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Organize Your Job Search To Get More Interview
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Organize Your Job Search to Get More Interview

In order to get more interviews (that’s where all the action takes place), you must first organize your job search time effectively.

(This post is the 5th in a series of 7 fundamental steps every job seeker must take in order to prepare for a successful job search. This series is based on the works of the late Michael Farr, arguably the founder of the self-directed job search movement, and my work with literally thousands of career-oriented job seekers over the past 25+ years.)

The average job seeker gets about 5 interviews a month. That is no where enough for an effective and focused job search! However, getting more than 5 a month in nearly impossible unless you redefine what counts as an interview according to Michael Farr, one of the U.S.’s most respected authors on job search and career planning.

“The new definition of an interview is any face-to-face, or phone contact with someone who has the authority to hire or supervise a person with your skills - even if no opening exists at the time when you interview.”

If you use this new definition, it becomes much easier to get interviews. You can now interview with all sorts of potential employers, not just those who have job openings now. While most other job seekers look for advertised or actual openings, you can get interviews before a job opens up or before it is advertised and known widely. You will be considered for jobs that may soon be created, but that others will not know about. And, of course, you can also interview for existing openings as everyone else does.

Make Your Search a Full-Time Endeavor

According to Michael Farr, in his book, Seven Steps to Getting a Job Fast, job seekers average fewer than 15 hours a week looking for work, and I can bear this out from my experience presenting to thousands of job seekers over the years. The average job search has more than double since 2008. Now it takes nearly 40 weeks to find a job. That’s more than 9 months? Some people are out of work far longer, such is the case with older workers and higher earners.

Decide How Much Time You Will Spend Looking for Work Each Week and Day

My recommendation is spending at least 44 hours a week on your job search; full days, Monday through Friday, and a half day on Saturday. Yes, you heard me - 44 hours a week! You can do this if you stop thinking of a job search, as many do, as a flex-time, mini-vacation, and begin thinking of it as an asset-building, personal marketing campaign focused in interview-getting activities.

Create a Specific Daily Job Search Schedule

Having a specific daily schedule is essential because most job seekers find it hard to stay productive each day. As simple as it seems, keeping a schedule may cut your job search time in half!

Here’s a simple example:

7 am Get up, shower, dress, eat breakfast (Yes, pretend you’re going to work)

8-8:15 am Organize workspace, review schedule for today’s interviews and promised follow-ups, update schedule as needed

8:15-9 am Review old leads for follow-up needed today; develop new leads from job sites, complete daily contact list.

9-10 am: Make contacts through LinkedIn, BranchOut and by making phone calls to set up interviews (remember the new definition of an interview)

10-10:15 am: Take a break

10:15-11 am: Make more contacts

11 am-noon: Send follow-up notes and messages, and do other “office” activities as needed.

Noon-1 pm: Lunch break, relax

1-3 pm: Go on interviews or make more contacts

Evening: Read job search books, make calls to your network not reachable during the day, work on your social media sites such as LinkedIn and BranchOut to make new connections with the industries and companies you have chosen as your targets. Of course, plan some time during the week for family, exercise and relaxation. You deserve it!

Do It Now! Get a daily planner, electronic or in paper form, and create a specific daily schedule. It’s absolutely essential to building an effective job search!

Happy and successful job hunting!

Street Talk

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