Changing jobs is a big decision, and it's important to be well-prepared in order to make the best possible move. Following are three essential steps that will help you make a seamless transition and avoid post-hiring mismatches. Each step will be explored in detail, encompassing career self-assessment, document preparation, and comprehensive interview readiness strategies. By following these steps, you can confidently navigate the job market and find the perfect fit for your career aspirations.

Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

Step 1: Preparing for a Job Change

To smoothly proceed with your job search, it is important not only to establish a timeline but also to reflect on your career thus far, clarify what you want to achieve in your new job, and make a plan.

Planning your job hunt schedule

Creating a schedule for your job search is crucial to maintaining motivation and effectively utilizing your time and resources. Here is how you can create a specific schedule:

  • Set a goal timeframe: Consider your current job's resignation or handover period and determine when you want to complete the job change. Generally, job searches take around three months, so setting a goal timeframe helps prevent the process from becoming prolonged and allows you to proceed systematically.
  • Organize tasks: Identify the tasks you need to complete by the goal timeframe. List specific tasks such as creating resumes and curriculum vitae, gathering job information, and preparing for interviews.
  • Create a schedule: Allocate each task and its deadline in your schedule. Work backward from your job change goal timeframe to create a realistic schedule.

Assessing your career and achievements

Reflecting on your career and achievements is highly effective in clarifying the career steps you want to take next. By reviewing your strengths, skills, experiences, and past accomplishments, you will be able to effectively highlight your achievements in application documents and interviews.

  • Identifying job responsibilities: First, review the projects and tasks you have been involved in and carefully examine the details of your responsibilities. It is helpful to organize the tasks that brought you a sense of fulfillment or the ones you put extra effort into, based on past schedules and documents.
  • Listing accomplishments and achievements: Furthermore, write down the specific results and contributions you have made through your work. Use numerical data, concrete examples, and success stories to describe the outcomes you achieved and the value you added within your team. Incorporating objective elements as much as possible is crucial.
  • Highlighting strengths and anecdotes: By listing your work experience and achievements, you will discover hints about your strengths and skills. Based on that, try verbalizing your strengths and skills. It is also beneficial to make a list of anecdotes where you successfully demonstrated these strengths, as they will be valuable during interviews.

Organizing your expectations for the new job

After reflecting on your past experiences, clarify the career steps you want to take next. To find companies and positions that align with your aspirations, it is essential to articulate what you expect from your new job and establish a career axis.

  • Listing what you want to avoid in the next job: Refer to the work content you identified during the career self-assessment and list any dissatisfaction or triggers that made you consider changing jobs. It is important to organize specific aspects such as job content, salary, working environment, relationships, and benefits where you experience stress or frustration.
  • Listing what you seek in the next job: Next, list what you expect from your new job. It is important to articulate the challenges you want to take on as your next career step. Identify various aspects, such as industry, job type, work content, company culture, and salary, and clarify what you are seeking.
  • Establishing a career axis: Based on the various criteria you have identified, prioritize them. Categorize them into "non-negotiable conditions" and "preferable conditions" to establish your career axis. Having a clear direction for your job change not only helps you avoid mismatches with companies but also greatly assists in interview preparation.


Step 2: Creating application documents and information gathering

Now that you have completed Step 1, it's time to create your application documents and information gathering by exploring job listings.

Creating or updating your resume and CV

To pass the initial screening process and make a favorable impression, attractive resumes and curriculum vitae are essential.

Clearly communicate your work experience, achievements, strengths, and skills in a compelling manner that makes interviewers want to learn more about you.

When describing your achievements and results, it is effective to include specific numbers, data, and notable points.

Additionally, be mindful of incorporating keywords aligned with the job requirements to showcase yourself as a desirable candidate.

For your motivation statement, consider why you are interested in the company, how your skills can contribute, and why you are a good match.

See our resume and CV writing guide


Gather information from recruitment agencies

Gathering information is a key element for successful job hunting. Stay updated on the industries and positions that interest you and devise strategies accordingly.

Registering with recruitment agencies allows you to receive support from career professionals. Apart from providing job listings, these agencies offer insights into industry trends, average salaries for different positions, market dynamics, and in-demand skills.

Additionally, they can provide career counseling, advice on highlighting your strengths and appealing points, review and editing support for your application documents, and interview preparation assistance.

See our 2023 Salary Guide


Step 3: Applying for Jobs and Interview Preparation

After completing Steps 1 and 2, with all the necessary preparations in place, you can now apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.

Searching for job openings and submitting applications

When you find job openings that interest you, proactively submit your applications. By registering with recruitment agencies, job search professionals can match your skills, experience, and career preferences with suitable job opportunities. Additionally, consider using job search platforms to explore potential openings.

Preparing for job interviews

Once you have applied for a job and passed the initial screening, it's time for the interview. Utilize the insights gained from career self-assessment, career axis establishment, and advice from recruitment agencies to prepare for the interview. Conduct thorough research on the prospective company and industry, understanding their vision, mission, services, and performance. Consider how your goals align with the company's direction and how you can contribute. List potential questions and prepare answers in advance. It is crucial to organize anecdotes that support your strengths and skills. If you have applied through a recruitment agency, seek interview preparation assistance from consultants who have a good understanding of the company and interviewers.

Read more on interview preparation



By conducting thorough preparation, you can confidently navigate your job search. Adequate preparation not only helps you avoid mismatches but also enables you to achieve a satisfying job change.

At Robert Half, we provide various support services for job seekers. If you are considering a job change, please feel free to contact us.

See more career advice from Robert Half