When it comes to the Social Age job search, the most successful careerists know: we must create actionable goals and milestones that equate to real progress, and eventually result in a job offer. This means your goals need to be realistic and can be accomplished within a reasonable time frame.
Regardless of the stage you are at in your job search, here are some actionable goals that will help you stay on track:
1. Schedule One Major Networking Event Every Month
An active job seeker can never attend too many networking events. Scheduling at least one major networking event on your calendar — whether it’s a luncheon, mixer or an industry-wide event — ensures you are getting yourself out there and talking to people that can make a difference.
2. Meet a Professional for Coffee Every Week
Want to start building real relationships with recruiters, industry influencers and those already working for your potential employers? Meet those people for coffee as often as possible. Whether it’s a long-term mentor or someone you’ve just recently connected with on LinkedIn, make the effort to meet these people face-to-face in an environment conducive to business discussions.
3. Set Up Two Networking Calls Each Month
Networking calls are another great opportunity to boost your personal network – and are a great way to expand your network past your local influence. Phone and Skype calls, or Hangouts on G+, are convenient and productive – and almost anyone has time to chat for 20 or 30 minutes.
4. Follow Up With 5 Members of Your Existing Network Weekly
Even when not job hunting, following up is key to successful networking. If you don’t maintain your relationships on a regular basis, you can quickly fall out of touch with those people. During a job search, there is not a higher priority on the planet. After all, how can your network help you… if they don’t know what you’re up to?
5. Build a Branded Website or Blog in 30 Days
A branded website, blog or online portfolio is instant credibility for job seekers. Not only is it a great way to showcase your talent, but also demonstrates your confidence in your work. And, it’s relatively inexpensive, easily shareable and greatly improves your online presence.
6. Write One Blog Post Every Week
Building a blog is only half the battle. Now you need to set a goal for keeping the blog credible. And the best way to build credibility: being consistent with your blogging schedule. Whether it’s once a week or once every two weeks, create a schedule you can stick with. And stick with it!
7. Manage Social Media Daily
A social media plan is a critical aspect of today’s job search. And no matter what platforms you, or your industry, uses most often for branding and communicating, you simply must be active and consistent. Daily is best; every other day is a minimum.
8. Track How Many Applications Were Sent with Passion
As you continue to apply for jobs, track how many were sent to where you can see yourself in that role and at that company, and how many were sent to those companies where you would clearly not be excited by the opportunity. This data point will show if you are really focused, or just going through the motions.
9. Follow Up On 100% of Applications Sent
In today’s workforce, job seekers need to be persistent with their job search. This means following up on every application sent, perhaps every seven to 10 days, until they hear from a recruiter or hiring manager. If you haven’t heard from the employer after the second or third time you followed up, it’s time to move on to a new opportunity.
10. Talk to A Mentor Once Each Week
There’s no better way to get a leg up in the job search process than by gaining first-hand experience from mentors. Every week, reach out to your mentors. Keep them up-to-date on your progress. Ask them about current events in your industry. Tell them about your last interview, and ask what you could have done better. Put your mentors to work, or they can’t help you!
These 10 quantifiable goals will not only give your job search a boost, they’ll put you well ahead of your job seeking competition. Get started… today!
About the Author: Olivia Adams is the Brand Manager at Come Recommended. She is a graduate of Ferris State University with a B.S. in public relations. Olivia has experience in content marketing, writing, social media, branding, and public relations.