Searching for a new job these days is no easy task, that’s for sure. The availability or lack of jobs has historically been linked to the state of the economy. But over time, job seekers have found that whether jobs are plentiful or scarce, it is much harder to find one than in days gone by.
The competition for open positions is fierce. Salary and benefits packages are constantly being reduced. It is even difficult just to get a first interview in many cases. If you really want to land a great job, you have to develop your skills through personal development, organization and finding ways to get an edge on the competition. Staying organized and being successful in your job search go hand-in-hand.
You will probably be sending out hundreds of resumes and making a large number of contacts. One sure sign of success is how well you are tracking your contacts. Keeping track of your contacts will help you in your follow-up activities with your leads and applications.
Is Getting Organized Really That Important?
Most of us have read articles in the past about how to organize your life and general organization tips. But more than likely we have never put those ideas into action. Well, there is no time like the present to get organized and work on your personal development. Now is no time to get serious about taking the next step in your career. By applying a few basic organization tips and strategies to your job search, you will greatly improve the responses you receive from potential employers. You will be well on your way to finding the perfect opportunity to advance your career.
To be quite honest, in past years when the job market was growing at a steady pace, most people could get by without being organized. Most employers found it difficult to find qualified applicants who would be invested with the company and had the potential to take on additional responsibility to move up the ranks.
In today’s job market, employers find themselves almost overwhelmed by the number of applicants they receive for one job. They are not only qualified, but also in many cases over qualified. On top of that, workers are even willing to accept lower salaries simply because landing a job is so much more difficult than it used to be.
All of this means you need to step up your game. It is important that you are making sure every detail is covered. This includes actively advancing your personal development. If you want to land the job, you will need to be organized and professional so that you rank among the top 1% of applicants.
The following organization tips will help get your job search activities in order.
Job Search Organization Tips
1. Create a Spreadsheet
Do you have sticky notes and half-completed “to do” lists cluttering your desk? If you are like most job seekers then the answer is probably yes. Part of a successful job search is tracking what you have done, what needs to be done, and how your tasks should be prioritized. Creating a spreadsheet will allow you to monitor all of that. A spreadsheet will also make it easy for you to prioritize your top tasks of the day. This will keep you organized and productive.
Remember to update your spreadsheet daily. It will help you keep track of when to follow up, when you might need to make a new contact and what homework you need to do to prepare for the next stage of interviewing.
2. Commit to Constant Improvement
Staying focused on your personal development as an employee and as a person is important to your professional development. Learning new skills and improving existing skills will make you more valuable to an employer. It will also open opportunities that were not previously available to you.
If you are doing a good job at staying organized, then you should be able to spend time improving your personal and professional skills. You can choose to make it a weekly or monthly thing. Whatever your choice is, make it a regular part of your schedule and stick to it!
3. Create a Consistent Business Profile
You need to treat your career and yourself like a business. Every business needs an identity that is consistent and professional. This makes it easy recognize. The same goes for you! You are your own brand so you should be representing who you are and what you want to be. Take some time to get all of your online profiles organized and uniform.
You should be using the same profile picture for all of your social media accounts, on your resume, and in your email profile. You should also post the same content on all of your social media accounts. Create a plan for your social media profiles and schedule for posting. Treat your social media as a billboard that displays your best qualities. The key is to take an organized approach and stick to a schedule.
4. Too Many or Too Few Email Accounts
Consider closing some email accounts, while setting up an account that is 100% dedicated to your job searching activities. Having too many email accounts creates extra work and chaos. As a well-organized professional, you will immediately get the purpose for keeping your personal and professional communications separate. You should never use your personal email account for business and vice versa. Keep everything separated and be sure to use a professional handle for your business email address.
Maintaining some type organization system that works for you is important. It will help you keep your job search stress to a minimum. The more organized you are the easier it will be to get your job hunt on track, and start to see the results you have been waiting for.
Now ask yourself, “Is my job search as organized at it should be?”
Remember, you control the amount of effort and NOT the result.
Related: Goal-Setting: Plan Your Career