In the realm of possible job search goals, one beats all the others.
The Best Job Search Goal
Let me explain.
When I worked in recruiting, I charted the number of interviews my candidates had with client companies each week.
That single metric accurately predicted my placements.
If I had people interviewing, I made placements.
Track & Graph the Number of Interviews
Thus, to get a job, track the number of interviews you have.
Make “number of interviews” your #1 goal.
Put your data into an Excel spreadsheet each week. Then, create a bar graph, so you have a visual representation of your interview activity.
Then, add a trend line to your bar graph.
There’s nothing like a trend line to motivate or reward you for a job well done.
Reverse Engineer Your Job Search
Set weekly targets for how many interviews you want to do. Then, reverse engineer your job search activities to hit your goal.
Check how you’re spending your time. Are your efforts getting you on the phone, on-screen, or in front of recruiters and hiring managers?
If you can’t find a line of sight from what you’re doing to your #1 goal, pivot to more valuable activities.
Your time is a resource constraint. Always allocate it to activities that will win you interviews. You have to have interviews to get offers.
How to Keep Your Job Search Goal Top of Mind
One of my resume clients had a sign taped above his computer when he was looking for a job.
“Is what I’m doing right now directly connected to getting an interview?”
Or something close to that. I don’t know. I didn’t see the sign. He told me about it. I loved it!
Here are more ideas:
- Print each week’s chart and tape it someplace you’ll see it.
- Move your chart once a day so it doesn’t become part of your landscape.
- Visualize success by printing a picture of a job seeker meeting with an interviewer. Like a screenshot of you in a Zoom interview! Tape that up too.
- Program your calendar to ping you throughout the day to “take an action that will get me an interview.”
- Join a job club that will hold you accountable for your goal (more here).
Why Bother with Goals in Your Job Search?
Why bother with a weekly interview goal?
Because there’s good research that shows goal-setting increases job search success!
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Updated February 2023
© 2015 – 2023, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
Let her expertise inform your job search strategy and decision-making.
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Great point. The whole process of finding a job can be so time consuming that you can lose sight of the goal, which I think you have nailed on the head – ‘has the person who has the authority to hire me seen me?’
Love the idea of keeping this simple goal highly visible throughout your search process. Of course there are hurdles that you will need to go through to get to the hiring manager but having that as as a clear goal and focus will have an impact.
Absolutely right! You need to keep you most important goal on top of your mind so you do maximum about it. Use everything, all the right keywords on online resume, printed resume and during interview to spark interviewer’s interest.