8 Essential Job Search Exercises

A few weeks ago I went to The Prepary and City Society’s Career Boost Bootcamp. It was an all day workshop for job searchers. They were kind enough to give me a ticket so that I could write about the day.

I’m going to walk you through a a very high level summary of some of the job search exercises so you can do them at home. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this so you have it handy when it’s time to search!

8 Essential Job Search Exercises

  1. Getting Clear and Getting Organized: Think about your current and past roles and the type of work you’ve done. Write three columns labeled stop, start, and continue. In start, write things you haven’t done that you’d like to do. In stop, write things you have done that you don’t want to do. In continue, write things you’ve done that you want to do in your next role.
  2. Other Considerations: Write about your ideal: company culture, colleagues, manager, company values, compensation, perks, and how much you value growth and upward mobility in a job.
  3. Tell Your Story: Write your professional summary, what you’ve done so far in your career, what you can bring to the table (how your experiences align with what they’re looking for), and the type role you want to have next.
  4. Your Dream Companies: Write down a few companies you’d love to work for.
  5. Your Dream Jobs: Write a few job titles you’d like to have.
  6. Your Cover Letter: There are three key component to a good cover letter. You need to explain why you’d be great at the job, align your experience with the qualifications they’re looking for, and explain why you want to work at the company and in the specific role. Your cover letter should be less than a page. The tone should match the company’s tone. Think about whether it’s more appropriate to be formal or informal. Don’t forget to do some sleuthing to find out who the HR person or hiring manager is—don’t write “To whom it may concern.”
  7. Networking: We reviewed ways that you can engage your network during the job search process and good ways to prepare for informational interviews. In order to avoid having your resume go into the “black hole” reach out to people who can help you. Reach out to five people you are close with, go on at least five informational interviews, join at least two networking groups, and use LinkedIn to find out ways you’re connected to the company.
  8. Informational Interviews: Always be prepared! Know your personal story, be genuine, do your research on the person and the job, and ask questions based on your research.

One of the best parts of the workshop was being able to ask Jamie and Emily specific questions about resumes, LinkedIn, cover letters, and networking. I know that everyone left feeling prepared and motivated for the job search. Looking for more job search advice and great networking events in NYC? Go to The Prepary and City Society!

We’d love to know if you’re interested in going to a Career Boost Bootcamp. Please tell us in the comments! 

Thank you to Career Boost Bootcamp for partnering on this post! Featured image via Style Me Pretty

20 Responses to 8 Essential Job Search Exercises

  1. These are really helpful tips! I like the first one about writing lists about what you’ve done, don’t want to do again, and want to keep doing. I think that’s very helpful to keep in mind when searching for a new position.


  2. Briana says:

    Wow, this is some of the best advice ever. I feel like I’ve done some of these things but laying it all out like this really makes a lot of sense. I especially like writing out all your career accomplishments and what you’ve done — definitely helps to be organized!

  3. Shane says:

    I love the idea of brainstorming on your ideal company- positive culture is everything to me!

  4. Jenny says:

    I love the start, stop, and continue list!
    What a smart idea.

    xoxo, Jenny

  5. Annaliese says:

    What useful tips!! This post just reminds me that I need to sign up for some networking events that my school is holding soon. 🙂

    xoxo A

  6. Ashley says:

    This is such a helpful post! I love the tips for the cover letter as this always seemed to confuse me as I was unsure what to cover!

    xo Ashley

  7. Cristina says:

    I love number 7! Definitely going to use that this post to check up on how I’m doing with my job searches. Great post!

  8. Nicole says:

    I am totally interested in the Career Boost Workshop! I am looking to step up my career and I think this would be so helpful!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  9. Lauren says:

    I think networking is one of the most important things, ever! As always, such amazing tips. 🙂 You’re a superstar. You should be a mentor!

  10. Jaime says:

    Thanks to much for joining us at the bootcamp and sharing Elana! If anyone is interested in staying in the loop on future bootcamps (NYC and a virtual one coming up in 2016!) feel free to email me at jaime@prepary.com 🙂

  11. Jordyn says:

    Career Boost Bootcamp sounds like such a great idea. I’m not located in New York but a virtual bootcamp would be wonderful. Thanks for sharing these tips for job searching!

  12. Savannah says:

    I’ve come to learn that networking is extremely important when preparing for jobs, internships, etc. I’m focusing on forming connections early so in the future I have many helping hands to choose from!


  13. Sara Kate says:

    I LOVE number 1!! I would have never thought to do that, but it’s so simple. How can you make sure you get what you want if you don’t lay it all out first and make it clear to yourself? Great post!

    Sara Kate Styling

  14. Morgan says:

    The “other considerations” are something I think many forget when looking for a job but are just as important as the others! It’s imperative you like the company you are interviewing for or your day-to-day life at your job will be miserable!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  15. Kayla says:

    Love all these tips, especially the one about the cover letter. I never know what to write most of the time so it’s helpful to have these tips on hand. Definitely pinning this for later!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  16. Ally Gagliardo says:

    Whenever people talk about jobs, I always hear “networking, networking, networking” and I definitely can see how that can help! Having someone vouch for your greatness is extremely helpful!

  17. Cat says:

    I feel like cover letters are often overlooked but are a very crucial component to applying for a job!


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