Plan for success

Plan for success

Plan for success

In a job search, having a plan can increase your chance of success.

Find ideas and resources to move forward in different phases of a job search. Start where you are and build your plan from there.

Need to secure a stable base before job searching?

If you’ve been laid off or out of work for some time, you may need to focus on other needs before you start your job search. If you are experiencing issues around health care, mental health, housing, finances, or food assistance, check out resources on this website and visit State Resource Finder for additional contacts for help in your state.

Want to explore different career options?

  • Try some career assessments to identify your skills, interests, and values and gain ideas for careers that relate to them.
  • See which other occupations would use your current skills and experience.
  • Learn about new industries: read blogs and professional journals, look up professional associations online.
  • Research potential employers.
  • Set up informational interviews with people working in fields that interest you to learn about their careers.
  • Consider training options to build work-related skills and knowledge. An online course or certification could boost your qualifications in your current field or help you make the transition to a different one. This may be a great time to check out job postings in your targeted field to see the skills, certifications, or other qualifications required, and find training related to those areas.
  • Look for professional associations you might join to learn current trends and topics in your new or current industry or career field, access training opportunities, and connect with a network of people who work in the field.

Ready to search for available jobs?

This may be a good time to explore temporary work options. In today’s economy and job market, many employers are thinking about hiring differently than in the past. Many need to be cautious and may be hiring more temporary instead of full-time employees (one bonus to this arrangement is that it gives you both time to test the waters). You can also consider part-time, contract, or gig work as a way to earn some income while you search for a full-time position.

Whether seeking temporary or permanent work, these resources will help move your job search forward:

  • Prepare your resume.
  • Get in touch with your networking contacts.
  • Attend online support groups and job clubs in your area.
  • Practice networking, online and in person, to find out about available jobs.
  • Attend virtual job fairs to meet employers.
  • Visit CareerOneStop's Job Finder to search job listings across the United States.
  • Check out the Find a Remote Job tool to search for jobs that allow part- or full-time work from home.
  • Make it a point to talk with someone every day about your job search.

Find keeping organized a challenge?

Make a schedule of daily and weekly job search activities with clear goals. For example, “apply for 5 jobs”, “research 3 organizations that hire people in my field”, “update social media profile and add recent training”, “enroll in online training for new software or other skill”, “call 3 networking contacts to discuss my strengths and ask for leads and contacts”.

Feeling discouraged?

  • Take breaks during the day to move around and re-energize.
  • Take a walk, talk with friends, get a good night’s sleep, take care of yourself so that you have the energy and positive attitude to keep looking.
  • Learn how to set short term goals that will help keep you motivated, and when you’ve completed them, give yourself the evening off or other reward.

Looking for some in-person help?

You can find free in-person support at a local American Job Center (AJC). While some Centers may temporarily close their physical locations due to the pandemic, most continue to offer services online, by phone, and by appointment. AJCs typically offer:

  • Help looking for a local or remote job
  • Information about local education and training options
  • Feedback and guidance on networking, resumes and cover letters and using social media to job search

Need computer equipment to conduct your job search?

  • Find an American Job Center near you to obtain computer access. AJCs offer free computer use for searching for jobs or writing your resume, free job search workshops, and job clubs. Note that physical locations may close temporarily due to the pandemic, so be sure to check the listings of your local AJCs to see their current services or contact them before stopping by.
  • Public libraries also typically offer computer access and job search resources. Find your nearby public libraries, and note that they may have altered schedules due to the pandemic.