Job Search Expert’s Tip of the Month – November

Five-day job hunting plan

For the Class of 2009, it’s been approximately four months since graduation. Although the average time it takes to land a job these days is about six months, I’m sure you’re in a hurry to land something sooner rather than later!

I find the best way to achieve something is to set goals and outline a plan. Lucky for you, I’ve created a sample you can use!

Monday: The first day of the week should be used primarily for research. Because hiring managers are just getting back into the office after the weekend, the last thing you want to do is hit them up.

Instead, use the day to research ideal organizations, contact information at each organization and at least one networking event to attend during the week.

Also, if you don’t currently have an online portfolio, take the time to create one (or update your current one).

Tuesday: Remember those contacts you researched yesterday? Send each one an e-mail requesting an informational interview, unless you already know the organization is hiring at your level (in which case you would submit your application). Be sure to provide several times you are available the rest of the week to meet with them. Also, don’t wait until noon to send these e-mails! Get up early and make sure each one awaits the hiring managers when they sit down to review their inboxes for the morning.

Additionally, if you sent out any applications the week before, Tuesday is a great day to follow-up.

Take a mentor out to lunch as both a thank you and to update him or her on your job search.

Wednesday: Hopefully by now you’ll have landed at least one informational interview. Plan to spend the day preparing until it’s time to meet up with the hiring manager.

Also, Wednesdays are popular days to host networking events. Did you find one you plan to attend? Don’t bring copies of your résumé—bring business cards with a link to your online portfolio.

Thursday: The week is already winding down for everyone, but Thursdays are another popular networking day. Perhaps there is an evening event you can attend? Do you have another informational interview?

If you don’t already have plans for the day, set aside time to comb over your social networking profiles—and join the networks you’re not already on (LinkedIn, Twitter, Come Recommended, Facebook).

Do you have a professional blog attached to your online portfolio? If not, start one! Make sure you create a schedule that is reasonable for you to follow.

Friday: Volunteer at a local nonprofit in your area of expertise. Try to commit to volunteering every Friday, unless you have an interview or other important event to attend. This is experience you can add to your résumé so it doesn’t begin to show gaps.

*BONUS* Saturday/Sunday: Use this time to apply for positions that have been posted online. Because applying takes a large chunk of time, it’s best to do it over the weekend.

~ Heather Huhman, Job Search Expert, Campus Calm

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