Job Search Checklist
Use this checklist to see what you need to focus on in your search. Contact Debra Franke, Office for Alumni Relations, if you need any clarification, or wish to discuss any aspects of your search.
- What are the reasons you are seeking a new position?
- What have you done so far to find a new position?
- What have you learned from what you’ve done so far to find a new position? What seems to be working? Not working?
What do you want to do?
- What kind of work?
- What kind of organization?
- How would you explain it to someone in the field?
- Someone not in the field?
What is your geographic preference?
- Are you open to relocation?
- If so, where?
- Do you want, not want, or don’t care if travel is part of the job?
- How much and what kind of travel?
List of 10-20 companies you want to target
in your search. What companies would you especially like to work for/at?
- What is your passion?
- What would be your perfect job?
- What would you be doing?
Sample Job Descriptions
Find 3-6 job descriptions for the kinds of positions that interest you. They can be jobs that you applied for, or not; they can be from anywhere in the country. As long as they are ones that truly interest you. Use these to create your marketing materials.
What Makes You Distinctive?
- If I had your ideal job, why should I hire you?
- How do you help me make money, save money, achieve my mission?
- What do you have to offer?
- Who wants that?
- Business card - Do you have one? Click here for samples
- Email address: Is it professional?
- Voicemail message: Is it professional?
- Positioning Statement (Elevator Speech, 30 second commercial, Branding statement) - How do you respond when someone says, “Tell me about yourself.”?
- Departure Statement
- CAR stories
- Professional Bio
- Resume - See these tips for avoiding the Online Application Black Hole.
- Cover Letter - Excellent ideas and resources here
- References - Do you have references? Have you talked with them?
- Salary range
- LinkedIn profile
- Online presence- What do people see when they “google” you? What does your Facebook page (and other sites) presence say about you?
Advertised Job Market
(Job boards, niche job boards, company websites, professional associations, newspaper, trade publications, etc.)
- Have you worked with any recruiters?
- Who, in what organizations?
- How has that gone for you?
- How to Work With Headhunters is an excellent guide
Unadvertised (Hidden) Job Market
- What are the professional associations for people who do the kind of work you want to do?
- What organizations are potential hiring managers involved in?
- How have you utilized your alumni network?
- Meet with people in your field, individuals in target companies, and hiring managers
Managing Your Job Search
- How are you managing your job search? How many hours per week? How do you plan your week? Do you keep track of how you are actually spending your time?
- How are you taking care of yourself? What support do you have from family and friends?
- Consider participating in a job transition group (or two) for information, accountability, support and encouragement. Contact Debra Franke for a list of groups in PA, NJ and DE.
- Download Joseph's People Blue Resource Guide for practical help regarding financial, legal, healthcare, family/personal, housing, clothing and other needs. The guide also includes a wealth of job hunting resources.
How have you educated yourself about effective job search strategies? (examples: job search blogs/e-newsletters, job search support groups, books, websites, talking with successful job seekers, etc.)
What are you doing to stay up-to-date in your field? To further develop your skills, knowledge and experience in your field? On your resume, include a section "Professional Development" (probably at or near the end) where you answer this question. Click here for some ideas