Establishing Goals And Objectives For An Effective Job Search Strategy

businessman pointing at goals

Establishing Job Search Goals and Objectives

The first step in creating a successful job search strategy is to establish clear goals and objectives, and define the specific tactics and strategies you’ll be using in the process.

In everyday language, a goal acknowledges what you want to accomplish. It is important to define clear and measurable goals so you’re not in any doubt as to what you are planning to achieve. It is hard to achieve something if you are not clear about what you want.

Begin by setting your goals early on so that, over time, you can evaluate and measure your progress towards attaining those goals.

Defining Your Goals

Your goals are the broad, long-term results you want to accomplish, whilst your objectives are the more specific results that will drive you forward in the direction of attaining your ultimate goal.

If you aren’t clear on your goals, it will be difficult for you to evaluate the effectiveness of your job search strategy. You need to have a clear vision with clearly defined goals and objectives, and the specific strategies you will use to achieve your overall goals.

An example of a good job search goal is to get an offer for a position that fits your interests, skills, values and personality.

For example:

To find a full-time job as a social media manager within 30 days, New York based, offering potential for growth, earning circa $75k plus a performance related bonus and full benefits.

To change careers by obtaining an entry-level position in software testing in London within 30 days, earning circa £45k plus full benefits.

It’s an ultra-competitive job market, and you’ll need to get used to the idea that you may need to apply to dozens of prospects in order to accumulate enough interview invitations. Furthermore, using multiple job search methods will help you find a position a lot faster than people who use one or two.

The goal you want to achieve will form the basis of your job search strategy. Your overall goals and objectives should be clearly aligned with the vision you have for your personal brand.

When you understand exactly what type of job you’re looking for right from the beginning, your actions will have a clear purpose and your strategy will be more focused and targeted towards achieving that specific goal. In addition, you will be able to market yourself based on the vision you have for yourself.

Defining Your Objectives

Your objectives are the specific, measurable results that you want to achieve on the platform within a defined time frame. The process begins with setting SMART objectives. SMART objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-constrained.

  • Specific: Your objectives should be clearly defined, unequivocal and specific to the results you want. For instance, go deeper than “get a job” to “get a job as a customer service executive.”
  • Measurable: It is crucial that you are able to effectively track and analyse the results of your job search strategies to see if they were effective.
  • Attainable and Realistic: It is very important to set objectives that are achievable and realistic. Your objectives should be challenging, but not to the point that they are practically impossible to achieve. For example applying for a job that requires a four-year degree when you only have a diploma or certificate isn’t realistic.
  • Relevant: Relevant objectives are those that further the aims of what you are trying to accomplish. For example, getting certified in subjects that are not relevant to your dream job is a waste of time.
  • Time Constrained: This involves grounding goals within a time frame and giving them a target date. A time-constrained goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency. A commitment to a deadline will help focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date.

Setting an objective begins with identifying intent. Next, make it specific by adding a number, percentage, increase/decrease and a date.

Examples of clearly defined objectives:

  • To get a customer service manager job within 21 days using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • To interview for 3 software testing positions paying $45 per hour within two weeks.
  • To develop relationships with 3 London-based recruitment consultants using LinkedIn.
  • To contact one hiring manager by inMail on LinkedIn within 10 working days.
  • To create and send out 5 employer-focused resumes every week for the next 4 weeks.

It is very important to define your goals and objectives from the beginning of your job search and adjust them as things begin to happen for you. You also need to have a clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve. Setting goals allow you to direct and focus your efforts on achieving those goals.

Without setting or understanding your goals and objectives from the outset, you will not have an effective way of knowing whether your job search strategy is working or requires tweaking.