Wednesday, October 22, 2014

5 Simple Tips for Organizing Your Job Search

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog 

Organize Your Job Search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Organize your job search to focus on getting hired!

Do you lose track of where and when you have applied for jobs? Do you waste time trying to remember which version of your resume you have used with which employer? Do you neglect to follow up with potential employers because it slipped your mind? Then you are a disorganized job seeker.

Being organized and being introverted often go hand-in-hand because introverts like to focus on details. But this is not always the case. Some job seekers apply for jobs without keeping track of what they are doing. Before you know it, they have a mess of resumes and cover letters, scraps of paper with cryptic notes, and an unknown number of missed opportunities.

So if you are losing time, energy, and job prospects by being disorganized, here are five easy tips for cleaning up your job search so you can focus on getting hired.
  1. Create an email address just for your job hunt: By taking this step, you’ll be able to manage and respond to job search-related emails more quickly. By the way, be sure the email address you use for job searching sounds professional.
  2. Create a schedule and record everything you do and need to do: Create a schedule each day so you are looking for new openings, following up with people as promised, reaching out to potential employers and networking contacts, and researching possible jobs in your target companies and industries. If you create an active job search routine, you are less likely to miss opportunities as they arise. Also spend time each day recording your activities, adding appointments and tasks to your calendar, and saving copies of everything you send to employers. Use your favorite system to track activities and develop a calendar, whether it’s a paper-and-pencil format, a Word or Excel document, or an online tool like Google Calendar. If you are receiving unemployment insurance, this record keeping will be very useful when you report your job search activities to the state.
  3. Create folders on your computer: Use company names for your folders. Be sure to put everything you send and receive from an organization into its folder. Then you’ll never wonder, for example, which version of your resume an employer received.
  4. Avoid little paper notes everywhere: Put all your paper notes into your calendar, your to-do list, or your activity-tracking system. Little pieces of paper are easy to misplace.
  5. Take notes: When you talk with a contact, go on an interview, or learn information about a company of interest, consider taking notes about what a person said, what happened, and what you learned. Put those notes into the online folder named for the company or into your contact records. Also be sure to add follow-up actions to your calendar.
The organizing activities I have described here may sound like a lot of work, but they soon will become second nature and hardly take any time at all. 

One final thought: If you organize your job search but don’t continue to organize, you’ll be right back where you started. Vow to get—and stay—organized in your job hunt.

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