In a recent post, I spoke about what’s required to prepare yourself for a job search. But what should you be looking to take care of when you’re in the middle of job hunt? How can you make sure you’re spending time on the most important items?
Here are some great organizational tips that I’ve found to be useful in maximizing your efficiency when going through the process.
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Record Your Activities with a Spreadsheet or Software
Recording your daily activities is a really good practice to get into.
You’ll never forget what actions you’ve taken on any given day, and you can immediately get up to speed with which step of the process you are at with any particular company.
So what should you include?
Use your spreadsheet columns to note down:
- Company – The name of the company you’ve applied to.
- Position – The job position you’ve applied for.
- Contact – This can be more than one person, but it’s likely to be the person you addressed your application to such as a Hiring Manager, Head of Recruitment or HR Manager. Insert their name if you know it.
- Contact information – This is the contact details for the above member of staff. Enter phone, email, LinkedIn, and any other pertinent information here.
- Date of Application – This is self-explanatory.
- Details of Application – Here is where you list all details concerning your application, including what you’ve submitted (e.g. resume, cover letter) and anything else such as references requested at application stage. This will be invaluable when you come back for interview prep.
- Interview Date – If applicable, update with the date set for your interview.
- Follow Up – Detail your follow-up process here. Thank you notes, email check-ins and any other activity concerning the position or company post-interview.
- Status – This column will be fluid, often changing by the day, and will act as your point of reference for taking next steps. This column will include terms such as: offered the job, invited for second interview, rejected, documents submitted, etc. etc.
Once you’ve completed your spreadsheet you can look to other software and apps to help provide focus to your efforts.
Use Calendar Apps or Job-Hunting Software to Plan Your Daily Activities
Without a plan or strategy in place for each day you’re on the hunt for a new position, you’re likely to waste time on needless tasks.
If you’ve created your spreadsheet in Google Docs or Excel, you can link your data to either your Google or Outlook calendar so you’ll wake up already knowing which tasks you have to complete for each job position on any given day.
If you are dedicating every inch of your free time to looking for a job, it may be worth investing in specific software that integrates everything into one place.
JibberJobber is a browser-based piece of software that’s dedicated to organizing your job search. What’s more, you can start to use it for free until you log the first 25 companies and positions that you’ve applied for. So if you hate it, you can always go back to using your spreadsheets.
It works in much the same way as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that marketers use to track leads, appointments, and sales. You can enter all manner of details concerning job opportunities and set up a daily email which lists your must-complete tasks for the day.
Leverage Technology to Stay Productive on the Move
Just because you are leaving the home, doesn’t mean you should suddenly stop working on securing a new job.
With online job boards, your resume is often saved to your account, allowing you to apply with just one click (or tap of the thumb). So there’s no need to be attached to your computer or laptop during this process.
When it comes to supporting documentation, you don’t think twice about writing a text to your friends or colleagues, so why can’t you craft a great cover letter on your phone or tablet?
By downloading calendar, spreadsheet, or job-board apps to your phone you can continue the job hunting process whenever you have slack time (such as when you find yourself in the passenger seat during family travels).
Organize to Help Prioritize
If you aren’t organized, it becomes much more difficult for you to prioritize tasks during your job search. By not managing your job search effectively, you’re likely to end up wasting large portions of your already-scarce time.
It’s imperative you constantly record everything, updating spreadsheets or software with every new development. You can then use this information to plan and strategize for the next day’s activities.
Finally, take care of the what you can on the move by downloading helpful apps that prevent your job search coming to a standstill just because you’re away from your computer.
What are your tips for managing a job hunt? What have you used to stay organized and productive? Let me know in the comments below!