Are you on an intensive job hunt for your dream career and want to be as efficient and organized as possible? You’re keeping a full schedule of making dozens of calls, resume updates, cover letters, resume posting, and follow up.
The question is, will you be able to keep up?
Here’s a handy guide you can follow to help you stay organized and make the most of your time so you spend the shortest amount of time being unemployed as possible.
Where to spend your time
First, Craft Your Resume
While it’s important to get your resume right and polished initially, be wary of spending tons of hours, like many job-seekers, updating and fine-tuning your resume over and over again. Follow the instructions in the previous module on building out a polished and ATS ready resume that will get you noticed. However, when it comes time to apply for a job, spend just enough time to match your resume to the job and then spend the majority of your time hunting, applying, networking, and following up.
That time spent agonizing over your resume can be better spent networking and knowing what’s out there.
Remember, the reason why you’re sending a resume is not to showcase your whole professional career, but to give the employer an idea of the skills and experience you have that makes you the perfect fit for the job.
If you can’t fit what you want on a single page, then reduce by editing bulleted verbs and focusing on delivering impact. Keep your resume clean and attractive by eliminating fluff.
If you’re not getting responses to your resume then ask recruiters and others in your field for feedback and spend an additional 60 minutes to make those updates and then stop fussing and start networking!
Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles
You’ll want to focus on your professional social media profile next because most employers will likely do a search after they read your resume.
Update your profile, especially LinkedIn. It will serve as your digital resume and showcase other skills and accomplishments that you don’t have room for on a resume.
Choose Your Organizational Tool
Keeping on top of your job search and applications may seem too much, but with the right tech, you should be able to manage without any trouble.
CRM software can be very super useful to have, especially for those who are considering multiple career paths.
Juggle interview dates and times, follow-ups, application deadlines, job positions and their corresponding companies can be difficult. However, with a reliable CRM you can quickly remember when to follow up, who you’ve contacted, and the applications you’ve completed and need to complete.
Your mobile phone can help you out tremendously in terms of organization and structured job search.
If you’re constantly on the move and are comfortable working on a smartphone then consider using a mobile app that can help you organize your job hunting endeavor.
You can also utilize a spreadsheet app and a note app for jotting down digital notes, and having the calendar remind you of appointments, meetings and alerts.
If you like switching back and forth between devices then use a cloud service like google drive or dropbox which will keep all your devices synced and your notes up-to-date.
Sometimes old methods still work the best. Buy a notebook and a reliable pen and keep track of your job search the old-fashioned way.
If nothing else, a spare notebook can complement your app or CRM software as it’s quicker to write in and can serve as a temporary platform for information.
You can record ideas, contact details, write rough drafts, and take down notes while networking or during interviews as well.
Ready Your Job Alerts
Make available jobs come to you instead of the other way around. The best way to do this is to activate alerts on job sites and opt to receive an email as soon as new listings are posted.
This way, you can just scan your email once a day and get up to speed on current job listings. It also helps you keep track of the jobs you applied for with a simple search of your inbox.
Send the Word Out
The time you spent networking with professionals will come in handy here. A simple post or tweet to announce you’re looking for a job will mark the beginning of your job hunt.
Let key people in the industry know and, if possible, ask for their advice on how to proceed. You can set up a meet with a sponsor or arrange a video call with your old mentor.
Before face time, you’ll want to spend a few hours getting to know what they’ve been up to in the professional world via LinkedIn. It’s good to have a few conversation starters to get the ball rolling.
The purpose of the meeting is to gain information on what job opportunities are available in the industry and how you can reach someone who can get you in. Be respectful of their time; these meetings should not last more than 20 minutes. Right before you wrap up, if the meeting has been going well, feel free to ask them to be a reference for you. Whatever their answer or how the conversation went, end by thanking them for their time and everything else they have helped you with.
Continue this process and soon you’ll have built up a good momentum in your job search.
Make a “Wish” List
At this point you’ll have a few dozen open job opportunities you can pursue. It can get overwhelming, so keep it down to no more than 15 of those you really want.
Make a list of companies in the industry you want to work for. Use any available resource to find out all about them: how they do business, their culture, brand value, and what they do differently versus the competition. Write it down and keep a dossier as a helpful resource.
Keep It as Simple as Possible
Remember, quality still wins over quantity especially when it comes to job hunting.
Now is the time to narrow down your preferred company list into single digits and weigh the pros and cons of each. Remove the ones you really don’t qualify for and don’t forget to put the jobs you truly want at the top.
Starting with your base resume, create a copy of it and name it with the job/company you are applying for and cater that new resume to the job and company you’re applying for. Don’t use a cookie-cutter approach. It simply isn’t going to cut it. You’ll find much greater success in tailoring your resume and cover letter.
During your spare time, reach out in your network for informational interviews. Follow and bookmark companies you want to work for and regularly check and see if they have openings.
Have plenty of patience and keep busy while expanding your reach in the professional industry. Sooner or later you’ll land that interview. Put your best foot forward and sooner and later your job search will yield some fruit.