Clients and (non-clients!) always want to know the secrets to a successful job search. Well, today is your lucky day because I’m going to tell you two of them. Ready?

Your job search must be organized and targeted. It’s as simple as that.

Time Management

When gearing up to look for a new job, whether due to unemployment or searching for a new opportunity, you must be organized with your time and schedule. Have you subscribed to hundreds of emails requesting job postings? Are you spending hours and hours in front of your computer scrolling through leads? This is not an organized search and it’s completely unreasonable. It’s only going to cause burnout. We’ll get to what an organized search looks like, but here is the second “secret.”

Targeted Job Search

The second secret is that you have to be targeted. Believe me, I understand the frustration that goes along with job searching and not seeing results. But, spending hours and hours combing job boards for postings takes SO much time – time that could be better spent having a focused search.

But, how do I do this? Here are the steps to take:

1. What do you want to do next?

Don’t just metaphorically run away from something – go towards a better career opportunity. Or, you could end up in the same position you are in now. If you need help choosing a direction, a career coach can be super helpful.

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2. What’s important to you?

Set criteria to help you sort through job offers and interviews. For example, salary over $60K, flexible work arrangements, or tuition reimbursement may be on your “must-have” list. Jot down a list of three items for yourself and stick. to. it.

3. Research companies

Spend time researching companies on sites such as LinkedIn, In Her Sight (specifically for women – love!) and Glassdoor instead of focusing on specific job postings. Companies are ALWAYS hiring if the right candidate shows up. And, that candidate is YOU.

4. Utilize strategies and recognize your weaknesses

Are you more productive in the evenings? Use that time to do your job searching. Do you find yourself spending too much time on your search? Utilize a timer app such as Timer+ (iPhone or Android) or Time glass Countdown (iPhone) to set a time for job searching (30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.)

A targeted and organized job search also helps when you write and edit your resume (or hire someone to do it for you.) Resumes that are tailored for specific job categories are SO effective. For example, if you are targeting an engineering position, using a resume written for a marketing job is not as effective.

What do you think? Will a more targeted and organized search help you? A little bit of daily planning goes a long, long way. Try using one or more of these strategies. Send me an email ([email protected]) and let me know how it goes!

Neely Raffellini is the founder of 9 to 5 Project, which provides women with the tools they need to get a job they love. You can reach her at [email protected].

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