The Pillars of a Job Search

The Pillars of a Job Search

I unexpectedly had to kick-off a job search due to being laid off.  I know - I keep talking about it but the truth is that how we spend our days matters and when that changes, we have to slow down and process it.

Now that I've thankfully been able to end my job search, I wanted to share a few thoughts on what I think are the pillars of a well-rounded job search.  


We humans love memory helpers and one of those is alliteration. So, in that spirit here are the pillars I'd like to share: prospecting, presentation, preparation, patience, and payoff.    


In a job search, curating and caring for your leads is the first step in landing the next job. There are many ways to procure them but the one that seems to be the most widely available avenue is LinkedIn.

Be sure to signal to Recruiters, and your network, that you're on the hunt. This will allow you to show up in their searches and contact you to get the ball rolling.

If you'd like, you can use my Recruiter "Top Sheet" for streamlining communication with recruiters.

Hit up your network! This means calling, emailing, messaging, etc. the people you've worked with to let them know you're available and see if they know of any opportunities.

I'd recommend keeping track of your leads and nurturing them when able. In short - follow up.


To entice your prospects, you need to have a consistent, succinct, and warm presentation. What does that mean?

  • Your resume should be clear and consistent. If you have multiple hats / roles, then have multiple resumes which are each targeted at a different audience. Get help from colleagues and professional services when stuck.
  • A professional-looking photo in which you smile :)
  • Publish any resource that you think would be helpful to demonstrate your knowledge of a key topic / area.
  • Be yourself in all of your communications.  

To be honest, presentation is really about getting the attention of the potential employers. You want to display yourself in a way that causes them to pause and really take a look at you, your experience, and your skills.

I chose to create a visual career walk-through to help prospects quickly go through my career. If you'd like to use the template, let me know!


One you are presenting yourself well and have prospects to engage with, you'll need to practice the execution of presenting yourself.  

This pillar could really be caused practice. A few things to ensure you are prepared for talking with recruiters and potential employers:

  • Practice interview with a trusted friend / colleague
  • Prepare the skeleton of common interview questions
  • Prepare to "defend" your resume and walk others through the items that you've presented to them.
  • Prepare thank you notes, common email snippets and template so you can communicate quickly and not feel the pressure to write a follow-up email after you've just finished an interview.

It'll pay off to get those bad reps out of the way in the safety of your friends/colleagues. This will go a long way in helping you be confident when interviewing.


The job search is likely going to be longer than you want. Be patient in growing prospects, presenting yourself, and practicing the fundamentals.

This is hard. I would recommend setting schedules and inviting others into the process so you can share with them updates, process news, and then wait proactively until the next action needs to be taken.

Note: this process is tough for the recruiters and employers as well. So it pays to be kind to them and not pressure them unless absolutely necessary.

In summary, build out your process and trust it.

Pay off

While landing a job is the goal, it's best to think about a job search is about much more than that.

It is an opportunity to lean about yourself and others. A means to learn how to practice gratitude for what you have, develop compassion for yourself and others, and be an encouragement to those you interact with.

Through this job search I was able to recognize a few practices that I plan on keeping:

  • Keeping a specific "work journal"  which is for documenting the scenarios, accomplishments, and failures that I learn the most from.
  • Invest in relationships on LinkedIn: It is much easier to slowly grow your network than try to build it out in a hurry.
  • Publicly  Writing / Blogging:  the practice of sharing thoughts and reflections with others is both fun and formative. It helps me organize my thoughts and shape them in a way that others can interact with. Getting feedback - good and bad - on your writing is a humbling experience.

Why? More than likely you'll have to execute another job search again in your life. Let's try to use each one to not only be prepared for our next employer but also be better prepared for the next search.

Have anything you learned from your latest job search? I'd love to hear more. Hit me up - josh at jbaustin dot com

Talk soon


Photo by Mirko Blicke on Unsplash

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