You’re going to be applying for a lot of jobs (that is, if you follow my advice!). If you don’t develop good job search tools to organize your job search efforts, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and slowing down your employment search. Here’s how to avoid that.
Here’s How to Organize Your Employment Search
If you’re serious about finding a job, you need to do a lot of research and apply for as many positions as you are qualified for. Good job search strategies demand that you be able to manage all this, so you need a way to organize your job search, plus you’ll need the right job search tools.
Here are the five things I recommend for your job search strategy in order to organize your job search to keep track of your efforts:
- A spreadsheet to track the jobs applied for
- A spreadsheet to track what web sites you’ve visited
- Set up folders for your resumes and cover letters
- Set up “bookmarks” or “favorites” for company and job web sites
- Set up an Internet email account
Let’s take these one at a time.
A Spreadsheet to Track Jobs Applied For
The first step to organizing your job strategy is to set up a spreadsheet on your computer so that you can keep track of the positions you’ve applied for.
Below is a example of the one I used for myself. You want to keep track in a spreadsheet so you can easily sort by company, position type, etc.
|Date||Company||Position||How I Applied||Result|
Be sure to enter in every – I repeat – every job for which you apply.
This will prevent embarrassing mistakes during you employment search, such as applying for the same job twice. This is something I actually see quite a bit as a hiring manager. I usually cross these applicants off. If you’re too disorganized to realize you’ve applied twice, how good can you be on the job? Make sure you adhere to this job search strategy.
Hey, it’s tough making a good impression on the hiring manager!
A Spreadsheet to Track Web Sites Visited
When you have the right job search strategy and properly organize your search, you’ll be visiting many web sites on a regular basis, including company web sites and online job boards.
Since job postings constantly change, you’ll need a way to track which online job search sites you’ve visited and how often you visit them. This way, you’ll ensure that you’re checking all your target sites frequently.
Here’s a sample of the spreadsheet I’ve used.
|Company or Job Site Name||Date||Date||Date||Date|
Write in the name of each company or job posting site you want to visit regularly. The first time you visit that site, write in the date in the first “date” column.
Then, each time you visit after that, write the date in the next date column. You’ll probably want to have at least ten or fifteen date columns.
For this spreadsheet, I would just put in the headings in the first row, print it and keep track of your visits on paper. It’s just too cumbersome to call up the spreadsheet and enter the dates every time. Remember: you’ll be visiting lotsof sites regularly if you follow my job search strategies.
Set Up Folders for Resumes and Cover Letters
You should set up a folder on your computer and name it “Job Search”. Then, set up subfolders in that folder for “Resumes” and “Cover Letters”.
Each time you write a new resume or cover letter, store it in that folder. It will be easy to find them when you need to print or send them electronically for job applications.
If you don’t have a computer and are using one at the Library or at a friend, you’ll have to store your resumes and cover letters on a disk, CD or USB drive.
Set up Bookmarks or Favorites
Set up a folder named “Job Sites” in the Favorite or Bookmark area (depending on which Browser you use). Once you’ve decided on which company and online job boards you want to visit regularly in your employment search, set a Favorite or Bookmark in that folder. This way, you’ll easily find them each time.
Set Up an Internet Email Account
An Internet email account is a necessity today for your employment search. Many job openings require you to apply electronically, frequently by attaching your resume to an email.
If you already have a computer and an Internet provider, you already have an email with that provider. Just be sure that your email user name isn’t something unprofessional such as LookingToParty or GeeImHot (these are two I actually saw on resumes).
If you don’t already have an Internet email account, you can set up a free one at several places, such as Yahoo and HotMail. I llike Yahoo better because many spammers use HotMail addresses.