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A Daily Checklist for an Active Job Seeker

When you are looking for a job, it so easy for the days to slip away.  You might end up binge watching Netflix or spending far too much time on Instagram.  You can even get lost doing job search related tasks like rewriting your resume.  Some job seekers will work crazy hard for three or four days and then take a two week break.  Having a daily routine is extremely important for job seekers.  A consistent effort is necessary to maintain your motivation and to keep your momentum going.    Here is a checklist that will help you stay on track:

Take care of yourself.  Looking for a job is stressful.  You spend so much time prepping and thinking about an interview, only to be faced with weeks of silence afterwards.  To be able to endure this emotional roller coaster, you need to spend some time on self-care.  This means eating properly, exercising on a daily basis, and taking a shower and getting dressed each day.  This will take some time but it will make you more productive and better equipped to handle the stress.     

Review new job postings.  While online job leads should only be one part of your job search strategy, you should still be checking for new postings each day.  You never know when an amazing opportunity will pop up and it's best to be one of the first to apply.  If you are checking every day, it won't take long.  Just run through your list of key job sites and your target companies.

Identify and research target companies.  The more specific you are with your job search goals, the easier it is to focus your efforts.  Try to identify five to ten companies that hire employees with your skill set.  Keep an eye on their websites to see if any positions become available.  Spend a little bit of time learning about the companies.  Read their mission statements, news releases, history, and any plans for expansion.  Subscribe to their social media feeds and read what they post.  You may even be able to identify opportunities before the jobs are posted. 

Engage in networking.  Networking is most effective when it is something that you are consistently working on each day.  Set aside anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours every day to do something that will strengthen your network.  This could include attending an event, meeting one of your contacts for a coffee, looking for new contacts on LinkedIn, trying to determine if any of your contacts work at your target company, or doing something to help someone in your network.  If you consistently work at it, your network will bring you opportunities. 

Submit applications.  No matter how much work you are doing, you are not going to get a job if you are not contacting employers.  Make sure that you are submitting at least a few applications each day and that you are reaching out to employers through your network.  The doors will only open if you are knocking on them.

It usually takes people a bit of time to find a job, but if you chip away at it each day, you might get a job offer sooner than you think!

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)