Here are a few attainable goals that every job seeker can use to start their search.

1. Create a list of companies

Having a targeted list of businesses that you want to work for can effectively narrow down your job search. Randomly applying to anything and everything that you could remotely be qualified for means you aren’t doing your research. The best way to stand out as a candidate is to tailor your application and resume to fit the position you’re interested in and the company you’re applying at.

Goal: Sit down for one hour and create a list of companies that have your dream job or a job that will get you to your dream. Start researching each company and the current positions that are open. Then, begin tailoring your resume and cover letter for those roles.

2. Network 

Networking means developing a list of contacts – people that you’ve met through different business and social functions, and connecting with them when looking for a job. Contacts in your network may be able to give you job leads, put in a good word for you in their company, offer advice about an industry or introduce you to others and expand your network.

Goal: List out your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, and create a plan to reach out to each one on the list. To make it more efficient, draft a list of talking points that highlight your career accomplishments and goals. The list should include work experience and job-related duties, your ideal job title and function and a list of dream companies. Next, draft an email explaining that you’re looking for a new job and that you’re asking for their help. Include these talking points for more information on you as a candidate along with your resume. Your friends and family may know a lot of this information about you already, but your email may get passed along to other individuals.

3. Create a branded website or blog and update your social media profiles

Your final goal should be to update and create a web presence. Your resume may land you the interview, but your online presence could make or break whether you get the job. Your website does not need to be overtly flashy or design intensive unless you’re looking for jobs as a web developer or graphic designer. You want your site to reflect your skills and show employers what to expect from you. Along with creating a website, update your social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to reflect a positive image of yourself as a job candidate.

Goal: Create a working website in one week. Your website should include your portfolio so when employers google your name, your curated website is what appears. A website tailored to your skills can be built easily, without any knowledge of coding. Many online platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace provide a template that’s user-friendly – you just fill in the blanks.

Finding a new job takes much more than just sitting at your computer, sending off resumes and cover letters and using job search engines like Indeed or CareerBuilder. You need to get out, network, meet people and talk about your goals and ambitions. Keep moving forward, and your efforts will pay off.

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