The Job Seeker’s Workweek

When you’re looking for a new job, having an organized plan of attack is one key way to stay ahead of the competition. Brad Attig offers his tips on how to organize your job-hunting tasks for each day of the workweek:

Monday: Reflect and Plan
Resist the urge to jump into Monday and contact everyone you met or talked with last week. Use the day to recap your prior week’s activities and plan this week’s attack. On most Mondays, inboxes are filled and schedules are full of meetings. As a job seeker, you want to be noticed for skills and accomplishments, not your 9 a.m. Monday call.

Use Monday to look at your network and ask yourself, “Who did I reach out to? Who did I actually reach? Who do I need to reach back out to?” Also, look at the status of any interviews in process, positions that you applied to and haven’t heard back on, and positions you were recently made aware of.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: Strategically Implement
Start Tuesday with your prioritized plan of attack in hand. Resist the urge to just jump on the Internet and start sending resumes like a crazy person. Make your follow-up phone calls first (you are freshest in the morning) before staring at a computer screen all day. Afterwards, do your follow-up correspondence. Reach out to your network and make at least three dates to meet contacts during the week (lunch, coffee, informational meetings, networking functions, and so on).

Tuesday Afternoon, Wednesday, and Thursday: Apply for Positions
You need to develop a balanced approach to your search. Use this time to apply for appropriate positions. (Don’t waste your time applying for positions you aren’t qualified for or aren’t interested in.)

You will probably have differing levels of interest in the job openings you’ve found–we’ll call the most interesting ones the “A” jobs. Don’t tackle all the A jobs in one day. Split the As, Bs, and Cs up by starting each morning with a few of the A positions. These are the jobs you will most likely be spending a lot of time and energy on. Fill in gaps with the Bs and Cs while taking breaks to keep from burning out.

Friday: Attack
Use Friday to hit the phones again. It may be hard to believe, but a lot of people are easier to get on the phone at the end of the week. Also, a lot of people like to “clear” their desk on Fridays, and if you happen to call at the right time, you give them that opportunity. And some people like the distraction of an unplanned call, which will give you more time than expected for discussing your needs, too. After making calls to potential employers, reevaluate your networking efforts and reach out again to those who might be helpful.

Close your Friday by celebrating your week of hard work!

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