I am told, that in the game of chess, the very best players do not make their first move until they have planned their last. I can’t even imagine the amount of strategic thinking and planning that requires. I don’t think my mind works like that. Does yours?
During job search, the same strategic logic applies. So before you start looking, what’s your last move?
If you find your job search is in a stall or not going well, it may be time to call “time out” and conduct some strategic planning. (I am pretty sure you can’t call “time out” in chess, but do it anyway).
I’ve listened to job seekers talk about how their searches are “frustrating,” “depressing,” or “lasting too long.” Perhaps that is because they don’t have a strategic plan to guide their moves.
Most job seekers leap into job search by adding their last job to their resume and posting it on a job board and waiting for something to happen. The more savvy job seekers understand that networking is an important component and engage with friends and family. Yet neither of these actions will work successfully unless there is a plan, goal or vision set up in advance.
It’s Your Move
How do you develop a plan, goal or vision? Start with your Marketing Plan. It is a simple document. It contains 5 sections:
Objective: This is a listing of 5 or more job titles you are searching for. (Use O*Net to research these)
Summary or Bio: Highlight your specific strengths, talents and experiences, but only those that are relevant to the roles you are pursuing. Here’s more help: How To Build A Better Bio and Your Summary, Profile and Pitch
Competencies: A list of work related processes or procedures required of the jobs you want (this is optional)
Demographics: Your preferred demographics (where you want to work). The type of industry, company size and geographic location.
Target Companies: A listing of target companies that fit those preferred demographics. (These do not need to be companies who are hiring, merely those that might employ those who do what you do). Learn more about how to identify target companies: How To Find Target Companies for Your Job Search and Find Targets, Not Jobs
Make Your Move Today
The act of creating your Personal Marketing Plan should force you to think about your strategy. It will provide you with options and insight beyond what you immediately thought of.
It is also an incredibly helpful document to use when you network.
Toss aside that tired resume. It really doesn’t tell someone what you want to do next. It talks about what you did in the past. The personal marketing plan is a future-oriented document.
Use your Personal Marketing Plan to guide your conversations.
I have written and spoken about personal marketing plans a lot. I truly believe it is the single best document to have in your job search toolbox box. Here are some other posts that show examples and logic: