by Amanda May, Head Editor, INALJ North Dakota
Getting Organized for your Job Search
When I was searching for my current work position, I remember feeling overwhelmed. I had applied for quite a few positions, so it was really hard to keep track of everything. I felt like I was drowning in paperwork! I knew that I needed to buckle down and get organized. I wanted to work in a library. This organization thing should come pretty naturally, you know?
Job Search Log
In order to keep track of every application, I created a job search log using Microsoft Excel. When I applied for a job, I used the spreadsheet to keep track of the following:
- Position Title
- Contact Name
- Phone Number
- E-mail Address
- Mailing Address
- Application Deadline
- Application Date
- Application Submission Method
- Application Materials Submitted
- How I Heard About this Job
- Interview Date and Time
- Status of Application
Is this a bit excessive, perhaps, but I found that having more information was a lot more helpful than not enough. When I applied for a position, I didn’t necessarily fill out every box. It really depended on the job opening. It worked as a “one stop shop” for all of my application information. Another benefit to the job search log was the ability to see patterns in my job search. For example, I saw that certain types of companies took longer in their search. I also saw what types of companies were calling me for interviews.
I tailored my cover letter and resume for each specific job opening. In order to keep track of all of this paperwork, I created a folder system on my computer.
- I created a folder titled, “Job Search.”
- When I submitted an application, I created a subfolder using the company name.
- In the subfolder, I included a copy of my cover letter, resume, application, and job description.
When I first started my folder system, I didn’t include the job description in the company’s subfolder. I thought that I could easily access it online. I quickly found out that it wasn’t quite that easy. By taking the time to include the job description in the company’s subfolder, I alleviate a lot of stress for myself. The job description helped me prepare for the interviews. It also was nice to have to on hand for any potential references that may request to look at the job description.
By using a job search log and a folder system, my job search process became a lot easier. I became much more aware of the job search and a much better informed candidate.