What is your job search like? I’ll bet, like so many others, you’re applying to lots and lots of positions, you’re following up on just a few and only once for those, and you’re not doing “precision networking.”
Don’t give me the most common job search excuse, “I don’t have time.” Your problem is deeper than that – you don’t have a job search process, no system.
If your next career move is important to you, read on for some help. If it’s just a hobby, don’t bother. But you won’t get the free gift if you don’t read on!
Why should you be meticulous and organized?
It will speed up the time it takes to land in your next position.
You may have short notice for a phone or face-to-face interview and you need to prepare.
You can’t remember who to thank and who to connect with later. All of the contacts you make during the job search should be part of your network.
For those of you who manage projects at work or home, this may be familiar. Yet, Mary, a professional project manager, wasn’t organizing her job search tasks until she became a client and I put her on a program.
Here’s what you need and it’s so basic and simple, you’ll say, “Why didn’t I think of this?” You need a spreadsheet (Excel) or table (Word) that has the following columns: *
(*Or keep reading to the end of the article and find out how to receive a free downloadable tool.)
Job Opportunity # (I recommend you juggle at least 10 active job opportunities at one time.)
Company name and website
Job title, department
Job posting number
Job posting web link
Name of job contact, if available
Date you applied and how (Company website, LinkedIn, etc.)
Follow Up: Your next steps
Other information: who referred you, things you learned, notes
Then, each row will represent each job opportunity that you either are actively engaged with or will be soon. Once complete, you will have a one-page at-a-glance of your activities and next steps.
Design it to your liking so you use it. I don’t care if you organize your job search on paper or on your computer; the key is that you do it.
Now that you have your Job Tracker, here are other techniques to build a system or process that will yield results. Because that is what you want, right? Results!
Tracking your action items
Let’s say you applied to job opportunity #1 on your job search tracker. Your spreadsheet will show that you applied on January 6. Therefore, the “Next Steps” column should say “Follow up on January 13.” Now, go right to your calendar and add that action item as an appointment with yourself on January 13th. And what about your additional follow up on January 20th and 27th? Put those in your spreadsheet and on your calendar too so you don’t forget.
Storing your job search research
Why do we humans believe we can remember more than science proves we can? Trust me, you can’t! So all of the great research you are doing on job boards, LinkedIn, company websites, search engines, and more, should be saved in an orderly and easily accessible format.
I was preparing Jim for his interview yet he had some important information in e-mails, additional information on a computer at home, and more on his tablet. Not good! Pick a place and technology and have it all with you at all times.
I have networked with countless job seekers in coffee shops and I’ll ask them whom they spoke to at Company XYZ in case I knew them. And, oops, they didn’t have that information with them.
Is your job search that important…or not?
I’m a huge fan of digital notebooks to organize and find all job search information. I have used Microsoft OneNote for my prior job searches and I still use it daily for my business. There are other solutions such as EverNote, SpringPad, Tomboy, and more. You can back up the information in the cloud so you can access it on virtually any device, including your smart phone.
NOW FOR THE FREE GIFT: Simply e-mail me at Dana@DanaManciagli.com with one job search question, ask for the “tracker,” and I’ll send you my Cut the Crap (CTC) Job Tracker – FREE – so you can tame that out-of-control job search, right now!