Job Search 2020

8 Things Needed for a Job Search in 2020

If your goal is to get a new job in 2020 here are 8 things you need in your toolbox:


1. Defined Job Target

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” This line, from Alice in Wonderland, is vital to remember in your job search. If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it?

What job title(s) and responsibilities interest you? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you?

Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position and keep your search on track.


2. List of Targeted Employers

Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, family-owned, franchise, nonprofit).

Look for companies that align with your personal work goals and needs. By identifying right-fit criteria, you can ensure you avoid accepting a job that’s a bad fit.

Ways to research employers include  LinkedIn, company websites, Google searches, business journals, and media articles. Also, ask people! Yes, ask people where they work, why they like the company they work for, and how you can learn more. Build your list to include at least 20 employers.


3. Names of Decision-Makers

People prefer to hire people they know, like, and trust. To get on the radar of people making hiring decisions, you need them to know about you.

Just like you did with companies, use research to identify influential people. Ways to identify decision-makers include:

  • Check to see if the company lists employees on their website.
  • Search on LinkedIn by typing a company name, a role title, and a targeted location into the search bar: “Sherwin Williams. HR Director. Charlotte, NC.”
  • Ask your network for information, leads and introductions. If you know someone who works at a company of interest, make outreach.


4. Outreach Templates

Once you know who you need to speak to, create outreach templates to help streamline the outreach process.

Templates should be short, concise, and make only a small initial ask:

“Hi ____.  I’m looking for a role as a manager of manufacturing at Coca Cola. I see that you work in the manufacturing department at Coca Cola and that you are connected with the VP of manufacturing on LinkedIn. Would you be able to introduce me to the VP?”.

Read this post for additional email templates you can use for inspiration to develop your own.


5. Tailored, Results-Driven Resume

A strong, results-rich resume is a must. Create a solid ‘starter’ resume, which can be easily customized for each application, avoiding the stress of writing your resume on the fly when the right role pops up. Just remember, you absolutely must tailor your resume for every unique application.

If you’ve taken on additional responsibilities in your current role, changed your job target, or added new training or educational credentials to your portfolio – your resume should reflect this. Of course, if you don’t have a resume at all, NOW is definitely the time to put one together!

Don’t wait until you see a posting to start putting this critical file together.  A solid resume takes careful consideration and loads of investment. Read some of this year’s important resume trends.


6. Well-Branded and Fully Complete LinkedIn Profile

A LinkedIn profile doesn’t replace the resume; it complements it. Someone looking for a candidate with your skills and experience can easily search LinkedIn and find you. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you and forward your LinkedIn profile to a hiring manager for consideration.

With this in mind, a strategically branded and fully populated LinkedIn profile is a must. Ensure your profile showcases who you are, what your top skills are, and what specific industry/occupation you are targeting.

When developing your profile, keep these top mistakes in mind, and ensure your headline is perfectly polished.


7. Job Search Spreadsheet 

Managing a job search can be a big job; therefore, you need a way to track activity and organize information. Create a spreadsheet to help.

A job search spreadsheet does not need to be fancy, and it can be created in Word or Excel. Items you may want to track include:

  • Companies of interest
  • People of interest and contact details
  • Outreach activities (who you spoke to, how, and when)
  • Application details (deadlines and dates submitted)
  • Interview dates and details
  • Follow up plans (people, applications, or interview thank yous)
  • Job application status (rejected, asked to interview)


8. Focused, Positive Attitude

Yes, job searching is tough. It is also a marathon, not a sprint, meaning it is going to take a good investment of your time and energy over a set period.  You don’t want to burn out too soon near the start – nor let the ups and downs of the search process start to weigh you down.

Bitterness, anger, and frustration are feelings that some people experience during a search, but they should be kept in check, especially in communications.  Never share thoughts you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see online (clean up your social media pages!), and keep your attitude in check when speaking and meeting with hiring personnel.

Finally, it is ok to step away from job search activities from time to time to give yourself a break or reward efforts. The goal is to maintain a healthy, positive perspective and to keep your attitude in check as much as possible.


Adrienne Tom

Looking to take your executive resume or job search to the next level to land your next job faster and increase your earning power? I can help! Visit me online at to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.

1 Comment

  1. Matt Nick on February 1, 2020 at 9:34 am

    No. 6 is something I’ve been hearing of lately. LinkedIn seems to be the Facebook for job search.
    I’ll have to definitely spread my tentacles into that platform.

    #7 made got my eyebrows raised. A spread sheet? This just makes job hunting almost like a job in its special way lol.

    Love the idea though. It helps to keep track.

    I think that your outreach template is a stunner. Will be sharing it with some folks later this week.

    Have a great weekend.


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