Finding a new job takes time and dedication. If you’re applying to multiple jobs at the same time, it takes organization as well.
There’s more to job hunting than submitting your resume and cover letter and waiting to receive a call about an interview. There’s follow-up to do, research to perform, and correspondence to keep track of. If you’re not organized during the process, it can overwhelm even the most qualified job applicant.
Ready to make your job hunt as easy as possible?
Here are five ways to stay organized during a job search.
Do Preliminary Research
The more positions you apply for, the more time you’ll spend on your job search. Rather than applying for every single opportunity that fits your criteria and skill set, do some preliminary research about the company to determine if it seems like a good fit for you.
Sites like GlassDoor provide a wealth of information for job seekers, including current and former employee reviews, insights into the company culture, and salaries. Industry-specific blogs, such as Physicians Thrive, are also a great source of information regarding hiring trends and salary expectations by region and level of experience.
Create a Spreadsheet
The single best way to organize your job search is to create a spreadsheet. You can use it to record relevant information and to monitor who you’ve heard back from, who hasn’t responded, who wants to interview you, and any follow-up you need to do.
Not sure what information to put in your spreadsheet?
Here’s a complete list of everything to include:
- Date of application
- Company name
- Contact person (plus their phone number and email)
- Job title and/or job code if the post has a reference number
- Where you found the job listing
- Where you applied (company website, online job board, etc.)
- Interview date
With all of this information in one convenient sheet, keeping track of where you are in the job hunting process will be much easier.
Keep Track of Every Job You Apply To
Every time you submit a resume to a new employer, record it on your spreadsheet. Make this a routine step in the application process so that you don’t forget any of the jobs you’ve applied to.
As you continue your online job hunt and apply for new jobs, refer back to your spreadsheet to make sure that you’re not submitting your resume more than once to the same employer. If several weeks have passed and you haven’t heard from the employer, it’s better to reach out with a follow-up email than to submit your resume a second time.
Update Your Spreadsheet on a Regular Basis
Your spreadsheet won’t be of much use if you don’t keep it up to date at all times. Every time you communicate with an employer, send them information, or move onto the next stage of the hiring process, record it.
Many people find it helpful to include a “status” column at the end of the sheet. As long as you keep it up to date, this column will make it easy to see exactly where you are in the process at all times.
Create a Google Calendar With Important Dates
Whether you use a calendar app on your phone or maintain a Google calendar online, record the dates and times of all phone interviews, video calls, and in-person interviews. You can also schedule reminders for yourself, such as when to follow up with a list of references or to remember to send a thank you email the day after an interview.
Create Files for Every Potential Employer
The more jobs you apply to at the same time, the more important it is to create a file system. By creating a general folder titled “job search” and sub-folders for each potential employer, it will be much easier to locate all of the documents you need when you need them.
You can save your files on your desktop, but saving them to the cloud offers the flexibility to access them anywhere at any time. No matter where you store them, be sure to keep all relevant documents in each employer file, including your cover letter, the version of the resume you sent, and any research you’ve done on the company.
It’s a good idea to create inbox folders as well. Every time you receive or send an email to an employer, store it in its own folder so that you can easily locate it and refer to it later.
Job hunting will be a whole lot easier if you remain organized throughout the process. With an up-to-date spreadsheet, a smart filing system, and important dates recorded on your calendar, an otherwise stressful job search can be a cinch.