[IMGCAP(1)]Conducting an effective job search requires you to have a clear vision of the job you want to find.

To maximize your effectiveness, craft a four-point mission statement before you write your resume, announce your job search, and start meeting with people. Your mission statement should include these elements:

1.    The type of job(s) or job title(s) that you are looking for.
2.    The industry(s) you want to work in.
3.    The location(s) where you want to work.
4.    A list of four or five target companies to help your listener understand you better.

Your mission statement might sound like this: “I’m looking for an entry-level auditing position with a public accounting firm in the greater Seattle area. Ideally, I would like to get my start with a Big Four firm like Deloitte. However, I’m also interested in regional and local firms like Moss Adams and Clark Nuber.”

Or, to schedule a meeting, it might sound like this: “I’m looking for an SEC accounting position in a Seattle-area biotech company. I have a list of about 50 companies. I know that you know the industry. Could we go through the list together to pinpoint the best companies and to see whom you know and whom you might help me meet?”

Have you crafted your mission statement/talking points? Great—then you are ready to start the rest of your job search.

If not, invest time in getting clear about what you want from your work and what will make you happy. In other words, begin with the end in mind. The effort will shorten your job search.

Donna Svei, CPA, CFE is an executive search consultant and resume writer. Monster.com named her one of their “11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Job Search.” Donna blogs at AvidCareerist.com. You will find her on GooglePlus at gplus.to/donnasvei and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/donnasvei . Donna can be reached at (208) 721-0131 or donnasvei@gmail.com.