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Printout | Master Checklist Of Things You MUST Do On Your Job Search

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📖Overview

Stage 1: Evaluating Yourself
Clarify Your Interests
Skills Assessment
Personality Assessment
Stage 2: Establish Your Career Objectives
Work-life Balance
Set Specific Goals
Set Strategic Goals
Identify Trends
Stage 3: Prepare Your Documents
Prepare Your Resume Templates
Prepare a Cover Letter Template
Optional: Prepare Your References Sheet
Optional: Prepare Your Certificates
Optional: Optimize Your Online Presence
Optional: Showcase Your Projects
Stage 4: Prepare a List of Target Companies
Identify Target Companies
Optional: Identify Industries
Stage 5: Apply For Jobs
Apply Online
Optional: Career Fairs
Optional: Reach Out To Recruiters
Optional: Industry Events
Optional: Networking
Optional: Cold Calls
Stage 6: Interview Prep
Research the Company & Role
Practice STAR Behavioral Interview Questions
Optional: Practice Technical Questions
Stage 7: Right Before the Interview
15 Minute Refresher
Dress & Groom for Success
Prepare A To-Go Pile
Stage 8: During The Interview
Strong Positive Impression
Be Positive & Positive Body Language
Stay Professional
Answer in STAR Format
At The End: Ask Smart Questions
Stage 9: After the Interview
Send Personalized Thank You/Follow Up Emails
Optional: Self Reflect On Your Interview
Optional: Ask For Feedback
Stage 10: The Offer
Optional: Negotiate Your Offer
Stage 11: New On-The-Job Training
Make Introductions and Build Relationships
Ask For Written Training
Seek Feedback and Guidance
Know the Roles Within Your Organization
Optional: Identify Factions and Leaders

❓Stage 1: Evaluating Yourself

Clarify Your Interests

Why Is This Important?
Our work often takes up significant portions of our lives, so finding meaning and fulfillment in what we do is crucial. Knowing your interests ensures that you pursue a career that resonates with your values, passion and overall purpose, leading to greater personal fulfillment.
Examples:
I am passionate about sales so I will focus my job search on sales positions across various industries. Here I can leverage my communication skills and meet new people who can be a long-term connection.
The fitness industry is where I want to work because I myself like to stay in shape. Finding employment in this field will satisfy, inspire, and motivate me to be healthy on the daily.
Actionable Tasks:
Identify activities that have brought you satisfaction and fulfillment
List industries and job roles that align with your interest
How do I know I passed this?
You can list 3 of your biggest interests
You can list 3 industries and 3 job roles that excite you because your interest is also related

Skills Assessment

Why Is This Important?
When you understand your skills, you can utilize your self-understanding to tailor your job search appropriately. Some people may want to improve some skills and take on certain jobs, while others may choose to avoid certain skills and thus avoid certain jobs.
Examples:
I don’t have any knowledge of photo editing and video editing nor any interest, so I will stay away from any job posts that cites “Photoshop” as a needed skill
I don't enjoy using the computer all day, so I will find a job in sales that’s specifically outdoors so I can meet clients outside and to better my social skills.
Actionable Tasks:
List your skills, and for each skill, list your proficiency level & interest level
Understand what skills your current job search will end up using and how that ties in with your existing skills and interest levels
How do I know I passed this?
You can list your top skill and know how it complements your current job search
You can list your worst skill and know how to address it in the long run (whether or not you want even to use this skill or improve it in the long run)
You can list the skills that will be used and gained for the current role that you’re applying for

Personality Assessment

Why Is This Important?
A personality assessment provides insights into your strengths, preferences, and behavioral tendencies. They help you better understand yourself, your work style, and your interactions with others, increasing the likelihood of finding a satisfying and fulfilling career.
Examples:
I am an introvert & prefer working independently, so I will avoid jobs that require extensive teamwork and constant people interaction.
I am an active person. Instead of looking for only computer work, I will look for jobs that allow me to move more and be active rather than sit all day.
Actionable Tasks:
Here at , we recommend taking the 16 personality test:
Once you receive your assessment results, take the time to reflect on them. Review provided insights, strengths, and potential areas for development
Explore how the assessment results relate to your career choices and preferences
How do I know I passed this?
You completed the assessment with honesty
You identified how your personality traits align with specific job roles or work environments
You can identify 2 job roles that is a good fit for your personality

🏆Stage 2: Establish Your Career Objectives

Work-life Balance

Why Is This Important?
Do you want to go to work every day feeling burned out? Maintaining a proper work-life balance is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. Work-life balance enables you to allocate time for personal relationships, interests, and hobbies and even sustain a better long-term performance for your career.
Examples:
I want to spend quality time with my family every weekend, so I’ll find a job with a weekend off.
I want to achieve my fitness goals, so I will get a job that will still give me the time and energy to work out after every shift.
Actionable Tasks:
Know your goals and priorities outside of your career to achieve work life balance
Bonus points: You’re able to put a price or weight on how important a goal is to your work life balance
How do I know I passed this?
You identified 3 personal goals and priorities outside of your career
You know how your personal goals and priorities aligns with your current job search or career (or, how it’s not aligned)

Set Specific Goals

Why Is This Important?
Specific goals provide clarity about what you want to achieve. They define the desired outcome clearly, and concisely, leaving no room for uncertainty or confusion. Goals are more likely to motivate and drive you toward action. You may track your progress and accomplishments by breaking your goals into attainable milestones.
Examples:
I want to explore multimedia marketing roles in the future because the work is interesting is not prone to AI takeover, so I will enroll in different multimedia courses to gain knowledge and make a career shift.
I plan to obtain a managerial position in my department within the next few years. So I will enroll in a leadership training program, acquire project management skills, and try to demonstrate my strong management skills in my future job.
Actionable Tasks:
Set achievable goals that are as specific as possible
Bonus points if you know WHY you want to achieve those goals
How do I know I passed this?
You identified 3 goals that are super specific
For each goal, because they are specific, you have an actionable plan on how to achieve it

Set Strategic Goals

Why Is This Important?
Setting strategic goals benefits your long-term career planning and life. Strategic goals are the opposite of specific goals, and can be left intentionally vague. This can include considering the potential for growth, advancement opportunities, industry trends, and the overall trajectory of your career.
Examples:
In my next role, I want to be in a stable company that offers long-term job security, benefits, and professional growth. A company that’s stable is strategically my focus above all else.
I am looking to build a diverse and versatile skill set. I will seek job opportunities that expose me to cross-functional roles or allow me to work on various projects, enabling me to develop a well-rounded skill set within the following year.
Actionable Tasks:
Reflect on your values, passions, strengths, and long-term aspirations, and create some strategic goals which can be vague in nature
How do I know I passed this?
You come up with 3 strategic goals
Optional: You can identify the actions or tasks required to move closer to the goal
Optional: You have set a specific timeframe for accomplishing each goal

Identify Trends

Why Is This Important?
The job market constantly evolves, and new trends often shape business operations. Identifying trends helps you stay agile and adaptable in the job market. By understanding where the market is heading, you can anticipate changes and proactively adjust your career plans and skill development. This flexibility enables you to navigate shifting job market dynamics and position yourself for long-term success.
Examples:
I think the automation field is bound to make a breakthrough in the next 10 years. So I will first identify several top companies in this space, and I will actively search for roles such as R&D where I can be exposed first-hand to new innovations
I want to pursue a career in the marketing field. I need to stay updated on emerging marketing channels and platforms, especially anything digital. I also need to monitor the changes in digital advertising regulations and privacy concerns as the government tries to interfere more and more in this space.
Actionable Tasks:
Research and identify current trends, emerging technologies, and future skills within the target industry
Review job descriptions for positions you are interested in to identify common skills, qualifications, and keywords that indicate industry trends
Invest time acquiring or enhancing skills related to these trends to make yourself more marketable
How do I know I passed this?
You know your target field's latest industry developments, emerging technologies, and changing dynamics
You can identify opportunities where your skills and knowledge align with emerging trends and market needs
You can identify future sought-after skills in your target industry

📄Stage 3: Prepare Your Documents

Prepare Your Resume Templates

Why Is This Important?
Nowadays, ATS systems filter applicants based on keywords, so having the right keywords is very important. By having a template that you can quickly swap certain words or lines, you can quickly optimize your resume to be the most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Examples:
I want an interview invitation for this marketing role; I will update my resume to include keywords that a hiring manager might search for
I’m looking for an advanced R&D job which I know makes use of a special software. I’ll include that keyword in my resume and research about it later, or I’ll even learn that software in my spare time.
Actionable Tasks:
Research the buzzwords that are commonly used for the job you’re searching for
Research what makes a good resume, and make sure your resume fits those criteria
If you’re applying for several different job roles, prepare at least 2 resume templates which you can quickly swap out different keywords easily
How do I know I passed this?
You are able to explain why and how your resume/CV is best optimized for the job you’re applying for
Bonus: if you are applying for multiple jobs, you have at least 2 resume templates

Prepare A Cover Letter Template

Why Is This Important?
Companies love enthusiastic candidates. If you submit a cover letter and other applicants didn’t, it could make put you on top of the radar, because the hiring manager knows you’re much more enthusasiastic. Nowadays, cover letters are less important. However, we recommend them anyway, as they are not too time-consuming to create if you prepare a template and can make a difference that puts you over the edge.
Examples:
When I clearly stated in my cover letter how I could solve their problems and help them with their needs, the hiring manager scheduled me for an interview.
When I showed enthusiasm and explained why I was the best person for the job, they immediately set up a phone interview.
Actionable Tasks:
Learn what a good cover letter looks like
Prepare a cover letter template that addresses what you can do for the company and why you’re a strong fit
How do I know I passed this?
Be able to explain why or how you have a good cover letter
Bonus points: Your cover letter is easily tailored to swap out certain lines or words to tailor it to the company you’re applying for, without it seeming too robotic or template-y

Optional: Prepare Your References Sheet

Why Is This Important?
Positive references from trusted individuals can enhance your credibility and strengthen your candidacy, showcasing your track record of performing well and maintaining a positive relationship in previous roles. Nowadays, they are less important but some companies will still ask for them.
Examples:
I am applying for a managerial role. I will put my previous supervisors as a reference who can speak to my leadership abilities, decision-making skills, and ability to manage teams effectively.
I am seeking an opportunity as a graphic designer. I will include clients who have worked with me as references and can provide insights into my creativity and ability to deliver high-quality work.
Actionable Tasks:
Identify individuals who can serve as strong references for your job application
Contact each potential reference to seek their permission first
Be sure to inform them about the types of positions you are applying for and the specific skills or qualifications that are important for those roles
How do I know I passed this?
You have compiled a list of references with their names, titles, and contact information
You obtained permission from each of your references to include their contact information in your references sheet
You are sure that your references can speak to your skills, qualifications, and work experience that align with the requirements of the positions you are applying for

Optional: Prepare Your Certificates

Why Is This Important?
Certificates are official documentation that validates your skills, qualifications, and achievements. Employers often seek candidates with specific certifications or qualifications, and presenting your certificates demonstrates that you possess the necessary expertise.
Examples:
I am applying for a digital marketing role. I will prepare my certificates, such as Google Ads certification, Google Analytics certification, and other related certifications, to showcase my digital marketing and platform expertise.
I am applying for a managerial role. I will prepare Leadership or Management certificates from a reputable institution or professional development programs focusing on leadership skills.
Actionable Tasks:
Research the requirements and preferences of potential employers to determine which certifications hold the most value and align with the skills and qualifications they seek
Create a plan and timeframe on how to obtain those credentials
How do I know I passed this?
You prepared digital copies or scans of your certificates readily available for quick sharing via email or online platforms, and included them on your resume
If you are missing important credentials, you’ve prepared a plan and timeframe on how to obtain them

Optional: Optimize Your Online Presence

Why Is This Important?
Your online presence is an opportunity to shape and showcase your brand. It allows you to highlight your strengths, expertise, and unique value proposition. By curating and promoting your professional image online, you can differentiate yourself from other candidates and attract opportunities that align with your career goals.
Examples:
I want to pursue a project management role. I will highlight my project management expertise on my LinkedIn profile and other platforms.
I am seeking a graphic design position in a creative agency. I will create an online portfolio showcasing my projects with a user-friendly layout and high-quality visuals.
Actionable Tasks:
Review and update your professional online profiles, such as LinkedIn or professional website, and ensure they are updated with keywords that align with the skills and qualifications employers seek in your industry. Highlight your accomplishments, projects, and notable experiences
Optional: make sure your non-professional online presence (social media such as Instagram, Tiktok, etc) don’t contain anything NSFW. Examples include drug usage, political topics, nudity, etc.
How do I know I passed this?
You’ve optimized your professional online profiles and included the right keywords and experiences
You’ve optimized your non-professional online profiles to make sure there isn’t anything NSFW on there

Optional: Showcase Your Projects

Why Is This Important?
Projects give employers a glimpse of your previous work and demonstrates what you’re capable of. Having concrete examples of completed projects can significantly impact hiring managers and increase your credibility as a candidate.
Examples:
I am applying for a Software Development position at a Tech company. I'll showcase a mobile app that I developed that demonstrates my programming skills and understanding of mobile app development.
I am seeking a Marketing manager role at a Digital marketing agency. I'll present a digital marketing campaign I planned and executed, showcasing my strategic thinking, creativity, and data-driven approach. I'll also include campaign objectives and their impact on brand awareness and sales.
Actionable Tasks:
Identify previous projects that you want to showcase in your resume
Communication is key. Write clear and concise narratives for each project, highlighting the problem or goal, your approach, your actions, and the results achieved. Definitely include the benefits and impacts of your project. Without a detailed writeup, you also run the risk of hiring managers thinking you used someone else’s work. Be ready to also discuss your projects in an interview.
Optional: If you work in a role where an online portfolio is important, consider creating an online portfolio or personal website & include these projects on there
How do I know I passed this?
You’ve prepared 1 or 2 projects to include in your resume and create the writeup for them highlighting the problem or goal, your approach, your actions, the results, & the benefits/impact achieved.
In an interview, you can confidently present your projects and articulate the details, challenges, and outcomes
Optional: You have prepared (separate of your resume) documentation/slides outlining the project objectives, scope, methodologist used, and outcomes achieved, that you can bring to an interview.
Optional: You have added your projects to your online portfolio or online website

🎯Stage 4: Prepare a List of Companies to Target

Identify Target Companies

Why Is This Important?
Identifying target companies helps narrow your job search and focus on organizations aligning with your career goals, values, and interests. It provides direction and purpose, allowing you to tailor your job search strategy accordingly.
Examples:
I am looking for a Software Engineering position in the Tech Industry. I need to identify companies known for their innovative software products or services.
I am seeking a Design position in the Fashion Industry. I'll research companies that strongly emphasize aesthetics, craftsmanship, and a modern design-driven approach.
Actionable Tasks:
Reflect on your career aspirations, values, and interests to determine the type of companies that align with your professional objectives
Create a list of companies that matches your career goals and interests
How do I know I passed this?
You have listed the companies that reflect the industry, role, and work environment you desire
You gathered information about their products/services, company culture, and values
You genuinely feel motivated and enthusiastic about the prospect of working with these companies

Optional: Identify Industries

Why Is This Important?
Researching industries helps you align your career aspirations with sectors that fit your skills, interests, and goals well. By understanding different industries, you can identify the ones that offer the types of roles and opportunities you seek.
Examples:
I want to work in the automotive industry because I am very passionate about cars, so I will target automotive companies with job openings that suit my qualifications.
I want to work in the fitness industry because I have plans to have my fitness center in the future. By working in this industry, I will learn more about the pros and cons of the business.
Actionable Tasks:
List down industries that you are passionate about
List down industries you are not passionate about. It’s equally as important to figure out where you DON’T want to work, to narrow down where you DO want to work.
How do I know I passed this?
You feel genuinely passionate and interested in the industries you’re applying for
You feel that the industry's mission, ethics, and overall impact align with what you consider important and meaningful in your professional life.
You feel confident that your skills and strengths will excel in your chosen industry

🔎Stage 5: Apply For Jobs

Apply Online

Why Is This Important?
It’s the 21st century - most companies have implemented ATS systems and taken their hiring to digital, hence why applying online is #1 nowadays. Plus, applying in-person is time-consuming, costly, and ineffective as companies typically don’t hire in-person anymore (i.e. going to a store and handing in your resume)
Examples:
I want to apply for a job in my dream company, so I'll visit their website and find a suitable position for my skills and experiences.
I want to submit a job application for a specific marketing role. I'll visit job boards and use their job search tools to filter my search based on particular criteria, like location, salary, and industry.
Actionable Tasks:
Find a favorite jobs boards or companies’ job boards to apply online
Make sure to keep applying online daily
How do I know I passed this?
Applying for jobs is a numbers game. You are able to apply to a set personal target number of jobs per day and follow through on it.

Optional: Career Fairs

Why Is This Important?
Career fairs typically gather representatives from various companies in one location. This enables you to explore opportunities with multiple employers and learn about their hiring needs, company culture, and available positions all in one place. You can also learn about upcoming openings, internships, or entry-level programs that fit your career goals.
Examples:
I want to transition into a new career field. Attending a career fair allows me to explore different industries and learn about the skills and qualifications required for a successful transition.
I don't want to leave my hometown and work elsewhere. I will attend a local career fair to learn about job opportunities in our area.
Actionable Tasks:
List down the companies attending the career fair and research each one. Make a plan to visit the ones you are interested in first.
Bring several copies of your resume & distribute to recruiters of the companies you’re interested in. Be mindful of your time as there might not be enough time to visit all the companies at a job fair.
The key here is to connect with the recruiters and make them remember you in a good light. Ask relevant questions and explain how you can bring value to their company. At the end, collect contact information from the recruiters or representatives you speak with, such as business cards or email addresses. Be sure to follow up with them later and personalize your email to make them remember you.
How do I know I passed this?
You’ve managed to visit all the companies you’re interested in
You’ve built good connections with the recruiters or representatives at those companies, collected their contact, and followed up with them

Optional: Reach Out To Recruiters

Why Is This Important?
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