How to craft an effective job search strategy that will get you a job

Imagine the scene: you open your laptop and go to LinkedIn, Indeed, or whatever site you can search for jobs, type in a job you think you might like to apply for, and, after scanning the site, click apply, submit your resume and shut down the laptop quickly. Phew, another application submitted! But you feel discouraged because you fear that you won’t hear anything in return.

Seems familiar?

Let me ask you this: what employment strategy is behind these actions? Well, to be honest the answer is none! I know it sounds a little harsh, but just know I want to help you, that’s why it’s time to wake up. As Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Effective job search strategy

First, let’s start with the question “What is an effective job search strategy?” In my opinion, he’s the one who gets you a job, and the one with a clearly defined plan behind him. Don’t you agree?

What are you doing wrong?

When I work with clients who have been unsuccessfully looking for a job for a while, the first step we start with is finding out where it goes. If you want your job search to be successful, you need to know where the problem lies. You might not get invited to interviews, or go to interviews, but not receive an offer. Once we know what the problem is, we can focus on the next steps.

The way I help my clients create an effective job search strategy focuses on the following main elements:

Know what you have to offer

Perhaps the most important part of the process is to really understand what you are bringing to the table. Here we focus on listing experience, knowledge, transferable skills, accomplishments, unique selling points, etc. An understanding that will help you feel confident when applying and help you build your CV and LinkedIn profile much more effectively.

Know what you want

Now is the time to focus on the outside world. And it’s not just about the type of work you want to do. Start with the country you want to work in, the sector, the organization, the role, the commute to work, if you prefer to work remotely, etc. Start building a list of your top 30 dream businesses.

Writing all of this down will help you understand the specific job market you want to operate in. This will help you understand in depth what is required for the positions you are seeking. By comparing the two (what you want versus what you have to offer) you will gain valuable insight into your strengths and weaknesses.

Next steps

Only after you have clarified the above are you ready for the next steps. Why only then? Well, things like your resume, LinkedIn profile, and interview techniques depend on what you come up with when creating your job search strategy document.

For example, one of the best ways to get a job is to use “warm leads” – people you know who work in the place you are interested in and who can refer you more. But when you open LinkedIn, how do you know which of your 500+ connections to contact? Well, if you’ve got a clear strategy in place, you know which businesses you’re interested in and it’s a lot easier to verify who to contact.

A CV that does not fall in the trash

If you get a lot of interview invitations, I wouldn’t be too worried about this part. But if you don’t, it’s time to take a closer look at your resume. In my previous article, I shared a lot of tips on what needs to be improved. Having a clear job search strategy in place will help you build a great resume.

LinkedIn as a magnet

It could also be that while your resume looks great, when people land on your LinkedIn page to check you out – and trust me, they do – they get confused. Maybe your photo isn’t good, you have an old headline, or your summary is vague.

Be sure to follow these tips to improve your LinkedIn profile.

Please note that recruiters also actively use LinkedIn to search for talent. If you have a strong profile, you might be approached by them instead. But first, they need to know what you have to offer. Once you understand this and have documented it, it is much easier to create a LinkedIn profile that will work like a magnet.


How Can an Effective Job Search Strategy Help You When You Go to Job Interviews? If you have written all the aspects I mentioned above in one document, every time you prepare for an interview you can take it out and think critically before the interview: what skills required are my points strengths, what examples should I illustrate this with, which of the required skills are my weaknesses, and how can I deal with them?

I also recommend preparing lots of specific examples using the STARR model and noting them in the same document, that way you build a database that you can use at any time.

So, now I’m curious if you’ve put together a clear job search strategy for yourself? What works for you? What is wrong? Share in the comments below, so we can all learn from each other. Good luck in your job search!

Brandon D. James