If you’ve ever been suddenly unemployed and stuck in a stressful job search, you know how difficult the process can be. In fact, one of my past clients who successfully completed an industry change has said that you should consider the job search ‘a full time job, with extra hours of overtime’.

It’s SO important that you carve out a few hours everyday to dedicate to your job search strategies. This is your career we’re talking about, and what you do now can set you up for ongoing success in the future.

To help you create compelling job search strategies, here are the four things you can do jump-start your search:

1. Get clear on what you want.

This may seem a bit fluffy to you. That’s okay, I get it. What I don’t understand is why countless professionals dive headfirst into their job searches without having a clue what they really want to do with their lives.

Take this job search as your opportunity to flex your ambitions. Ask yourself honestly: are you happy with your life right now? If not, what can you do to change it? Whether fulfillment to you means making a functional, industry, or profession change, you’ll thank yourself later for discovering this now and getting on track to achieving your dream job.

2. Identify your targeted ROI.

This is what I call your targeted Roles, Organizations, and Industries. I always recommend that job seekers take the time to compile these. Just like with a major project, having a comprehensive plan that parses out details for next steps is key to achieving success in your job search.

First, start with the types of roles you would consider. Think about your current or past position and examine what parts of it you truly enjoyed. Then, see if you can translate what makes you happy into a clear picture of your target organizations and industries.

3. Reconnect with and leverage your existing network (online and offline!).

Your job search strategies should include a comprehensive networking plan to help you tap into the hidden job market. I can tell you that a huge amount of jobs are found through networking. So, it’s time to think critically about the network you’ve already established. Who can you contact in your target ROIs? Who can introduce you to stakeholders who may be able to help?

When you’ve done your outreach over LinkedIn, think about the opportunities you have to branch into in-person networking through local events, conferences, or associations. Check out Eventbrite.ca and Ten Thousand Coffees to jump-start your strategy.

4. Create and polish your marketing documents.

Your marketing documents include your résumé, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, and outreach messages to potential connections. Drafting and polishing template communication messages in advance is a great way to stay on top of your job search. The more you prepare in advance, the easier it will be to motivate yourself to keep up momentum later in the game.

Do you want to learn more about key job search strategies and mindset-shift tactics to help you get hired faster? Check out my webinar – Laid Off or Unemployed? How to Move On & Up In Your Career!