The Difference Between Knowing and Doing Essential Job Search Tasks

job search tasksTo know something and to do something are not the same. Too often, I see job seekers take shortcuts or avoid doing the essential job search tasks they don’t want to do.

But here’s the reality as job seekers: most of this stuff ain’t easy! 

Job Search is Hard Work

You know what you need to do to find a new job. But sometimes you don’t do everything you need to do.

A job search requires doing things you don’t want to do or don’t know how to do. Sometimes, but not often, you get lazy or try to take shortcuts. And when you don’t do the right things it hurts your job search in the long run.

I truly believe that 90% of a job search is having the right mental outlook.  Sometimes you have to trick yourself into doing the more difficult job search tasks. Sometimes you just need a reminder.

So I put together this list of job search tasks most job seekers know (or should know) but don’t put into action (unless really pushed).

Know and Do These Essential Job Search Tasks

  • Conduct a self-assessment of skills, talents, and abilities
  • Produce a resume that contains action/result statements
  • Customize every resume for every job you apply to
  • Write a well-researched cover letter
  • Find a job posting then network with company insiders before you apply
  • Develop a list of target companies
  • Create and USE a marketing plan
  • Network 60+% of the time
  • Build a meaningful LinkedIn profile
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn
  • Constantly maintain your network
  • Follow up on networking leads quickly
  • Don’t ask for a job while networking
  • Practice interviewing
  • Research the company and people you’ll be interviewing with
  • Develop a “Plan B”
  • Cut and manage expenses
  • Learn about new occupations and industries
  • Be positive
  • Don’t appear desperate

Sure, you know all this…but do you ALWAYS follow these guidelines? Embrace them, master them.  You will be more successful than most job seekers if you actually DO these things.

Does it Seem Overwhelming?

Prioritize the job search tasks that will have the biggest bang for the buck.  (Hint, anything to do with networking will reap the greatest rewards.) Remember, your search for a new job will take longer than you want. Pace yourself, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

And please, find someone to hold you accountable to do the right things for your job search.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa.


career sherpa


Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



This entry was posted in Job Search and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.