How to Set Goals for a Successful Job Search

job search newsletter Jan 06, 2024

 Read Time: 5 min


If you’re job-seeking or considering a career move in 2024, here’s how you can use goal-setting for a faster, more effective job hunt:


The first thing you need to do is set your destination πŸ“


Ask yourself: Where am I going, and when do I want to get there? Jot it down like this:


I want to land a ______ role by _____, 2024


Great job! πŸ‘ Now that you have a clear destination in mind, it's crucial to map out the most efficient route to get there.


There are many ways to get a job, but if there’s a path you can take that will get you there 5x faster and with less effort, wouldn’t you want to do that?


You don’t want your job search to be this: 😡‍πŸ’« πŸ€― πŸ˜“


You want it to be like this: 😎 πŸ‘


This is where strategic goal-setting comes into play.


I’m not talking about the typical New Year’s resolutions we set every year that never work out and leave us disappointed.


Quick story:

In 2019, I (Mattie) set a New Year’s resolution: I would start running 5 miles every day in January.

As you can imagine, the freezing temperatures in January πŸ₯Ά and my dislike of running got in the way, and I missed that goal by a mile (pun intended).

That goal might’ve worked for someone else, but it didn’t work for me.

I wasn’t setting myself up for success.


So, when I say it’s essential to set goals for your job search, I’m talking about goals that will empower you to reach your destination.


These are specific, small steps that will get you from job-seeking to happily hired.


Now, there are 2 crucial aspects of setting successful goals for your job search:


1. Focus on activities that matter (get you results)



First, you need to set goals that help you focus on the job search activities with the highest impact.


It’s not enough to just set goals; you need to make sure the things you’re doing will lead to the outcome you want (interviews → job offers → job!).


Not all job search activities are created equal. Let's explore a few examples:


Activities that will lead to little to no results:

  • Mass applying
  • Using ‘Easy Apply’ on LinkedIn
  • Applying to roles that were posted 2+ weeks ago
  • Writing generic cover letters for every application


Activities that will lead to results:

  • Optimizing your LinkedIn and Resume for your target role
  • Applying to relevant roles posted within 24 hours with targeted outreach to key contacts
  • Applying directly on the company website


Key Takeaway πŸ“Œ: Reflect on where you’re spending most of your energy and identify whether or not it’s helping you reach your destination or costing you precious time.


Don’t miss our upcoming workshop on Tuesday, Jan 9th, if you want to learn more about this and participate in a hands-on exercise to streamline your job search activities! Register HERE.


2. Set specific, small goals.


Second, you need to set specific, small goals.


If it’s unrealistic, you’re less likely to stay consistent, and you could end up like me in 2019, trying to run in 30-degree weather. It doesn't work. 


Let’s take a look at two example goals:


Example 1: Submit 50 apps a week

What’s wrong with this goal? It’s vague and unachievable (for most people). It will also force you to mass apply to reach it, which would waste your time.


Goal 2: Submit 1-2 applications (with/ a tailored outreach to the hiring manager) 5 days a week

It’s laser-focused and achievable. Plus, 1 application to a relevant role and outreach to the hiring manager and other key contacts is worth 50+ random applications.


Now it’s your turn! Set 2-3 goals using the three elements below:

  • Job Search Activity (e.g., network / apply / etc.)

  • Quantity (e.g., 10)

  • Timing (e.g., day / week / other)



  • Submit 1-2 applications (with/ a tailored outreach to the hiring manager) 5 days a week. 
  • Send 10 LinkedIn messages to professionals in [target role] every week.


Pro Tip: Write them on a sticky note and put them on your desk so they're always on your mind!


Remember, focus on consistency above EVERYTHING else.



Can’t spend 30 minutes job searching today as you planned initially? Spend 5-10 minutes.


Feeling overwhelmed updating your resume? Just focus on updating 1 section, like your summary.


Key Takeaway πŸ“Œ: Set realistic goals that you can accomplish every day / week.


Setting and staying consistent with goals focused on the most impactful job search activities will maximize your job search efforts and help you get a job faster. 


Tips for Success:

  • Celebrate small victories! Each step completed is progress.
  • Focus on progress (consistency), not perfection.
  • Stay flexible and adaptable. If it isn’t working, it’s okay to revise it.
  • Be accountable! Seek feedback and support when needed.


Don’t forget to be kind to yourself! Job searching and career decisions are hard.


The good news? You’ve done hard things before, and you can do this, too.


We’re rooting for you!



Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways we can help you:

  1. Job Accelerator Program: This comprehensive program gives you the step-by-step roadmap and live coaching that has helped hundreds of people land six-figure jobs quickly
  2. Personalized 1:1 Coaching: We'll work together to give you an accelerated job landing strategy. 

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