A Career Planning Checklist for Your Job Search

If you are currently looking for a job, you probably have some idea about the job you want. You may know something about how to get that job. You may even have some ideas about companies that might hire a person like you, with your skills and interests. Maybe you learned these things from friends and family members, in school or from previous job search experience, or from just living — in other words, “common sense.”

Sometimes, however, “common” sense is not always good sense. Unfortunately, many people learn career planning and job search skills the same way they learn about sex — “on the street,” from their peers, from experience, or from training in school, or from an all-too-brief conversation with a more experienced person. And how accurate was what you first learned about sex? Well, you get the point!

If you have spent any time looking for a job, you may be thinking, “There must be a better way.” In fact, there are many “better ways,” and it is up to you to find your better way. When it is all said and done, it is not what you know that matters. It is what you do with what you know that will get you from where you are to where you really want to be. Most successful job seekers do follow some common practices to progress in their careers. Discuss your goals and activities, ask questions and seek career counseling from a qualified career coach. Seek career training or join a job club if these options are available. Use this checklist to measure your progress.

World of Work: I understand the value of making wise career decisions. I am learning to expect change and prepare for it.

Expanding Knowledge of Myself: I have taken an inventory of my skills, interests, values, abilities and dreams. I have established a profile of my Skills Language, my situation and my concerns that are important to my career decision-making.

Expanding Knowledge of Job Options: I have identified possible occupational, educational and other developmental alternatives. I have compared the pros and cons of a variety of occupations and determined which ones are best for me. I have a focused employment objective.

Who is Hiring: I know how most people find jobs and use every source of job leads available to me. I have something valuable to contribute and am ready to go to work.

Networking & Direct Contact with Employers: I clearly explain my goals and skills to people I know. I follow up on all new contacts, so I will know more people. I contact employers that interest me, even if they have no job openings. Out of respect and gratitude, I write thank-you notes to each person who helps me along the way.

Marketing Myself on Paper and in Person: I make a good first, and lasting, impression. I use my Skills Language effectively in job applications, in my resume, in cover letters, during interviews and for other opportunities. I use the phone with confidence and briefly summarize my skills and goals. I am well prepared to find the job I want.

My Action Plan: I have made decisions about my goals that are both realistic and reflect the lifestyle I want to have. I mapped out plans to reach my goals. I am taking actions needed to reach my goals, such as enrolling in courses of study, acquiring additional work experience and news skills, networking and meeting with employers.

Repeating the Process: Career planning is never over. There is a great deal to learn from every job I hold: new skills, new ideas, new challenges, new opportunities that come my way and I create. I am reviewing my career action plan every year or two to determine if my work is still relevant or if my situation has changed. I am planning my next move. I am helping others by sharing what I am learning.

Creating Successful Cover Letters For Your 100k Job Search

Your cover letters for your 100k job search are one of the essential elements that cannot be overlooked. Without a winning cover letter it is quite likely no one will ever even look at your resume or consider you for their 100k jobs. There are volumes of job career advice on the Internet but your first step must be to create a cover letter that sells. Below are a few points that you must consider when drafting your cover letter for your job search.

Research

You may have already heard this repeated again and again while looking at job career advice, but it is absolutely essential. What happens if you get through to an interview for a six figure job and are asked to do a presentation on the spot for one of the company’s products or services? Researching now shows an employer you took the time to look them up and want to work for this company and are not just desperate to work for anyone. It also tells a potential hiring manager that you are familiar with their business and are confident you will fit in. Before drafting your cover letter make sure you have done your research on the company and it’s executives and demonstrate this throughout out your cover letter for your next 100k job.

Targeted & Original

No matter how good you are, if you haven’t taken the time to draft a targeted and original letter for your 100k job search your resume will probably just land in the trash. If you are applying for any executive jobs or 100k jobs you should be an expert. If you are too lazy to write a targeted cover letter how can you expect an employer to believe you are going to work hard on the job? Forget all the cover letter templates out there, there are so many job seekers for 100k jobs that they have probably seen the same outline again and again. Show an employer that you have read their job posting thoroughly and that this is the job you want and that you are qualified for it.

Words That Sell

Regardless of whether this cover letter is for finance jobs or a sales executive job the cover letter for this 6 figure job is a sales piece. It must spike interest and demand that the recruiter or hiring manager take the time to review your resume or call you for an interview. Consider stating your number of years in the industry but not your previous employer information so they must turn to your resume. Use words and techniques that sell without being cliche. One sales technique to use throughout your 100k job search is ‘mirroring’. This can be done using the exact same words and terms they use in the 100k job posting. Repeat phrases or include technical terms that the employer used make them feel you are an instant match.

Highlights

Include a few bullets of what you have achieved in your previous 100k jobs. How many years experience do you have, have you successfully completed projects for their competitors who they envy, have you saved a company $100k, have you received any awards?

Hiring A Pro

If you really feel that you do not have the writing skills to make your cover letter shine for your 100k job search then consider hiring someone else to do it for you. How much is this new 100k job worth? Certainly a few dollars invested to ensure you get the job will return an incredible yield.