Finding a new job is one of the biggest projects you can take on.
It’s comparable to any quarter-long project you’d start at work, with a similar amount of operating procedures and minor details to complete before presenting the final shebang to management.
So, how are you supposed to accomplish something equally as time-consuming as your day job while doing your day job?
By using task banks.
If you’re in denial that you’ll need to create some kind of job-search plan, you’ll never find a position you truly thrive in. Once you’ve sketched out the major plan—defining your needs, updating your resume, and exploring industries or competitors—there will be several tiny tasks that go along with ensuring you connect with a job that matches your criteria.
Luckily, 13 of those kinds of tasks take 20 minutes or less. If you group them into similar categories for each stage of your overall plan, it’s more than do-able to navigate a successful job search without using up all your vacation time to do it.
Draft a dream sheet of 10 ideal companies and categorize them by industry. This will help show you where your interests lie. If you didn’t know you’d prefer to cross from financial services into Fintech, taking a look at your dream sheet may tell you.
Subscribe to newsletters run by companies or influencers in your target field.
Set up Google alerts for your industry. In addition to news highlights, you’ll get a few relevant job openings delivered to your inbox.
Pinpoint three people from your existing network and request informational interviews. Choose professionals who have connections to your target industry or whose roles overlap with a company you admire.
Define your target job level. Do you want to take on more responsibility, or would a lateral move satisfy you? List potential job titles within the respective level.
Run the numbers to get your bottom line. If your search is motivated by salary, you need to set a range that satisfies your bills and your lifestyle. Once you’ve got it, pop online to verify that the amount you’re seeking also matches your target job level in your target field.
Use LinkedIn’s private “Share career interests with recruiters” feature. To locate this, click “Jobs” from the main menu. On the far right side of the screen, select the option to make your interests visible to recruiters. By filling out the form that follows, you’ll notify recruiters of roles you’re interested in, your industry, and many other job preferences, without giving any hints on your public profile.
Google yourself and make a list of websites you need to adjust. Would your Facebook profile picture embarrass you in an interview? Should any of your other social media accounts be set to private? Do your LinkedIn details match your resume’s details (location, degree type, position title)?
Gather three ideal job links and scan them for keywords against your current resume using Jobscan. Take screenshots of major graphs and keyword lists to inform your next revision.
Upload your resume to job search sites that store your information so others can find you.
Contact three more people from your network, or initiate three new connections, for informational interviews.
Draft and save email templates for regular communications. Outreach emails, job inquiries, and thank-you templates are good places to start (and Mixmax and Streak allow you to save email templates.)
Set up an Excel sheet or list to keep track of your status at each place you apply. Make sure to add a column for follow-ups and thank-yous.
Drafting out a long list of mini tasks may not stop your head from spinning, but it can help you get more done in the same amount of time. For instance, if you finish a sales meeting 23 minutes earlier than you expected, use 20 of those minutes to complete a task from one of the project phase banks.
This works at home as well, when you’re trying to balance a family or personal interests. By the time you cycle through each of your customized tasks, you’ll notice that you’re moving through the job search much easier than if you sat down for a 12-hour search session.
Test it out, and give us an update. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.