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README.md

Your Job Search Action Plan

We’re going to cover a lot in this track. From building your online presence to networking effectively to writing a compelling resume, everything you read will set you on the path to landing a job offer.

But reading alone isn’t enough and it’s important that you start your job outreach from day one. Don’t wait until the end of this track to get started. In this lesson we’re going to create an action plan for you that will tie together all the useful advice in the upcoming units.

It’s super important to make a schedule for yourself. Going to the gym might not be something you’re excited about, but if you plan the time in advance, getting yourself there can be easier. In the same way, making a job search plan will make you more motivated to get started and stick to your plan. Just like forming a habit of going to the gym can be easier.

Your ultimate goal is to land a job.

The first building block to this goal is to send at least 8 e-mails per week to real humans, who are relevant to your job search. That could be hiring managers, recruiters, fellow engineers you admire, CTOs at companies you're interested in, or networking contacts you know already or met at an event. Log all of your activity in your job search tracker.

Keep in mind that some leads that you pursue will respond quickly, while others might take a week or two to get back to you. Some you won’t ever hear from, and that’s okay. This is why we suggest the amount of activity that we do, because we know what amount of activity it takes to run a successful job search.

So how do you actually find these contacts? Let’s go over two approaches.

Approach 1- Using Companies to Guide Your Outreach

  1. Make a list of companies that interest you (have a specific reason — maybe you love their blog, maybe their tech stack is particularly cool to you, or perhaps you’re an avid user of their product). Start with 20 companies. (If you’re not sure what companies are out there, or what companies might interest you, poke around on themuse.com, glassdoor.com, inc.com, forbes.com, techcrunch.com, and linkedin.com to get some inspiration.)
  2. Next, look up people who work at those companies via an advanced search on LinkedIn. Not sure how to do this? We have a future lesson on just that, but here are some quick tips below.
  • Do an advanced search where you look up people with that company on their profile and a specific job title or keyword. Focus on “engineers”, “developers”, and people who work in human resources or recruiting (sometimes called “talent acquisition”).
  • List at least 1 of each kind of employee (1 dev and 1 person working in recruiting/HR) in your Tracker on the “leads” tab. You can reach out to both on the same day or stagger your outreach, whichever you prefer.
  1. Locate the contact information for these people. This website can help you figure that out.
  2. Draft emails to the people you plan to reach out to. Again we’ll cover communication best practices in future lessons, but here’s an example of an upcoming [lesson] (https://github.com/learn-co-curriculum/careers-opening-the-line-of-communication) that’ll help you with this.
  3. Send those drafts to your coach
  4. Once you get feedback, send your polished emails to these potential new contacts!

Approach #2 - Using Job Postings to Guide Your Outreach

  1. Use sites like LinkedIn, StackoverflowCareers, Indeed, and other niche job search sites to create a list of jobs that you’re interested in. Start with 20.
  2. Next, look up people who work at those companies via an advanced search on LinkedIn. Not sure how to do this? We have a future lesson on just that, but here are some quick tips below.
  • Do an advanced search where you look up people with that company on their profile and a specific job title or keyword. Focus on “engineers”, “developers”, and people who work in human resources or recruiting (sometimes called “talent acquisition”).
  • List at least 1 of each kind of employee (1 dev and 1 person working in recruiting/HR) in your Tracker on the “leads” tab. You can reach out to both on the same day or stagger your outreach, whichever you prefer.
  1. Locate the contact information for these people. This website can help you figure that out.
  2. Draft emails to the people you plan to reach out to. Again we’ll cover communication best practices in future lessons, but here’s an example of an upcoming [lesson] (https://github.com/learn-co-curriculum/careers-opening-the-line-of-communication) that’ll help you with this.
  3. Send those drafts to your coach
  4. Once you get feedback, send your polished emails to these potential new contacts!

Notice that both of these approaches are very similar. The main difference is in the first step. Are you looking at companies? Or are you looking at jobs? And if you’re looking at jobs, then it’s a good idea to prioritize finding the contact info of someone who works in HR since the company is actively looking to fill positions.

After that, you’ll draft emails and send them to your coach for review. Since we expect three emails from you every day, it might be best to plan ahead so that you can get the appropriate feedback from your coach. In other words, if you still haven’t sent out your emails for Tuesday, then don’t wait until Tuesday morning to get feedback from your coach!

This might sound like a lot of work, and in fact, it is. But when you’re prepared, focused, and have a plan of action, you’ll stop thinking of it as a chore and instead just one big exciting step to get you closer to where you want to be!

View Careers Job Search Tracker on Learn.co and start learning to code for free.

View Job Search Action Plan  on Learn.co and start learning to code for free.