Our Experts | Deborah Peters
You may have heard the old adage that searching for a job is a full time job until itself. While it’s true that online tools and social media have made it easier to learn about a larger number of potential job opportunities, sometimes the volume of information available online can ADD more time to your search, rather than make it more efficient.
Searching for a job today consists of a lot of time spent on online job boards, submitting hundreds of resumes, talking to recruiters and HR people, networking and more. However, here are a few suggestions and necessary tools that will help you keep track of and organize all of the information that you need to digest and leverage.
Use the tips below to whittle down your online job search information and use your time more wisely.
- Use mobile-friendly and free websites/apps. You want to be on a job board that you can search on your phone, and you definitely want to be using a service that notifies you when a relevant position opens up. Time is of the essence, and some jobs don’t stay posted for long, so a notification can make a huge difference to your search. Sites like Indeed will let you set up notifications, and other big-name job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder have free apps you can use on your mobile.
- Have different versions of resumes and cover letters ready to go. While you don’t want it to be too cut-and-paste, you do want to have these available at your fingertips to tweak and send. You also need to be sure you have them formatted to be sent from your mobile device. This is especially important when you start getting those job notifications on the go, and want to apply quickly. Check out instructions on how to save your resume on your mobile here.
- Create a detailed spreadsheet. This is possibly the most important thing you can do for yourself during a job search. Having an Excel or similar document to keep track of your job search will prove invaluable when you’re neck-deep in resumes, coffee dates and recruiter offers.
In your spreadsheet, keep track of details such as:
- The company you applied to
- The date you applied
- Your contact at the company or recruiter and their information (email address, phone number, etc.)
- If working with a recruiter, a list of places they’ve submitted your resume to prevent duplication
- The status of your application
- Dates you have scheduled interviews or meetings (coffees, lunches, etc.)
- Notes about who you have meetings with
- Notes about your in-person or phone interviews
- Notes on the next steps you need to take
- A time frame of when you should follow-up with each contact
- A place to send your follow-up “Thank you” note sent via email or post mail
- A well-done spreadsheet will save your sanity and potentially help you secure your next job by keeping you on track with all the vigorous steps an online job search includes.
For more job search tips, see How to Stay Valuable While Seeking Employment.