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Why You Need a Proactive Job Search Strategy (and Tips on How to Build One)

Adopting a proactive job search will help you land your dream role faster and easier. Here is everything you need to know about a proactive job search strategy and how to actually build one.

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Adopting a proactive job search will help you land your dream role faster and easier. Here is everything you need to know about a proactive job search strategy and how to actually build one.


No one ever gets this job search ‘thing’ 100% right, regardless of how green or senior you are in your career. There are always new hurdles popping up. Many job seekers are often challenged with frustration, unmet expectations, and broken promises in their search for a new job.

The perfect job opportunity might not always come your way, at some point you need to step out of your comfort zone, think outside the box and set some strategies that will yield success in your job search. Having a proactive job search strategy will definitely push you ahead of other job seekers.


What does a proactive job search strategy look like?

A proactive job search strategy might sound like the norm to all job seekers, but it goes way beyond sending out applications daily. To be proactive in your job search, you need to attach value to your available time and resources and put them to use. 

As a proactive job seeker, you need to be intentional in your job search - instead of waiting for a lucky day, you create your lucky days. Many job seekers are too occupied with the number of applications they send out daily. Yet, a proactive job search is not just about the numbers but takes into consideration your career aspirations, future plans, and potential as an individual. As you plan to proactively search for a job, you need to know what you want, where you want to be, and what possibilities might get you there. 


Having a proactive job search strategy will help you do the following:


  • Increase your job search scope. When you look outside your usual scope, you’ll find opportunities hidden in your networks.

  • It is easy to seize opportunities when you are proactive in your job search, this is because you are preparing ahead of the rest and making yourself available when the opportune moment comes.

  • With such stiff competition for jobs, you can easily out-compete the rest when you are proactive in your job search. 

Now that we are familiar with what a proactive job search looks like and why you need it, here are some tips on creating one. I call this the 3W rule:


  • What do I want? 

  • Where do I want it? 

  • When do I want it? 

Asking yourself these questions as you embark on your job search will save you a lot of time. 

What do I want? When you ask yourself what you want, you define your career aspirations. Do you want a job in the same field, the same job in a different industry, or a complete career change? Applying for a job because it is available should be one of those job search mistakes you leave behind. 

Where do I want it? I have heard a couple of friends apply to jobs in remote places and go through interview stages successfully, only to refuse a job because of its location. This is a waste of time! If you cannot work from a specific location, do not apply there. The thinking that recruiters might change their minds could leave you in the mud. 

Also, be clear about the company you want to join. I am sure you have researched why you want to join company Y; maybe their employees gave the best reviews about working there. But it is important that you do not put all your eggs in one basket and do not refuse companies without sound judgment or clear reasons. I currently work for a company I had never heard of, yet it is a good employer. So, before you pass on a job vacancy because you do not know the company, you might want to think twice about it.

When do I want it? When do you want this job? Now or in the next two months? Is your contract expiring, and you’re not planning to renew it? Timing is an important factor in having a successful job search strategy. Have you prepared your successor adequately? Is your team ready for your resignation? When you ask yourself the hardest questions, you make your job search more intentional. 

Network and use your network

Networking has been sung over the years. It is that one strategy that everyone knows about but never really wants to try. Why? It is difficult, they assume. But when it comes to a proactive job search, your network could really determine your net worth. Let your circle know you are looking for a job, and make it clear on your social platforms as well. 

The failing point of networking is that many job seekers are quick to announce how much they need a job without talking about what they bring to the table. Before you network, especially with a new audience, let your achievements and strengths be at your fingertips. What problems can you solve? Why would someone need you to join their team or recommend you? 


Read also: Improve your networking skills with these 3 tips 


Have your CV updated and ready

“Hey, please send me your CV, a colleague has an opportunity that I am sure is a good fit for you.”

Four hours later, no response because you are trying to work on your CV. Your job search will be harder if you are still moving around with an outdated CV and misplaced academic documents. Being proactive in your job search requires you to have an updated CV at all times. Take advantage of technology, store it on your Google Drive, and have it ready always.


Must read: CV trends that will increase your chances of being hired


Stay Persistent

With scores of rejected emails and unreturned calls, you might want to call it quits. Do not let the small obstacles keep you from your dream job. Make follow-up calls to the hiring manager or Dave, who promised to talk to their HR about you. 

Make use of online resources

I am one of those people who never believed that your LinkedIn profile could get you your next job. But I have come to change my mind after seeing quite a number of testimonies from people who were hired off LinkedIn. The moral lesson here is to take all the chances to market yourself. Craft the best online profiles on all job search sites you know, and be easy to find. 

That said, have you completed your Fuzu profile? Remember that a proactive job search takes time and effort, but it can increase your chances of finding the right job for you. All the best in your job search this year!

Written by

Mercy Mukisa

Hey there, I'm Mercy Mukisa, a Senior HR Officer writing to you from the lively heart of Uganda. Writing is my way of contributing to the professional community, grounded in the belief that knowledge is the key to empowerment. In the dynamic field of HR, I'm not just a participant; I see it as a privilege to share the insights and experiences gathered along the way. It's not just about the job; it's a commitment to enhancing your professional journey. So, let's navigate through the pages of my articles together, aiming for a balanced and insightful exploration of empowerment and growth.

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