Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Cleaning Series: How to Organize for Summer Employment Search

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With the internet, it’s easy to come across the same job ad more than once.  To avoid sending multiple applications to an employer or just to keep from being overwhelmed, it’s important to stay organized.  Here are a few tips to simplify the process and help land you the perfect job.
Be prepared.  Most employers require a few basic documents.  A résumé and cover letters are pretty common.  Make sure you have updated these documents and save them in a new file that is easy to remember.  Make sure you have another set of eyes read these documents and critique them.  You don’t want a silly typo to give an employer a reason not to continue with your application.  Also, make sure you have letters of recommendation and contact information for references saved in this folder as well.
Establish a schedule.  To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to spend time hunting.  Block out time each day or week to collect openings, applications, requirements, and deadlines.  If applications use paper filing, keep a folder system of applications, arranging them by due date.  Create targets that you want to accomplish whether you want to spend that block of time focusing on one search engine, filling out applications or attending a networking event.  Setting a time limit with a particular goal in mind will keep you focused and help you accomplish more.
Create a tracking table.  An easy system to use is a calendar that you can access on multiple devices such as Google calendar and create an Excel spreadsheet.  Record what date you applied with a company, listing the employer, position, and the contact person.  Schedule a date for a week later to follow-up if you haven’t heard from the person.  Use this to keep track of your interview dates as well.  After an interview, be sure to have a section in your table to mark off whether or not you’ve sent a thank you note, and schedule a date to follow-up after your interview.  Use colors to help code where in the process you are with an employer and to keep the process bright and fun.
Apply technology.  There are many new apps and programs – some free – that you can use to help you stay organized.  For instance, Resunate has a basic program that’s free, which will help better your résumé. Or, to keep the stacks of business cards you’ll receive from being lost in the washing machine or scattered all over the place, try Evernote to keep them organized.

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Until Next Time,
Jenny L. Maxey

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