How to Develop a Step-by-Step Job Search Strategy

Job search always requires a well-planned strategy. In this era of the Covid-19 pandemic, the job hunting process has become even more challenging. In this post, guest author Erika writes about how to develop a job search strategy following a holistic approach.

Developing your job search strategy following a holistic approach

By Erika Rykun

Job search is often a challenging and tedious process requiring time, effort, and spiritual strength. Many people struggle to find their perfect job. This process appears to be even more difficult for young people who are not sure yet what they are searching for and have little experience to make mindful decisions.

Furthermore, developing a career plan or job search plan is rarely at the top of anyone`s priorities. Taking a comprehensive approach to job search is more important now than ever before.

As the competition in the job market gets tough, it is no longer enough to have a standard set of tools comprising a resume, cover letter, professional branding statement, skills, experience, and education. Developing a solid strategy following a holistic approach can make a real difference. Ideally, a holistic approach to various dimensions of your activity should make your life and career qualitatively better.

Let`s make it clear what a holistic approach is? We’ll discuss where it may be applied and how to develop a holistic approach to job search, in particular.

What is a holistic approach?

A transition period from a graduate to an employee is a major developmental milestone or marker for all students. Therefore, starting this process by applying a holistic approach can save time and effort in the future.

A holistic approach is relating or considering something as a whole or as a part of the complete systems without disseminating and analyzing the minor constituent parts. In simple words, the holistic approach stands for incorporating all aspects of your life and values during career planning and job search. This process involves taking a big picture of your life. Thus your life plan coincides with your career plan. Following the holistic approach, they can`t be viewed as separate notions.

This approach adds meaning to what we do while acknowledging that there is much more in our lives than making a living. Therefore, the holistic approach concerns 4 basic human needs at the same time. These needs are:

  1. Physical health
  2. Emotional balance
  3. Mental health
  4. Spiritual balance.

The holistic approach takes into consideration both internal (primary) needs and external (objective obstacles). It’s one of the most innovative job search strategies during this pandemic.

Steps to a holistic career development plan for job search

Thus, it is advisable to make sure each of your steps follows a holistic approach in developing your job search strategy. This way would be easier for you to understand the basics of the holistic approach and how it works in your case.

1.    Highlight skills

Whether you are a graduate looking for a job for the first time or an experienced professional willing to make a career change, your first step will be a resume update. Start with the research of the available options and requirements stated by the companies in the job descriptions. Highlight those, which seem the most relevant and in high demand.

What is ‘holistic’ about this process? Nothing unless you manage to put aside all your doubts and fears concerning you being insufficiently qualified, skilled, competent, and even intelligent to apply for the position. Negative thoughts and the barriers they make are not helpful in the job search.

In today’s skills-based and gig-economy, highlighting skills (especially soft skills) is critical to your job search strategy in 2021. Read Top 5 Soft Skills for Students, Millennials and Young Professionals to Achieve Career Success.

2.    Stay open to opportunities

There rarely is one career that satisfies all the needs at the same time. And this is quite normal. Understanding this simple truth is a holistic approach, as it helps to remove inner barriers and doubts. 

Choosing your future career, consider transitional careers and transitional skills. Regard each job option as an opportunity to learn something new and acquire experience. Some people think if they take the first option available, they will remain there for the rest of their lives. However, versatile job experience helps to understand oneself better. It is never too late to shift your career development direction.

3.    Send out fewer resumes

Many young people think sending out dozens of resumes is an excellent strategy for a dream job search. The majority of them are just not sure about the job they search for. Therefore by sending resumes, they rely more on the lucky strike than logic.

However, more resumes do not equal more opportunities. If you target the wrong jobs which do not correspond to your skills and competencies, there is little chance of getting a decent job offer.

Wasting your time and energy on multiple job applications exhausts you mentally and blocks your way to the initial goal achievement. Following a holistic approach, learn to concentrate your energy on specific goals and take actions to achieve them without getting distracted by minor matters.

4.    Work on leadership development

Leadership development refers to developing the skills, abilities, and competencies of a leader.  Whether you see yourself in managerial positions in the future or not, you`ll never know for sure unless you even try to find the potential in yourself.

Furthermore, numerous companies offer leadership development programs to identify promising young talents and grow the leaders they need. These development programs vary massively by the quality and the level of support. However, there is always a chance to find an opportunity particularly appealing to yourself.

Becoming a leader, and what is more important, an effective leader, requires education, training, and hard psychological work. Remember, not all people who have become famous leaders were born with a ready-made set of qualities. 

5.    Expand your network

It is common knowledge that networking is essential for successful career development. Furthermore, networking is vital for a job search.  However, expanding your network may be challenging, especially if you face difficulties in open communication.

Volunteering would be an excellent start for those starting their professional networks. Providing your services free of charge disconnects you from the idea that giving is monetary. Skilled volunteering is already a benefit, as it provides you with knowledge and experience for good.

Networking is one of the best job search strategies for college students and even seasoned professionals. Read Networking is the most effective job search strategy.

6.    Set your goals

Thinking `holistic` means primarily thinking about your health. Holistic job search and career development goals are positive and balanced within all your basic needs. Here are simple steps to take towards holistic goals setting:

Think `why`

Think about actual reasons why you are setting a particular goal. Is this an authentic goal or inauthentic, and what will it bring to you?

Declare the goal

Writing the goal down on paper would be enough. You are more likely to work on the goal when it is clearly stated.

Set the timing

Place the goals in your list according to their relevance. Give yourself a realistic time for each goal according to its priority.

Check-in yourself

From time to time, make a review of where you are with achieving particular goals. Your attitudes and needs might change over time. Thus some of the initial plans are no longer worth the effort.

7.    Be ready to adapt

The last stage of the holistic job search strategy brings us to the very beginning of our route. In the course of a job search, you will learn a lot about yourself. Therefore, it is crucial to draw conclusions and adapt to new circumstances.

Changes may be motivated by both your inner changes and the changes of the external factors. Reviewing your success and your mistakes would be nice for your motivation and inspiration for further search.

Conclusion

A holistic approach to job search and further career development allows taking care of all major aspects of your life right from the start. It facilitates flexibility, self-awareness, and emotional balance in the ever-changing world.

A holistic plan cannot be done at once and works fine for the rest of your life. It requires revision and a deep analysis of what has changed and in what way. Rather than struggling to achieve goals that are no longer relevant for you, take advantage of new freedoms and knowledge about yourself.

Related Articles on Job Search:

How to Improve Your Job Search and Employability During and Post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Recession

Job Tips for International Students During & Post-Coronavirus Pandemic

Tips for job seekers during COVID 19 pandemic and apparent economic slowdown

10 Job Search Tips that Really Work

Best Degrees for Jobs Abroad

Job Search Strategist and Copywriter

About Erika Rykun:

Erika Rykun is a career and productivity copywriter who believes in the power of networking. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing with her cat, Cola.

Find her at WikiJob. Let’s get in touch on Twitter.

Featured Image Source: Cheeky Scientist

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Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage Operations at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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