“You should treat your job search like a job.” Chances are, you have heard that cliché before. But what does it mean? Most people assume that it relates to the number of hours they spend on their job search. They mentally commit 40 hours or more a week to their job search, but struggle with how to fill those days.

We all know the typical job search functions – go online, look for jobs on websites, apply to jobs – but a smart and savvy job seeker knows it takes much more than this to be effective. Just like any job, hunting for employment can be broken down into specific areas of responsibility:


  • Develop overall strategic plans for the job search
  • Set specific, measurable, achievable, and timely goals and deadlines
  • Test and find best working environment, such as time of day or location

Business Development

  • Develop a list of potential or target employers
  • Set up Google Alerts on target employers
  • Conduct outbound calls for informational interviews at target companies
  • Network at live events through associations, business groups, or job seeker groups
  • Reach out to past or current employees at target companies to conduct in-depth research
  • Research and contact managers at target companies
  • Follow up on submissions to HR
  • Build strategic alliances with recruiters and other job seekers
  • Gain referrals/recommendations from past clients, managers and fellow employees
  • Create and update a database system to track progress on job search
  • Foster social media relationships
  • Join social media groups specific to your location, industry, and interests
  • Find and apply to jobs on job boards such as Indeed.com, CareerBuilder, etc.
  • Search LinkedIn Groups for hidden job postings
  • Build social media connections with recruiters


  • Create professional, perfect resumes with relevant keywords for target jobs
  • Write custom cover letters for jobs, both for HR and for specific hiring managers
  • Upload a dynamic, keyword-rich LinkedIn profile with a high-quality photograph
  • Manage or clean up all social media accounts
  • Share meaningful content on LinkedIn, especially to Groups
  • Practice interviewing techniques
  • Evaluate your wardrobe to search for potential interview outfits
  • Create presentations for interviews (if requested)

Finance and Accounting

  • Set a budget for the job search (typically 3-7% of target salary. Typical expenses include resume services, classes, networking events, food/treats for informational interviews, travel expenses, etc.)
  • Track expenses to use as tax deductions
  • Find free or affordable fun things to do around town (there’s more to life than just job searching)

Human Resources

  • Do nice things for your network to stay in their good graces
  • Keep track of 401(k)/IRA from previous employers

IT and Technical

  • Ensure proper operation of all equipment, internet connections and on-location IT operations
  • Conduct data backups
  • Catalog warranty information


  • Calendar management
  • Data entry, inbound/outbound mail
  • Create email lists to send monthly updates to friends, family, and recruiters
  • Generate materials for interviews, including printing high-quality resumes, samples of work, and copies of awards or letters of recommendation
  • Organize networking contact follow-ups
  • Manage office supplies
  • Record any necessary documentation for governmental agencies, including Unemployment or Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grants

The Business of Your Business

In addition to these responsibilities, remember to stay sharp professionally. This may mean taking classes in the latest software or creating mock projects in your area of expertise. Volunteer experience can be valuable, especially if you can do something related to your field or helps build your network. In other words, don’t forget to practice your profession in any way possible.

  • Excerpt from “Get a Job Without Going Crazy (32nd Ed)” by Donna Shannon, ©2019

Want to know more?

Check out our video and Indiegogo campaign for special pre-orders and offerings: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/get-a-job-without-going-crazy-3rd-edition-book/x/19287551#/

Want a see how your job search strategies stacks up to the competition? Visit the Personal Touch Career Services’ website to schedule a free resume review: https://personaltouchcareerservices.com/contact

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