Thanks to Zale Tabakman...he has shared this with me and it is soooo valuable, so read this:
Job hunting is a frazzling experience. There are so many concerns for a job hunter that sometimes its hard to focus on what is important and urgent and what is busy work.
The question for the job hunter is "What do I do first, second, and what can I ignore?"
Its an ongoing situation and can be a daily struggle.
There are so many different details like the resume, job boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, networking online, person to person networking, telephone calling, it can and is overwhelming.
And the worst part is that you never know what is the single thing that will make the difference in the job hunt.
While the goal of job hunting is clear, to get a great job doing what you want, its how to divide your time that is difficult. Every job hunt is different because every person is different.
But there are some some priorities that are important to ensure your success. I have laid out what I think are the top ten priorities that apply to everyone.
Using the list is simple, each day start at the top of the list. If there is something you can do for that item on the list, then do it. If not, go to the next item on the list.
1. Maintain your mental health. If you feel, or people close to you feel, you have serious emotional issues, immediately consult your family physician for advice and help. While it is typical for a hunter to feel anxious about finding a job, the anxiety can becomes debilitating and self defeating. Some of the danger signs to watch for are if you are constantly angry, critical about people around you, sitting in front of the television, playing video games, randomly cruising the Internet, or unable to concentrate for long periods. If you have any of these signs, get help today. Looking for a job requires you need to be calm, focused, positive, and pleasant to all around you. The next two priorities help you maintain the your mental health.
2. Exercise daily for 30 minutes. When you are physically healthy and active it stimulates the brain and gives you unlimited energy. An exercise program will release endorphins into your brain that allow you to concentrate while not exercising. It may seem that when you are spending time exercising that you are wasting valuable time that could be spent in the job hunt. This is untrue, a reasonable exercise program will allow give you time to reflect on what you are during your job hunt. A simple and effective exercise program that will provide immediate results is a brisk walk for 30 minutes each day. A brisk walk is one that will raise your heartbeat to 60% of your maximum heart rate. This measure depends on your starting fitness and your age. About.com has a fitness calculator which you can find at http://exercise.about.com/cs/fitnesstools/l/bl_THR.htm The page includes information about heart beat zones and other good stuff. Always consult with your family physician before starting a regular exercise program. I started with a walking program and now I run marathons (very badly). More on my thoughts about marathon running can be read at Marathon Running Is A Metaphor For Success
3. Maintain Your Relationships. Job hunting can be incredibly stressful and depending on your personal circumstances it can consume you. Its important that during this stressful time that you maintain your important relationships with family and close friends. Don't let the job hunt overwhelm you and be the only topic of conversation.Spend time with your friends and family. A long walk or hike, playing cards, a board game, or a home cooked dinner is all that is necessary to stimulate conversation and maintain connections.
4. Have A Positive Mental Attitude . I know it gets tough. Some days it seems like nobody wants to talk to you, there are absolutely no jobs available, and every company you want to work for is going out of business. But, the reality is that everyday new companies are starting up, companies are taking over other companies, people are retiring, people are quiting, people are moving. Each of these creates new job opportunities for you. Your job and your priority is to keep at it and to keep working at it. You must become better and better at every one of the skills you need for finding a job. PMA is a quaint saying and sounds simple and seems to fly in the face of "You have to be realistic.". I know PMA is all about being realistic. Somebody who believes in a Positive Mental Attitude is choosing to select a positive outcome from any number of possible outcomes. We never know what the world will bring. Here are 22 Case studies in Success Through Positive Mental Attitude from my LinkedIn contacts.
5. Read Your Goals Every Single Day. Having clear goals in life gives you a significant advantage. In fact most people think having dreams are goals. Dreams are not goals, goals are measurable, tangible, and have a date. Saying "One day I will take the family to Disneyland" is not a clear goal. Saying "In August 2011, I am taking the family to Disneyland" is a clear goal. I believe you should have goals in five different areas, Health, Relationships, Financial Stability, Giving Back and Personal Growth. The goals your read must be Personal, Positive, and in the Present. Read all your goals out loud. This simple act does two things in your subconscious that will help your conscious mind. Firstly it creates cognitive dissonance between the reality and the goal and secondly it tells the reticular activating system to stop ignoring things that you need to help you. Once you get hooked on goals, you see them everywhere. I loved the movie UP because I believe its all about setting goals, read what I wrote about UP in my Movie Review: Up - Forget The Story - Its About Setting Goals.
6. Finish 3 Tasks In Your Job Hunt Plan A task is an activity that moves you closer to one of your goals. By having three tasks that must be completed each day, you will slowly move towards your goals. Tasks are not the things you need to do each day. Such as brushing your teeth, tasks are individual work items that are part of your plan that move you closer to a goal or a milestone. If you don't have a detailed plan, consider using GOSPA (Goals, Objectives, Strategy, Priorities, and Actions) to create your plan. Read more at Using GOSPA For Personal Success.
7. Do Something That Will Market Yourself. In my e-letter My Top 10 Job Hunting Tactics I mention the 12 business problems you can solve. Make sure that these 12 stories are every where.the story everywhere online, on your business cards, and elsewhere are all about those 12 problems. Use the same picture on your LinkedIn profile as you do on Facebook, as you have in your white papers. It takes 7 times for somebody to see a message and for it to register. If every time you send a different message, then you are defeating yourself. You can find a few more ideas about marketing yourself at Marketing Yourself and Schmoozing For The Job Hunter or For Getting New Business .
8. Make Some Choices . Its important that you have a variety of different job hunt methods. You probably already know my disdain for "Click and Apply". As a job hunter you should have many different tactics in play. Choose the correct tactic for each and every job opportunity or target company. Select a tactic for meeting the hiring authority, select one for getting your cover letter read, select one for getting your resume in front of the person. There are many different tactics for head hunters, for job fairs, and for answering newspaper advertisements. Don't limit yourself. To get you started in understanding the width and breadth available to you, I have created 77 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tips. You can find the all the first tips and all the rest at 77 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tips .
9. Track The Effectiveness Of Everything You Do To track the effectiveness of your job hunt, you need to measure what you have done and how well it helped you reach your goals. Depending on the job hunt tactics you select will depend on what you measure. For example, lets say one of your tactics is to get face to face meetings with key executives in your city. Therefore, you would need to track, the total number of executives, how many you go into contact with, how many spoke with you on the phone, and how many you were able to setup a face to face meeting. At the beginning of anything new, it takes times to practise and get good at it. Don't expect a 100% success rate. The first 100 calls might get you nowhere. The second 100 calls might get you 5 meetings. When you track each step in the process to the goal, you can see if you are improving in the step, and if you are not, you can do some research on what are the best practises are for that step.
10. Spend 8 Hours Each Day On The Job Hunt . Unfortunately, many people don't spend the time necessary for their job hunt. And many times they fool themselves into thinking they are working on the job hunt. Working on a job hunt is about working towards your goals. Having coffee with buddies does not count, cruising job boards doesn't count, and doing your daily exercise does not count. Only the hours working on the specifics of the job hunt count. There is no teacher watching you, you need to be honest with yourself. If you don't know what to do, implement another tactic from the 77 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tips .
Reading this entire blog does count toward the hours you need to spend each day looking...so its OK, its time well spent. :)