Creating a Job Search Action Plan For Your Job Transition

By Debbie Choy

A new job can be a welcome fresh start, especially for someone going through a divorce. If you haven’t had to “find a job” in a while, you may be wondering, “How do I even start my job search?”

Everyone has their way of doing job searches. Some like to spend most of their time on job boards, others like to reach out to ex-colleagues and friends to build their network. But which method brings results? How should you be really doing your job search?

The key to conducting a successful job search is to have an organized, comprehensive job search action plan. That’s why I spend a lot of time teaching people on how to create a job search action plan.

I always start by having a new client complete the Job Search Effectiveness Assessment. This helps me instantly understand where they are spending their time, and what challenges and successes they face. This also takes an inventory of where they are focusing their energy and the results that they are seeing.

To put together an effective Job Search Action Plan, there are two important questions to answer:

What are your target companies?

Let’s say you used to be an Administrative Assistant in a Real Estate company and you want to return to this role and industry. You might be interested in a real estate company like Coldwell Banker. Make a list of all these companies, including Coldwell Banker’s competitors in the industry, such as, Century 21, Keller Williams, and others. These are your target companies.

Then, go to each company’s website on your list and see what the open job positions are. This is usually listed in the “Careers” or “Jobs” page of the company website. If there are no appropriate jobs open at that time, sign up to be notified. Most sites will let you create a profile and even submit your resume that hiring managers can search when they have a job opening.

Who do you know?

You can use various social media tools to organize your contacts, but I usually find a good old spreadsheet or list to be the most flexible. Your contacts can be from your professional or personal circles. List where each contact works and their job title, if available. Reach out to each contact to catch up, especially if they work at one of your target companies. You can also use your social media sleuthing skills to see whether your contacts know anyone who works at your target companies. They can introduce you to these second degree contacts.


Your Job Search Action Plan can guide you step by step, day by day, especially on those mornings when you have no idea where to even begin. If you find that you still need some help, consult a career coach. Most career coaches offer free consultations and can give you even more ideas on how to conduct a successful job search. After all, your first month’s salary will more than cover your coach’s fee.

If you will be in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 28, 2014, join us for a free workshop at the San Ramon library on, “Making Yourself Marketable To Re-enter The Workplace”. Learn new or refresh your job search skills to find the job of your dreams. RSVP here to join us!

Debbie Choy
Member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
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