Tips for Staying Organized in Your Job Search
When you are faced with the unexpected news that your position is being terminated, there are a whirlwind of emotions that all center around the question, “What am I going to do now?”
Your brain will naturally start crisis planning, and your only focus instantly becomes ensuring your financial future and taking care of your family. While embarking on a job search can be scary and overwhelming, staying organized can help you manage stress and ensure that you aren’t overbooked and overcommitted.
Create a Master File
I always recommend that job seekers update their resume first. The easiest method is to have a master file that includes all your experience, complete job descriptions, technologies, tools you have used, dates, address, reference names and phone numbers, education, training, and certifications. It could be a really long document, and that’s ok. This is not the resume you’ll send out, but instead it is a Master File to be able to access information quickly. This will make it much easier to stay accurate and consistent while you build an effective resume targeted towards specific jobs by copying and pasting information from your Master File. You’ll also need most of this information when filling out online applications.
Have multiple resumes
If you’re applying for more than one type of job, have multiple resumes that are targeted towards the job title you are applying for. I see this a lot when someone wore multiple hats on a previous role (like Business Analyst and Project Manager). Separate the files by having a clear naming convention like "John.Smith Business Analyst" and "John.Smith Project Manager".
Keep a spreadsheet
Use this to track where you have applied and where recruiters have submitted you. Having duplicate submittals will usually disqualify you from consideration. I recommend tracking company name, location, recruiter name, recruiter contact information, salary, and application status.
Set up a Calendly
Keep a calendar on your phone that you can access from anywhere to quickly schedule interviews and meetings. Calendly is a free appointment booking tool to keep your calendar organized. I recommend blocking off specific times to interview on your calendar each week.
Don’t work with everyone that calls you
Choose 2-3 highly qualified agency recruiters to work with instead of trying to work with every recruiter that calls. The sheer volume of recruiting calls that you will get after uploading your resume to job boards can be overwhelming. It’s ok to screen calls and set boundaries. Find recruiters that will work with your schedule and take the time to fully understand your job search needs.
It may seem like a lot of work on the front end but staying organized throughout your job search will make all the difference in the world. It will help combat feeling overwhelmed and avoid additional stress of trying to juggle calendars, emails, texts and phone calls. If you have everything ready to go, you can act quickly without having to reinvent things every time you apply for another role.
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