Getting Out of the Research Rut: One Week Plan

After a long day, it can be hard to convince yourself to take an hour to spend on your job search. What’s more, if you do convince yourself to research job options, it can be tough to not only find an interesting opportunity, but to convince yourself to apply to the position.

I often fell into the habit of looking for job opportunities, and then talking myself out of applying. This meant that I would find jobs, but wouldn’t actually do anything about the opportunities I found.

That is why JobSparker tracks jobs you actually applied to and networking activities that you have completed. It’s well and good to find and research opportunities, but in order to get an offer you have to apply! While this is common sense, I have found that a lot of individuals (and I include myself in this) are comfortable researching, but rarely take that next step. So how can you convince yourself to go from researching to applying to jobs? Here is a 6 day plan (approximately one hour per day) to get you moving from researching positions to submitting them.

Day 1 - Spend one hour identifying 3 jobs that you are interested in applying for. Look for positions on LinkedIn,, etc.

Day 2 - Choose 2 of those positions to prioritize. For each position, look carefully at the job description and highlight the parts where you have relevant experience. Take a piece of paper or use a computer and write out in bullet format the experience that you have that you think is the most relevant. Once you write it out, rank each item in order of relevance and value to the position.

Day 3 - Incorporate those bullets from yesterday into your resume. If the positions are not similar, use two separate versions. If the positions are very similar, you may be able to get away with creating one modified version of your resume.

Day 4 - Look at the job description again along with your bullets. Use the 2-3 most important points to create 2 cover letters.

Day 5 - Edit the resumes and cover letters for grammar and typos. Look up the application instructions and work on applying to the first job online. Sometimes it can be really easy to apply, but other times it can be very time consuming if you have to use an online job application site. Keep in mind, that if the site is poorly designed, there may be less candidates applying to the position, which could work in your favor.

Day 6 - Apply to the second job. Celebrate and track your success!

So, why did I ask you to find 3 jobs instead of 2 from the start? This way you have a back-up job in case something doesn’t work out with the others. Also, if everything goes smoothly, you can spend another day applying to the third job. 

Repeat this as long as it is effective for you, making sure to incorporate networking activities and events as well.

Don’t Make Recruiters Have to Think

How can I get a job if I don’t know what I want to do with my life?