Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

Job Search Readiness Questionnaire


– – – Background – – –

This questionnaire is intended to give you an idea as to how well you are prepared to conduct a job search.

Think back to your last job. Could you have performed that job on day 1 as well as you did 3-6 months later? Not likely. Most jobs require some education, training, preparation, practice, and experience before you can effectively perform them. 

The same is true of the job search. – – – I find that many/most job seekers need some education as to what the “process” is and time to prepare (both in developing promotional materials and developing skills, like networking, interviewing, and negotiating.) – – – In addition, many job seekers have not looked for a job for 10, 20, or maybe even 30 years. They don’t realize, yet, that what worked more than 10 years ago isn’t very effective in today’s job market. 

So, this raises the fundamental question, “How well prepared / how ready are you to undertake your job search?”

To help you answer that question, I’ve developed this “Job Search Readiness Questionnaire.” 

I recognize that you may have already started your job search. If so, consider the questionnaire as something that will give you some insight into whether you might need to take a step back and brush up on some of your knowledge and skills needed to conduct a search. If that is the case, consider reading other topics that I’ve posted here in my blog. Each addresses some topic in the questionnaire. 

Bottom Line: The more you are prepared, the shorter the time will be that you are unemployed.

Below are following sections:

  • The Procedure
  • The Questionnaire
  • The Guidelines
  • A Summary of other Job Seekers’ Scores

I hope you feel this helps you prepare for and achieve success in your job search, sooner than later.


– – – The Procedure – – –

Answer each question either “Yes” or “No”. If you answer “Yes”, you get the points for the question that are in parentheses ( ) after the question. If you answered “No”, you get 0 points. No partial credit or points should be taken. It’s all or none. If a question has two or more parts to it, you need to be able to answer “Yes” to all parts to get the points. (Yes, I could have offered partial points, but then, it’s a judgment call. For now, the “Guidelines” are based on this “all or nothing” method of scoring.)

After you have answered the last question, add up your points and compare your total against the “Guidelines” to obtain an assessment of your current level of readiness and a recommended course of action.

As a final step, please send me an email (JWGrant@AOL.com) that indicates (1) Your score, (2) What letter (A, B, C, D from the “Guidelines”) that represents your view of how well you are prepared to conduct a job search, (3) Any comments to improve the content or format of the questionnaire. This will help me ensure that the “Guidelines” are calibrated reasonably well. Your response will also help me when I work with other job seekers in the future. (I will not send you emails and I will not sell/give your email address to anyone else.) 


– – – The Questionnaire – – –

Phase I – Separating (from your last employer)

    1.   Did you get all the compensation and benefits you were entitled to? (5)

    2.   Did you get contact information from your prior colleagues, bosses, customers, suppliers for future networking opportunities? (5)

    3.   Do you understand how COBRA works and have you made a deliberate decision to use it or not? (5)

    4.   Have you applied for unemployment compensation? (5)

Phase II – Planning

    5.   Do you clearly know the kind of work you want to do and where? Can you write a 100 word description of it? (25)

    6.   Do you know the 18 steps in the entire job search process and understand them? (5)

    7.   Have 3-5 people reviewed your resume and have you incorporated their suggested changes, and is it less than a page and a half? (5)

    8.   Is your 30-second commercial / elevator speech refined and ready to go? (5)

    9.   Do you know you should not waste your time pursuing jobs through the HR Departments and what you should do instead? (10)

Phase III – Preparing

  10. Do you know what a “T-Letter” is and are you committed to use it for each posted job that you pursue? (15)

  11. Have you obtained an experienced job search mentor / advisor? (5)

  12. Have you established a paper or computer based system to record all the information about people, employers, and jobs you will encounter in your job search? (5)

  13. Have you done your salary research and know what the salary range is for the kind of job you are looking for in the geographic area you want to work? Do you know what you are worth? (10)

  14. Do you have a business card and does it indicate the kind of work you want to do? (5)

  15. Do you have answers prepared for all those crazy questions interviewers ask? (5)

  16. Do you have a list of at least 5 target employers you want work for even though you have no reason to believe they currently have a job for you? (10)

  17. Have you developed your Marketing Plan? (10)

Phase IV – Seeking

  18. Do you know how to network? Who to network with? (15)

  19. Do you know the 4 fundamental methods for searching for a job and do you now what portion of your time you should spend on each? (10)

  20. Do you know how to work with external recruiters? Do you know how to recognize the “good”, “bad”, and “ugly” ones? (5)

Phase V – Acquiring

  21. Do you have good interviewing skills? Have you practiced interviewing with another person? (15)

  22. Do you know the best question you can ask a hiring manager to “sell” yourself? (5)

  23. Do you know how to answer behavior interview questions? (5)

  24. Do you have 2 non-answers prepared for the dreaded “What are your salary requirements” question? (10)

  25. Do you have your list of questions to ask during an interview? (5)

  26. Do you know how to negotiate compensation? Have you decided which negotiating chips are really important to you? (15)

Total Points = 220.


– – – The Guidelines – – –

 Compare your total points to the 4 ranges below.

Ref ID = A
Your Points = Less than 100
Assessment = You are “Not Ready” to start a job search.
Recommended Course of Action = Immediately start working on those questions to which you answered “No.” If someone contacts you about a job opportunity, you would do well to postpone any meetings until you are better prepared. 

Ref ID = B
Your Points = 105 to 135
Assessment = Not well-prepared.
Recommended Course of Action = If someone contacts you about a job opportunity, go ahead and proceed, but keep working on the questions to which you answered “No” until any meeting occurs.

Ref ID = C
Your Points = 140 to 165
Assessment = Fairly well- prepared.
Recommended Course of Action = Start your job search. However, you would do well to simultaneously work on those questions to which you answered “No.”.

Ref ID = D
Your Points = More than 165
Assessment = Very well-prepared.
Recommended Course of Action = Start your job search immediately.

 Regardless of the Guidelines above, if you answered “No” to question #5, then you are not ready to start a job search, because you don’t yet know what kind of work to look for. At a minimum, you should obtain an experienced job search mentor who may be able to help you determine what you want to do. You also may need to go through a formal career planning program and then do “informational” interviews based on the results of the program.


– – – A Summary of Other Job Seekers Scores – – –

 Here is a summary of the scores from other job seekers.

A              9%
B            22%
C            25%
D           44%
Total    100%


March 2, 2010 - Posted by | Planning


  1. Hello Jim
    Couldn’t agree more failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
    I see so many job seekers taking a shot gun approach to anything that looks reasonable.
    There is no substitute for putting in the thinking time and getting really focused and targetted in your job search activities.
    Like the questionnaire

    Comment by Fawkes | March 2, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the support and positive feedback. – Jim

      Comment by Jim Grant | March 3, 2010 | Reply

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