Ninety-five percent of job hunters make mistakes that delay their employment. The reason for this is that most of us have never been taught how to conduct a strategic job search campaign. Below, you will find a checklist of ten key job search strategies that can cut your job search time in half.
Being focused in your job search will help you to write a better resume with the right keywords; search for jobs more effectively because you will only be looking for certain jobs; allow your personal contacts to help you find jobs; and help you interview more effectively because you know what type of work you should be doing. If you are not sure what type of work you should be targeting, consider career testing and counseling.

The “big six” marketing tools are your targeted resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, strengths summary, direct employer contact letter, and personal contact letter. These six marketing tools will prepare you to conduct an effective job search.

Doing an effective job search campaign can involve making hundreds of contacts with employers and personal contacts. Imagine after several weeks of job search work you suddenly receive a phone call from a human resource director at a company that is only a few minutes from your home. You panic, thinking "When did I apply? Was it on a job board? Which one? Or was it a direct referral from one of my personal contacts?" You need to figure out fast who you sent a resume to at the company and how you found out about the opening. You realize it is time to get organized!

While there are many ways to track resumes you have sent, employers you need to contact and interviews that have been scheduled (including Microsoft excel), one of the best resources is a web-based program called CareerShift. CareerShift was named "The Best Job Search Tool on the Internet," and is available to CUAA students and alumni. Using an exclusively licensed, patent-pending set of integrated tools, job seekers are able to find employment more easily and conveniently. With tools like CareerShift's robust company and contact database, users can find current job connections and make meaningful new connections.

While the Internet is a useful resource, only a small percentage of people obtain jobs through the Internet job postings. Employers may receive hundreds of responses to a job posting, and the majority of job hunters (approximately 95%) utilize the Internet as their primary job search tool, so the competition is keen. You do not, therefore, want using Internet job boards to be your only job search strategy.

A good strategy is planning to dedicate approximately 30% of your job search time searching and applying for advertised jobs on the Internet, and approximately 70% of your time searching for jobs in the “hidden” job market. Here are some of the best resources for finding online advertised job postings.

While 95% of job hunters rely on the advertised job market to find employment, only 15-20% of the available jobs are represented. As you can imagine, only using the advertised job market makes the job search process slower and more frustrating. Not only is there only a small percentage of actual job openings listed, but applicants will find more intense competition because of the large number of job hunters who use the classified ads on the Internet and other sources. Some job hunters even give up their search for a particular job because they either see no openings in the classified ads for that type of work, or they get no responses to the resumes they have sent.

The majority of jobs that are available at any given time are found in the so-called “hidden” job market. The jobs are "hidden" because they are filled without employers advertising them on the Internet or in newspapers. Finding these jobs involves a more proactive and strategic approach. Job seekers find out about job opening through developing personal contacts and contacting employers directly (whether or not an employer is advertising job openings). Phone calls, referrals and interviews are the keys. This market is more difficult to access, but tends to yield much more fulfilling and rewarding work. For more information, read “How to Find the Right Job Faster”.

It is important to be gently persistent in your job search. This means always following up after any contact with an employer, recruiter or personal contact to whom you have sent a resume, email, snail letter or called on the phone. You can use your Microsoft Outlook account to scheduled follow ups or a system like CareerShift.
The purpose of the big six marketing tools is to get you an interview. An interview is defined as any time you are talking by phone or in person with the person who has the power to hire you (or at least influence the person who has the power to hire you). Here you will find the keys for interviewing with confidence.

Job search or career transition has its exciting moments, such as when you make a great contact, are called for an interview, or are offered a new job. Making a job transition, however, also has its challenges. At times, you might find yourself feeling discouraged. After all, change is seldom easy.

In times of increased challenge in your life, you need increased support to stay motivated. Support can come from many sources: Concordia’s Center for Career and Life Calling , friends and family; a "buddy" with whom you regularly talk about your job search; leisure activities to renew your body, mind and spirit; and your faith. Your job search can be a season of deepening your faith and your trust in God.

God's words can encourage and sustain you. These verses are from the Message version of the Bible; we pray you will hear God's voice in new ways as you read and meditate on them.

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (Romans 8:26-28)

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29:11)

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd." (Hebrews 11:1-2)

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." (Philippians 4:6-8)

© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.