How to plan your job search

Getting a job is a job in itself so be prepared to work at it. You need to develop the right mindset before you start looking, you’re less likely to be disappointed along the way.

Patience, determination and focus

The three things you’ll need to get the job you deserve are patience, determination and focus. Writing a focused list that includes the key elements you want to get out of your job hunting will make this project successful. Setting goals that are achievable will make your job easier so detail the job you’re after, the companies you’re interested in and the locations you’re willing to travel to. Don’t overstate any of these as you’ll be wasting time. Setting a location that’s just too far away from your home could leave you with a list of great firms with the right job specs that you just can’t work for.


All you need is one job. Keep that in mind all the time. But what that means is that judging progress is hard but there are things you can do to make your job seeking measurable. The number of applications you make, the amount of responses you get, the number of interviews resulting from those responses and the quantity of meetings you have with recruitment agencies are all markers that show your progress towards the job you deserve.


If you’d like to know how long it will take to get a new job, you may as well ask: how long is a piece of string? Having said that, you still need to work out a date on which you’ll give up your search. There’s no point in investing all your spare time and effort indefinitely. Set yourself some milestones, for example give yourself a sensible time limit to complete or update your CV. Then write on the calendar a date by which time you should have contacted ten recruitment agents (we’d recommend 2 weeks for that). Set yourself a realistic timescale for getting your first interview and the next four (let’s say that you should attend five interviews within a month). All this planning will give you a structure to work to.

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