Taking charge of your career and managing the direction of it has become increasingly more vital over the past several years. We’re no longer in a time where employers manage our careers for us. If you’re not actively managing your career, you’re leaving it up to chance and your career growth will suffer.
That’s why I put together this job search road map—to help you better manage the steps leading up to your next career move.
If you’re considering making a career move within the next 12 months, here’s a breakdown of what you should be doing along the way to prepare.
9-12 Months from Career Move
1. Start building and expanding your network—especially in the industry that you’re targeting.
2. Create a detailed list of employers that you might be interested in. Start researching the company, culture, growth initiatives, common problems, and pains.
3. Engage with your connections on LinkedIn regularly to increase your visibility with your network and recruiters.
4. Consider finding and working with a mentor or career coach to create goals and action plans to get to where you want to be in your career—especially if you’re looking for a move to a higher-level position or a major career change.
5. Now is the time to gain clarity on the direction/vision for your career. Start developing a career road map that outlines the progression you want in your career, the industry/industries you want to pursue, the positions, and the type of companies you’re interested in. (If working with a coach they can help you with this).
6-9 Months from Career Move
1. Update your LinkedIn profile to ensure it reflects your personal brand and achievements, and is optimized for searches so that recruiters can find you. Start posting a couple of times a week. Try to write/post an article in your area of expertise twice a month.
2. Update your career marketing materials: resume, cover letter, value proposition letter, networking resume, and career bio. You want to have these ready well in advance. If you have a hard time telling your story in a way that employers understand, now is the time to work with a professional resume writer. You want your resume ready to share well in advance.
3. Start practicing/preparing for interviews. It’s never too early to start preparing.
4. Increase conversations with your network and let them know you’re exploring opportunities.
5. Start scheduling informational interviews with your network connections.
6. Does the new position you’re targeting require any specific skills or certifications you don’t have? Now is the time to start working on these.
3-6 Months from Career Move
1. Increase networking efforts and informational interviews. This should make up 40%-60% of your job searching time.
2. Start actively applying to opportunities you find on LinkedIn and online job boards. This should only take 20% of your total job searching time.
3. Start locating decision-makers within your target list of employers if you haven’t already. Connect with them on LinkedIn, follow their work, engage, and work your way toward more in-depth conversations.
4. Once you have the decision-maker’s contact information, mail them a copy of your value proposition letter.
5. Keep preparing for interviews by reading books on interviewing, working with a coach, or working through practice questions.
6. Start practicing salary negotiation, especially if you’re not comfortable with negotiating your salary. Know your worth/value and be ready to back up your request for a higher salary by pointing to your experience, qualifications, and achievements.
7. Start accepting interviews for positions that look like the ideal fit.
0-3 Months from Career Move
1. Continue engaging on LinkedIn with your connections. Post once a day, comment on other’s posts, share an article with your opinion, or write an article and post.
2. Connect and work with recruiters / executive search firms who work in your industry.
3. Continue building/expanding your network.
4. Continue taking informational interviews with those in positions that you’re interested in or who can point you to additional connections in your target companies.
5. Keep applying to online opportunities that are a 70%-100% match for you.
6. Tap into the hidden job market by locating and connecting with decision-makers on your target list of employers/companies. Follow up on previous mailed value proposition letters.
7. Go on more interviews.
8. Review offers, choose the one that’s the best fit, negotiate salary, and accept the offer.
9. Land the best position, at the highest salary, that’s the right fit for you.
The job search process can feel like a maze, but follow the steps in this job search road map and you’ll reach your career destination in no time.
If you’re an executive ready for your next career move, schedule a free resume and job search strategy session (hurry, they book fast) to discuss your goals for your next career move and learn the right steps to help you get from where you are in your career to where you want to be.
Strategy sessions are on a first-come, first-served basis and fill up fast, so don’t wait to schedule yours.
Are you tired of your resume being rejected by applicant tracking systems? I know how frustrating it is to submit your resume and receive no response. I hate seeing qualified people never break through the screening process. It shouldn’t be that way. That’s why I created this guide and I encourage you to download the FREE PDF so you can start seeing better resume response rates!
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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