turned out that Richard’s new employer was wise enough to overlook superficial attributes and focus on Richard’s strengths.

Were our joint efforts to position Richard as a solution to an employer’s problem critical to his success? Absolutely. 

Companies have problems.  Successful job search candidates have solutions.

What I hope you learned
When you have clearly identified what you offer, you can identify who is likely to need what you offer. In doing so, you may be able to overcome typical job search challenges and reduce the time to receive an offer.

What to do
1.  Develop your Job Search Datasheet to identify what you are selling.
2.  Clearly articulate what you offer a prospective employer in your resume, cover
     letter, and oral and written communications
.
3.  Identify the problem you are a solution to.
4.  Build your Target Company List to create a list of companies who might have that problem. 

Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!


 
 
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You'll be writing lots of emails throughout your job search. And the right one could seal the deal. Here's how to make your emails do what you want them to do.



  • Complete the "To:" field only after you have completed the email to your satisfaction to avoid accidental sending.
  • Write from a professional email address.
  • Identify the result you want from the email.
  • Address the recipient by name.
  • Write as a "real [professional] person" talks.
  • Refer to previous correspondence.
  • Use bullet points to create white space.
  • Use numbers to create order.
  • Minimize multi-syllabic, "hoity-toity" words. [See why?]
  • Clearly communicate the action you want the reader to take.
  • Review the email:
            1.  Did you follow a logical order?
            2.  Does the recipient know what to do next?               
  • End with a signature that includes contact information.

Bonus tip: Add an English teacher friend to your Board of Advisors to serve as your job search editor.

What I hoped you got from this post:
Emails are important communication channels.  Make your emails stand out from the rest and do what you want them to do.


Take action:
Act as if every email you send will be the one that will get you the job.


Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!  Kat

 
 
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Maybe you won't shave two weeks off your job search by composing and re-using a basic job search email, but you will save some time and a ton of "psychic energy".

Note that I'm not suggesting that every email you send is the same. I am recommending, however, that you create and adapt a sample email to reflect your personality (maybe you're an exclamation-point-type person, maybe you're not), and save it for re-use and further customization to fit the occasion.

There are only so many ways to say something and you might as well figure out how you want to say it once and be done with it.

By the way, the fact that a sample situation is included in the list does not mean that I feel this type of conversation should always occur by email. Phone or face-to-face contacts, when practical, are usually preferable to email. The exception? When it's important to have a record of the conversation and texting is too informal.

Selecting the appropriate communication channel is all about the situation, the people involved, and, just as often, gut instinct.

Final note before you review the basic email: Clearly identify the purpose of the email so that your email can include a clear call to action. Use a brief version of that call to action as your subject line.

What is it that you want recipients to do? If you don't know, they won't know.

Let's assume that email is your ideal venue and that you have identified what you want to achieve. Here's a template that should meet your needs for any situation.

BEGINNING

Likely recipients:
Friends and family
New contact with whom you are building a relationship
Former colleagues who have moved to a new company
LinkedIn connections or group members


Subject:  Ex. Request for introduction to [Name and title] at [Company]

Hi [contact name],

I hope you are [enjoying your new job / keeping busy / relaxing this summer / anything that indicates you know them and care].

As you know, I'm actively searching for a new job as a [desired role / abbreviated version of your Ideal Work Situation Statement].

BODY

If your purpose is to ask someone to introduce you to an employee with a prospective employer's company:
I've discovered an ideal match for my skills and experience: [position name with link to job posting] at [company name]. If the person knows you well enough, you could add here: I hope you'll agree.

My goal is to locate an employee in the company to [transmit my resume and cover letter directly to [the recruiter / Human Resources / the hiring manager / learn more about the company culture / fill me in on how their IT department works / tell me more about the hiring manager]. You’re connected to [target name title, and company] on LinkedIn OR You've mentioned [target name] as a [friend / colleague / fellow basketball team member] previously.

If you feel comfortable doing so, would you introduce us and request contact information, noting that I'll be in touch shortly?
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
If your purpose is to gain information regarding a prospective employer on your Target Company List:
I'm putting together a list of prospective employers in my area and would like to include any companies you think might be a good fit for my role and credentials. Do you have any suggestions?
OR
I see where you are an employee with [company]. I'm in a job search and have added (company) to my Target Company List. Would you have a few minutes to talk with me about your experience as an employee? If so, please provide a time that would be convenient for us to meet by phone.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
If your purpose is to add a person to your Board of Advisors:
I'm organizing a virtual Board of Advisors to provide specific job search advice or suggestions on my approach. I would anticipate this help would take no more than 10-15 minutes weekly, if that. Your [overall business acumen / familiarity with my role / industry/ expertise in career strategies] would be helpful to me and I would value your contribution. May I add you to my group?

ENDING
I’ve attached my [resume / bio / addendum] to update you on my credentials.

Thanks in advance for your support of my job search. As always, I truly appreciate your help!

If applicable, add a personalized thank you:
By the way, if Tuesday evenings are still good for you, let's meet at Harry's around 5:30 for a "thank you" drink.
OR
I'd like to [write a recommendation for you / endorse you] on LinkedIn. Is there a particular skill or experience you would like for me to emphasize?
OR
I've attached an article I spotted recently on [the best fishing holes in your area / your industry or role] and thought of you. Let me know if you have any luck!

[Your name]
LinkedIn email address

Attachments: resume

(Adapted from an article by Alex Cavoulacos: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-ask-for-a-referral-an-email-template)

There are, of course, other types of emails you'll be sending as your job search progresses. We'll cover these in future blog posts.

What I hoped you got from this post:
Avoid dithering over an email with a basic template that you can adapt for each communication situation.


Take action:
1. Write your basic email with all of the possible iterations and save it to drafts in your email account.
2.  Adapt as needed.

3.  As you adapt, save a copy of each version in your drafts to save even more time
.

Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!


 
 
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People want to help.  And, when you are in a job search, you are in no position to turn away a well-intentioned offer of support. 

There are a surprising number of ways anyone of almost any age or situation can help you find a job faster than you can alone. 

Here's how to get the most benefit from your supporters' efforts.


Use your Ideal Work Situation Statements
First, re-visit your Ideal Work Situation Statements.
These statements briefly describe the job you are seeking as simply as you can.  If you've been using the statements to create your marketing materials and in building relationships and interviewing, you should have them down pat. 

The value of your Ideal Work Situation Statements lies in their simplicity and ease of re-use by anyone, regardless of their degree of knowledge of your role or industry.

Your Ideal Work Situation Statements should look similar to this:

My ideal work situation is to work in Burlington, Vermont as a full-time Recreational Director for adult or family camps.  My main tasks will be to determine the camps' purpose, activities and schedule and to manage the camps' operations staff.

Use your list of skills, knowledge, and experience
Your next step is to review your Job Search Datasheet which lists your skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to your desired role. These should be the same skills, knowledge, and experience that you highlighted in your resume and cover letter. 

Your Job Search Datasheet may be in a Word or Excel document or written by hand on a piece of paper.  But, if you completed your Job Search Datasheet on a PowerPoint slide, it might look like the example below. Simply extract and list the skills, experience and traits for ready reference on your phone or tablet. Or print out the Job Search Datasheet and store it in your purse or wallet. The key is to have it handy for quick reference.


Use your Target Company List and Desired Contacts
Print out your Target Company List and Desired Contacts or list the entries in your phone or tablet  for ready reference. 

You're good to go!

The rest is easy. Once you've gathered this information, you'll have at least 30 ways people can help you in a job search. Undoubtedly, now that you are well-prepared, you'll think of more.

Those who offer to help can:
1.  Suggest an addition to your Target Company List.

2.  Suggest a desired contact from the companies in your Target Company List.

3.  Introduce you to a desired contact over lunch or coffee.

4.  Introduce you to a desired contact through LinkedIn connections.

5.  Create and provide a 140 character "ad" beginning with "Available now..."
     touting your desired role and credentials for a supporter to "tweet" daily to Twitter followers
     on your behalf. 

6.  Recommend you on LinkedIn, focusing on one of your skills, traits, or experience.

7.  Endorse you on LinkedIn, focusing on one of your skills, traits, or experience.

8.  Post your Ideal Work Situation Statements for your supporter's Facebook friends to see. 

9.  Invite you to professional, civic, community, or educational events that offer opportunities
     to build new relationships.

10. Train or educate you in a skill or experience gap.


11. Suggest or offer volunteer opportunities to help you fill a skill or experience gap.

12. Share stories of successful job searches.

1
3. Help you organize your job search tasks and records.

14. Recommend informative articles, reports, or websites to enhance your understanding
       of your role or industry.

15. Provide an update on trends in your industry or role.

16. Offer you a temporary project, internship, apprenticeship, consulting gig, or other
       interim employment related to your desired role.


17. Recommend LinkedIn groups related to your desired industry or role.

18. Guest post on your blog.

19.
Comment on or "follow" or "like" your job search-related social media efforts.

20. Follow you on Twitter and re-tweet your Twitter entries.

21. Coach you on how to use social media or interviewing technology during your job search.

22. Practice interview with you and provide feedback on your performance.

23. Brainstorm a job search challenge with you.

24. Review/edit your resume, cover letter, or other marketing materials or communications.

25.
Provide the inside scoop on a target company.

26. Alert you to job openings with the supporter's employer.

27. Take your resume to the supporter's employer.

28. Serve as a reference.

29. Write a letter or email regarding a shared work experience you are emphasizing in your search.

30.
Listen.


You could, of course, respond "Just tell everyone you know that I need a job." NOT.

What I hoped you got from this post:
The vast majority of successful job seekers get their job with the help of someone they know.  The more prepared you are to respond to offers of help, the more you'll benefit from them.


Take action:
1.  Carry info with you to ensure that you can tell supporters what you need. (Maybe a clever way
     to use a business card?)
2.  Focus supporters' efforts where you need them most.

Please share this post with someone who is searching for their ideal job!


 
 
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7:00 - 7:59am
Grind out 45 min. on the treadmill. 
Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast.
Big day ahead of you. Start out right.

8:00 - 8:29am
Take a good look in the mirror.
Note your skills, knowledge, and experience.
Match them to an appropriate position (or two).


8:30 - 8:59am

Write Your Ideal Work Situation Statements.
Sum up your desired location, working environment, position, industry, and major tasks in two easily articulated sentences.  Research a typical comp package. 

9:00 - 9:59am
Create a variety of marketing materials ready for distribution.
The magic word is alignment - alignment between your assets, the desired position, your resume, cover letter, and interview stories.
 
    
10:00 - 10:29am
Target desired employers.
Who do you need to know in each company on your Target Company List? 
Jump in! Apply for jobs that match your Ideal Work Situation and set up search agents.

10:30 - 11:59am
Implement a strategy for creating and deepening relationships with potential supporters.
Connect with family, friends, mentors, former colleagues, recruiters, and desired contacts through: F2F, phone, virtual and local networking events, email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Alumni groups.  (Great point in your search to demonstrate your creativity and tenacity...)

12:00 - 12:59pm
Meet for lunch with Charlie, former colleague and new hire at JonesCo, a target company.
Talk about old times. Communicate your Ideal Work Situation. Talk about new times.

1:00 - 1:59pm
Practice and debrief an interview with a member of your Board of Advisors.
You did create a Board of Advisors, right?
Practice responses to questions about those sticky issues. Again. And again.

2:00 - 2:29pm
Write a new “Manage That Project” blog posting.
Project management skills are your edge on the competition. What better way to deepen your knowledge and snag some "street cred" than to research and write a blog on it?

2:30 - 2:59pm
Charlie came through! Email customized cover letter and resume to JonesCo hiring manager.
Send a thank you note to Charlie and include the exact location of your previously top-secret fishing spot.
Research JonesCo, noting questions to ask in the sure-to-follow interview.

3:00 - 4:29pm
Interview with Susy Adams of JonesCo.
Looking sharp in your best suit, and armed with your portfolio and warmest smile, you aim to make a friend. You:
  • Focus on three points to communicate, listen attentively, and converse thoughtfully and confidently.
  • Ask a few previously prepared questions and a couple that evolved from the discussion.
  • Communicate your interest in the job.  

4:30 - 5:59pm
Receive the offer graciously, negotiate an industry-aligned compensation package, and accept.
Sure, it all happened fast. But you got this!
With your Ideal Work Situation and culture and comp research done, you compare notes, make the case for some added "bennies", and call it a GO!

6:00 - 9:59pm
Thank everyone who supported you.
Update your supporters, share how their efforts ensured your success, and commit to helping them to achieve their goals.
Diplomatically decline any outstanding offers.

10:00pm
Still up? Time for bed. You’ve got a job to go to tomorrow!


What I hope you learned from this post:
It's going to take more than a day.  But it will take fewer days if you follow an organized, comprehensive plan. 

What you should do after reading this post:
Act you like you have one day to get a job.  You'll know what to do.


Please share this post with someone who is looking to find a job fast!


 
 
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This is the third of a series of three blog posts with 20 tasks in each…

Some job search tasks require a little time. It will take more than five minutes to create your Job Application Summary and your Job Search Datasheet, for instance. Other tasks, however, can take just a few minutes. The fact that these tasks can be completed in a short period in no way diminishes their importance. And while each task requires a brief amount of time, it does demand intense focus. 

Job search stale and lacking meaningful activity? Each of these tasks has the possibility to truly jumpstart your search. Plan to spend some time following up with the activity you will generate!

The time you take to complete any one of the five-minute job search tasks on this list could be the most important five minutes of your job search.

How to make this list work for you
Here is the list. Most of the tasks are appropriate for any point in your job search. No task on this list should take more than five minutes (unless you decide you want it to). There are as many ways to use the list as there are personalities and priorities. 

Here are a few tricks my clients have used to ensure they kept up with these tasks:
  • Use the old “Dr. Pepper” schedule. Complete an action on the list at 10am, 2pm, and 4pm
  • Arrange with a buddy to text each other on a schedule or at random times complete a task.
  • Start and end each day with a task.
One more thing! You won’t need to do a few of these tasks for one reason or another. If that’s the case, simply duplicate a task that is particularly critical to your search and is best done repeatedly. 

Got five minutes? Do this!
41.  Send a direct message to the author of a tweet that you liked.

42.  Call a friend who is struggling with a personal or professional issue and listen.

43.  Update the list of companies you are following on glassdoor.com.

44.  Email an article of interest to a new Linkedin connection.

45.  Tweet an industry article or an article from an industry influencer.

46.  Google “[your industry] influencers in 2015.”

47.  Start a discussion in a Linkedin group.

48.  Change your status in Linkedin.

49.   Ask for advice on an aspect of your job search in one of your Linkedin groups.

50.  Review opportunities to volunteer in your community.

51.  Review, and update as needed, your Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter pictures.

52.  Post one of your job search challenges on a Facebook group and ask for help. 

53.  Research industry, role or business-related books to read in Amazon.

54.  Create reminders to re-tweet daily and follow up on Linkedin discussions.

55.  Text or email your Board of Advisors a job search-related question that can be answered 
        with a word or phrase (example: what one skill do you think is most important for
        [your desired new role?]. 

56.  Develop an email template for contacting recruiters in your industry or role.

57.  Contact a recruiter.

58.  Congratulate someone on an accomplishment with a meaningful note. Finish the note with a
        question to keep the conversation going.

59.  Thank someone for something with a meaningful note. (Ex. a Linkedin recommendation
        or endorsement, insights shared in a Linkedin group discussion or in a local job search group
        meeting).

60.  Write and send “by snail mail” a thank you note to someone who helped you get your new job.
       Offer to support him or her. 

What I hope you learned from this post:

You can get a lot done in five minutes.  What you do in those five minutes may be more critical to your job search success than tasks that take considerably longer. 

What you should do:
Take advantage of small amounts of time to accomplish big results.


Please share this post with someone who is looking to find a job fast!


 
 
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This is the second of a three part series of blog posts with
20 five-minute tasks listed per post…

Some job search tasks require a little time to complete. For instance, it will take more than five minutes to create your Job Application Summary and your Job Search Datasheet. Other tasks, however, can take just a few minutes. The fact that these tasks can be completed in a short period in no way diminishes their importance. And while each task doesn’t require a lot of time, each task does demand intense focus. 

Job search stale and lacking meaningful activity? Each of these tasks has the possibility to truly jump starting your search. Be prepared to spend some time following up with the activity you will generate!

The time you take to complete any one of the five-minute job search tasks on this list could be the most important five minutes of your job search.

How to make this list work for you
Here is the list. Most of the tasks are appropriate for any point in your job search. No task on this list should take more than five minutes (unless you decide you want it to). There are as many ways to use the list as there are personalities and priorities. (Most should be repeated throughout your search. Keep this in mind as you develop your strategy.) Here are a few tricks my clients have used:
  • Set a daily appointment to complete your five-minute task on your Outlook calendar. Call it "Huddle with New Employer".  Categorize it the color green for money.
  • Before you sign off on your job search tasks for the day, do one five- minute task.
  • Give one of your kids the job of alerting you to do a five-minute task each day.  Make it fun.  Rule:  when your kid says go you have to stop whatever you are doing and complete the task. 
  • Do your 5 minute task at 8am today, 9am tomorrow, 10am the next day, well, you get the picture. 
  • Challenge yourself to complete your five-minute task in 4 minutes or 3 minutes.
  • Completed your five- minute" task?  Announce your success on Facebook or Twitter.  Introvert?  Record it on an Excel spreadsheet, journal, or Outlook calendar.

Got five minutes? Do this!
[See a previous blog post for the first 20 five-minute tasks.]

21.  Review, and update if needed, your email signature.  

22.  Google “how to use Twitter to get a job”. List three actions you could take now.

23.  Contact a recruiter in your industry.

24.  Develop an email response to welcome anyone who follows you on Twitter.
       (You will get new followers from all those re-tweets.)

25.  Research local job search groups, events, or other “face to face” opportunities to meet others.

26.  Send a lead to another jobseeker.

27.  Sign up for a free online course to fill a gap in a technical or soft skill.

28.  Research volunteer opportunities. Focus on ones that would fill a skill or experience gap
       or use your skills to help others.

29.  Search YouTube to create a list of learning opportunities. 

30.  Find your groove.Create a weekly job search schedule. Experiment with focusing
       on certain tasks on designated days or times of the day. 

31.  Read an industry news article.


32.  Call a supportive friend focusing the call solely on ways you can support their efforts.

33.  Send a role or industry-related article to former colleagues, interviewers (where you
       didn’t get the job), recruiters, or new contacts.

34.  Search for 10 new connections on Linkedin (ex. industry or role recruiters, thought leaders,
       recommendations for your current connections).

35.  Invite members of your groups to connect on Linkedin.

36.  Research Twitter to locate Linkedin connections and “follow” them to deepen the relationship.

37.  Google “how to use Linkedin to get a job”.  List three actions you could take now. 

38.  Sign up for helpful online newsletters such as Lifehack Daily and The Simple Dollar.

39.  Review your check register to see if there are places you could reduce expenses.

40.  Search Linkedin profiles to learn from the career paths of those in your desired role.

Look for the next 20 five-minute tasks in this series next week...


What I hope you learned from this post:
You can get a lot done in five minutes.  What you do in those five minutes may be more critical to your job search success than tasks that take considerably longer. 

What you should do:
Take advantage of small amounts of time to accomplish big results.

Please share this post with a job searcher!


 
 
Picture
This is the first of a three part series of blog posts with 20 five-minute tasks listed per post…

Some job search tasks require a little time to complete. For instance, it will take more than five minutes to create your Job Application Summary and your Job Search Datasheet. Other tasks, however, can take just a few minutes. The fact that these tasks can be completed in a short period in no way diminishes their importance. And while each task doesn’t require a lot of time, each task does demand intense focus. 

Job search stale and lacking meaningful activity? Each of these tasks has the possibility to truly jump starting your search. Be prepared to spend some time following up with the activity you will generate!

The time you take to complete any one of the five-minute job search tasks on this list could be the most important five minutes of your job search.

How to make this list work for you
Here is the list. Most of the tasks are appropriate for any point in your job search. No task on this list should take more than five minutes (unless you decide you want it to). There are as many ways to use the list as there are personalities and priorities. (Most should be repeated throughout your search. Keep this in mind as you develop your strategy.) Here are a few tricks my clients have used:
  • Set your phone alarm for 55 minutes after the hour. Complete one five-minute task when    the alarm rings. Re-set the alarm for 55 minutes after the next hour until you have finished   for the day.
  • Allocate an hour one day a week to complete and check off 10 tasks a day. (“Five Minute Friday” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?)
  • Print the list. Cut it in strips of fifty tasks. Place the strips in a jar. When you have five minutes, pull out a strip and complete that task. (The kids will love this if you have a Job Jar for their chores!)
  • Got swim practice duty? Do a couple of tasks on your phone or laptop while waiting for the kids.
  • Create reminders in Outlook or on your phone at appropriate time(s) of the day or week.   
  • Reward yourself with a game of computer solitaire for every one you complete.

Got five minutes? Do this!
1.  Read an article on trends in your industry.

2.  Google “recruiters for [your industry]”.

3.  Search Linkedin for groups related to your industry or role.

4.  Brainstorm topics for your blog.

5.  Draw a picture of the ideal person for the job you want.  Label it with attributes,
      skills, knowledge, and experience.  Compare it to yourself.

6.  Review your Job Search Datasheet and create a list of your skill or experience gaps.

7.  List 10 new people to follow on Twitter.

8.  Write a recommendation for a former colleague on LinkedIn.

9.  Endorse some people from the
LinkedIn prompt.

10. Update your status on your LinkedIn profile.

11. Post a discussion question in one of your LinkedIn groups.

12. Comment on a discussion question in one of your LinkedIn groups.

13. Re-tweet something that inspired you.

14. Comment favorably on a blog post that inspired or educated you.

15. Catch up on one of your professional organizations’  websites.

16. Clean out your email inbox.

17. Move applications over 30 days to the Inactive section of your Application Summary.

18. Clean up your documents folders, ensuring you have a folder for each application.

19. Update your Board of Advisors.

20. Google “how to use Facebook to get a job”. List three actions on your To-Do List.   


Look for the next 20 five-minute tasks in this series next week...

What I hope you learned from this post:
You can get a lot done in five minutes.  What you do in those five minutes may be more critical to your job search success than tasks that take considerably longer. 

What you should do:
Take advantage of small amounts of time to accomplish big results.

P.S. Sharing is good.  It just might get someone you love a job!