Organizing Your Job SearchShannon Hall
When it comes to searching for the perfect job, organization is key. Imagine putting in a few dozen applications and getting a call a week later. Will you know who’s on the other end? Staying organized and keeping track of your applications will help you stay on top of your job search when the calls start rolling in.
Set Goals and do Your Research
Having a goal in mind can help give direction to your job search. What are your career aspirations? Do you want a shorter commute? Do you want better benefits? These are all important questions to ask yourself in order to keep your job search on track. Once you know your goals, it’s time to research your best options. Pick and choose the companies you really want to work for and research their history, outlook, competition, and culture. You might explore the company website for this information, or you might check outside resources such as the news and social media. Check your professional network for connections who work at your target companies. This can offer you an insider perspective or even the possibility of a referral. Being knowledgeable about a company strengthens you as a candidate and gives you an edge in an interview. If you’re working with a recruiting agency, be sure to know which companies they are submitting you for to avoid doubling your application.
Stick to a Schedule
It’s important to begin your job search with a start date in mind. This allows you to work backwards in order to set a structured timeline for your job search to keep you focused and on track. Imagine the dates that you hope to have your first and second round interviews and write them down. Remember to make these dates realistic and allow for preparation time. A benefit of setting this range of dates is that you can keep your schedule clear of anything that might interfere with setting a time for an interview. Once you have your timeline you can set aside as much time as you will need each day in order to stay on track. This time should be dedicated to applying for new jobs, checking messages, updating your spreadsheet, researching companies, and preparing your resume as well as any supplemental materials you may need. An hour or two every morning is a good place to start.
Keep a Spreadsheet
Applying for many jobs at once can quickly become overwhelming when it comes to keeping track of which companies and positions you’ve applied for. An easy solution is to keep a spreadsheet. Create a list of applications you’ve submitted, including the name of the company, contact information, a link to the website, and the dates of your application, follow-ups, phone screens and interviews. You might also include some notes from your research. Having this information organized and accessible will help you keep track of your application status for each company. A spreadsheet can be a great resource—especially when you start getting calls from interested employers. With your spreadsheet on hand you’ll never get caught on the phone with an employer you don’t remember!
Prepare Your Voicemail (and e-mail too!)
Once you begin your job search it’s essential that employers are able to contact you. A common issue that we encounter is a voice mailbox that is full or has yet to be activated. This makes it impossible to receive responses to your job applications. Be sure to set up and personalize your voicemail so that you have a professional sounding message that includes your name. Remember, this message could be your first impression with your future employer. The same rules apply to e-mail. Make sure that you are using a professional e-mail address and that there is space in your inbox. It also might be worth adding company e-mails to your safe sender list to be sure that you don’t miss anything that could end up in your spam folder or trash.
Clean up Your Social Media
A CareerBuilder survey tells us that 70% of employers screen job candidates on social media before they are interviewed or hired. This means your online presence should be polished up or locked down before you begin your job search. You can get a good idea of what kind of information is publicly available about you by doing a Google search of your name. Your public social media should give only a good impression to potential employers. Make sure your privacy settings are up to date, as social media sites make frequent changes. View your own social media as if you were an outsider and determine if there is anything visible that might hinder your chances of being hired.
When submitting several applications at once a job search can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t take the time to keep track of them all. Setting clear goals, making a timeline, keeping a spreadsheet, and being prepared for responses can be a big help. By putting in the effort to stay organized during your search, you give yourself an advantage for when potential employers come calling.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. http://useful-sock.flywheelsites.com/contact-us/