Jobfully Blog

Anatomy of a Job Search

A jobseeker who recently got hired said she would have enjoyed her job search more if she had known how it was going to turn out.  One reason job search can be stressful is that you don’t know how it will end, or how long it will take.  It’s impossible to put a time frame on a typical job search, but there are very distinct phases, and activities typical to successful job searches.   Tracking where you are and celebrating your progress will bolster you as you wait to find out how it’s going to turn out.

Getting Started: Assessment and Planning

At the start of the job search, most job seekers benefit from taking stock. This phase leaves you with a clear target for your job search and a strategy for how you will achieve it.


  • Examine skills and past successes
  • Determine market for skills
  • Set a target for job search
  • Create a Job Search Strategy


The Muddled Middle:  Preparation, Marketing and Interviewing

Although you may return to assessment, for now, your work in this phase is done.  The next three areas are ongoing and happen simultaneously. You will always be refining your marketing materials including customizing your resume and updating your online profile. Marketing, including networking, should be the main focus, taking the biggest chunk of your time each week. You will interview for jobs, but should continue working on your materials and marketing even as you interview.



  • Create brand statement
  • Craft 20 second pitch
  • Compile basic resume
  • Optimize online profile(s)




  • Network
  • Grow online presence
  • Generate and pursue job leads




  • Researching companies and job opportunities
  • Using network to further candidacy
  • Phone and in-person interviews


The end: Closing

At the end of your job search is a job offer, where the strategy and focus you brought to the middle phases pays off.


  • Weighing job offer
  • Negotiating for a win-win
  • Accepting offer

Wherever you are in your job search, keep your focus on pursuing multiple channels at the same time. Use your time strategically on activities that bring you the best results.  If you get stuck, use our troubleshooting guide to repair problems.


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