This job-search checklist follows the six essential steps of job-hunting. To have a successful job search, all job-seekers must be sure to have every element on this list checked. To truly master the job search, you’ll want to master each element on the list.
Part 1: Job Search Planning & Preparation
a clear understanding of the job search process and have developed a job-search strategy.
a clear understanding of the jobs that interest me — and that I am qualified for.
outlined a clear career path/track for myself.
identified my strengths and weaknesses.
developed my unique selling proposition, which will help me distinguish myself from other job-seekers.
identified my key accomplishments from all school and work experiences.
identified my core transferable skills.
identified the main industries/companies that interest me.
researched the companies that most interest me.
a clear understanding of the importance of marketing skills when job-hunting.
gathered a key list (including contact information) of references.
Part 2: Resumes
reviewed theResume Tutorial.
a clear understanding of the different types of resumes formats.
developed a list (3-4) of key accomplishments for each work experience.
used bullets and short phrases to describe my accomplishments.
avoided the usage of “responsibilities included” or “duties included,” “responsible for.”
provided as much contact information as possible on my resume.
composed a “summary of qualifications” or “key accomplishments” section.
reviewed samples of strong resumes.
avoided using personal pronouns (“I,” “my,” “me”) in my resume.
considered using transferable skills (especially if I am a career changer or recent college grad without much experience).
not listed any personal information (age, marital status, etc.) on my resume.
not lied or provided any false information on my resume.
not listed any references directly on my resume.
proofread my resume carefully and eliminated any errors, typos, and misspellings.
Part 3: Cover Letters
read about the basic strategy and importance of using a cover letter.
reviewed the basic structure of adynamiccover letter.
examined examples of strong,dynamiccover letters.
used action verbs to describe my accomplishments.
focused my cover letter with specific information.
addressed each cover letter to a named individual.
tailored each cover letter to the specific needs of each employer.
clearly stated how I can meet the employer’s needs.
demonstrated my knowledge of the company.
kept my cover letter to one page.
not rehashed my resume, but highlighted specific critical points.
not stated anything negative.
avoided the three most common cover letter mistakes.
edited and proofread each letter carefully.
requested action (an interview) from the employer.
Part 4: Networking
reviewed the key elements of networking and why networking plays such an important role in job-hunting.
researched the role of networking and the hidden job market.
used (or considered using) informational interviews to gain insights, broaden my network of contacts.
implemented strategies for how to expand my network of contacts.
developed a social networking strategy for raising my visibility.
started using LinkedIn and other social networks to promote my professional brand.
minded my do’s and don’ts of networking.
assessed my networking skills and made adjustments, as necessary.
Part 5: Interviewing Skills
reviewed theJob Interviewing Tutorial.
read about and reviewed different types of job interviews.
prepared answers for the most common interview questions.
practiced answering different types of job interview questions.
taken advantage of mock interviews.
prepared several questions to ask the employer during the interview.
a clear understanding of the position I am interviewing for.
prepared for the possibility of an initial screening interview by phone.
read and reviewed the importance of dressing for success.
taken a practice run so I know how long it will take to reach the interview.
prepared myself to give a firm (and dry) handshake, to make eye contact with the interviewer(s), and to show enthusiasm for he job and company.
researched each company so that I can showcase that knowledge in the interview.
a clear understanding of the salary negotiation process.
researched salaries and have clear expectations about salaries.
prepared a “closing” for the interview that expresses my desire for the job and inquires about the next step in the interview process.
Part 6: Follow-Up
chased down every potential job lead.
kept my network of contacts informed of my job search progress.
followed-up each cover letter with a phone call or email to the employer requesting a job interview.
written thank you letters toeveryperson I interviewed with at each company.
phoned the employer about a week after the first interview to check on the progress of the job search.
written acceptance or declining letters to all job offers