In my first post on writing a great cover letter, I promised to share with you how I keep my job search organized. First, you can probably tell that I do not like a lot of paper so I started out using an Excel spreadsheet which I created. It became too time-consuming to maintain so I developed an Access database which also became to time-consuming to maintain. Too much paper and the lack of an effective organization strategy not only clutters my surroundings, but my thoughts as well, and it reduces accessibility. My current strategy mostly requires me to drag files from one location to another, or to save a file to a new location. Let me share, with you, my seven (7) fool-proof secret steps to maintaining an organized job search:
- First, I create a folder in Gmail, Outlook, etc. called Job Search and the year (i.e., CBO job search 2016);
- I then create sub folders under the Job Search parent folder (i.e., Announcements applied to; Announcements to apply to; Phone Interviews; In-Person Interviews; Remove from Consideration; Resumes, Offers, etc.);
- When I see an announcement that I want to apply to, or think that I want to apply to, I copy the entire announcement and paste it into the body of a blank email and send it to myself. This enables me to easily access the details of the position from anywhere. Nothing makes you feel less prepared as a job seeker than to receive that long-awaited call from a potential employer and not have ready access to the vacancy announcement that provides the details of the job that you are interested in. I have received phone calls from recruiters and was unable to readily locate the vacancy announcement that they expected me to be able to discuss intelligently. Although it was not their intention to do so, I became nervous and did not perform as well as I would have with the relevant information in front of me;
- When I complete the application process for a position that I have placed in the “To Apply to” folder, I pull the announcement into the “Applied to” folder;
- I review the “To Apply to” folder at least once per week and I delete any announcement that been in that folder for more than two (2) weeks and I have not applied to it. Lets face it, we don’t get to apply to every position that peaks our interest. My weekly review of this folder allows me to read the announcement again, with a clear mind to determine if it is really an opportunity that I would like to pursue.
- Any announcement that I have applied to and have not heard from in six(6) months is deleted from the “Applied To” folder.
- I maintain a flash drive with all versions of my resume (Chronological, Functional, Federal, etc.) as my cover letters for the jobs to which I have applied. I also email updated versions to myself in case my flash drive goes missing or gets damaged.
Try this process and see won’t it make keeping track of your job search progress much easier. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think. Until next time…Here’s to your job hunting success!
Header image courtesy of google image search.