By Career Advice

When you’re hunting for a new job, the biggest challenges are always knowing where to start, how to get organized, and figuring out the most effective way to approach your job search. In this article, I share a helpful structure and approach that can maximize your ability to land the right new job.

Identify your job goals—and share them with your network

Start by thinking critically about what you are searching for in your next position, and create a document outlining what is most important to you. Here are the key elements:

Once this document is complete, share it widely with your network. Send it in an email to close friends, family members, former coworkers, and anyone else who may be willing to help you with your job search. People can’t help you if they don’t have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for. Ask if they know of any companies that match this description and find out if they’re hiring—or, most important, if they can make a referral.

See the resource section at the end of this article for an example of a “Job Search Goals” list, written for an event planning job.

Organizing your job search

The key to an effective job search is building a sustainable schedule in which you balance searching for a job with self-care so you don’t go completely crazy and burn yourself out. Staying organized is essential to this process.

job hunt calendar template

Finding and applying for the jobs you want

The old method of finding jobs online and clicking the “apply” button is often very unsuccessful. Looking at LinkedIn and seeing hundreds of people applying to a single role can be very discouraging. Whenever possible, leverage your own network for referrals.

Asking for an introduction to a company connection

It is very important to get a warm personal introduction to someone at the company you are interested in. Here are some general guidelines when seeking an introduction:

Of course, it goes without saying, you should always be willing to return the favor in the future.

Sample message if it’s someone you know personally

If you have any 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn, contact them and ask them to refer you to the job. Sample message:

Jim, I’m interested in applying to the [insert job title and link to job posting] role I saw listed at [insert company name]. Would you be willing to refer me for this position? I can send along my resume. I’ve included a brief note about myself and my expertise you can forward along as needed. Thanks!

Sample message if a 2nd-degree connection works at the company

Start by reaching out to YOUR connection for an introduction to their connection, as this is typically more effective. Sample message:

Hey Tina, how well do you know [2nd-degree connection name] over at [company name]? I see a job posting there I am interested in applying to, and I’m wondering if you know her/him well enough that you’d be willing to make an introduction or pass along my resume.

When you have 2nd-degree connections but don’t know your connections well enough, here is what you can say. Sample message:

Hi, Molly. I came across your profile as I was looking at a job posting for at [company name]. I noticed we have many connections to people I attended school with, so I thought I’d reach out and see if you’d be willing to chat about the company and maybe pass along my resume as well. Thanks so much!

Sample message if you don’t have any connections to the company

If you don’t have any connections to the company at all, use LinkedIn to see who works at the company. Click on as many people as possible and read through their biographies and job titles. Aim for folks that are on a similar career level or only slightly more senior. Senior level folks are busy and less likely to answer. If they “view” you back on LinkedIn, it opens up doors to a conversation. Always send a LinkedIn inmail, and don’t request a connection without an explanation. Sample message:

Hi Robert, I came across your profile as I was looking at a job posting for at [company name]. I am particularly interested in [company name] and would love the opportunity to chat with someone who works there and learn more about the product and culture. It seems like it’s a great fit for my skills and background and what I’m looking to do. Any chance you might be willing to chat and perhaps even pass along a resume for me? Hope you are doing well. Appreciate it.

VIDEO: 5 tips from a job search expert

In this video interview conducted by Learn Analytics, I dive a little deeper into these strategies and share the tools I’ve created that job seekers can adapt to help with their own job search.

Learn these 5 tips from a Job Search Expert

By Leslie King When you’re hunting for a new job, the biggest challenges are always knowing where to start, how to get organized, and figuring out the most effective way to approach your job search. In this article, I share a helpful structure and approach that can maximize your ability to land the

APPENDIX OF HELPFUL RESOURCES

Give your friends, family, and network the tools to help you with your job search by clearly outlining what you are seeking. These are just examples of what the parameters were for me when I was job searching: 

Job titles 

Industries 

Potential target companies

Company details: 

Target needs from job: 

Browsing jobs (60 min. every other day) 

Company searching (60 min. every other day) 

Applying for jobs (on demand) 

Networking (30 min., 2x per week) 

Check in with your accountability buddy (weekly or every other week)

Interview prep/interviewing (60 min. per week, even when an interview is not scheduled)

Job searching, especially during a pandemic, can be especially discouraging and disheartening, but hopefully by adapting some of these tools and adding strategy to your search, you can feel like you’re making progress. 

Setting small but achievable weekly goals, blocking your time on a calendar to help keep yourself accountable, leveraging your network for introductions and practice interviews, and planning time for personal interests like hobbies or exercise can help you keep the motivation going as you job search and interview. 

Having a solid strategy for your job search is important to maximize your success of finding a new job. With the tools and solutions suggested in this article, you will be better prepared to organize that job search. Best of luck!

Leslie King is a Senior Events Specialist at Databricks, a software, data, and AI company in San Francisco. Databricks helps organizations make their data ready for analytics, empowers data science and data-driven decisions, and rapidly adopts machine learning. Leslie’s experience includes live and virtual events and conferences, advertising, branding, e-commerce, and marketing. In her spare time, she is a mentor to job seekers. She is a graduate of the University of San Francisco with a degree in Advertising. She can be reached on LinkedIn and would be happy to refer to any open roles from the (currently hiring globally across multiple departments). 

This content was originally published here.

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