5 Ways to Simplify Your Job Search

by Brad McNally, Head Editor, INALJ Ohio

5 Ways to Simplify You Job Search

brad.mcnallyJob searches can be an extremely taxing experience. You will invest a large amount of time in combine through job listings. You will invest your effort into crafting each cover letter and resume for each position. You will likely make a large emotional investment with each email or packet sent. You may also make financial investments when it comes to the interview. A new suit, travelling to a new city, printing out your information on thick resume paper – this all costs money. I have repeated the word investment for a reason though: all of this is an investment in your career, in your future, and yourself. Yes, this sounds cliché, but it is true. Unfortunately, it is easy to become burnt out when investing so much energy, so keeping your search simple (though not limiting) is important.

1. Use multiple email accounts (or really get creative with folders). There are many resources available that can be delivered directly to your inbox. Part of the issue is that they often overtake your inbox. Separate email accounts, one for personal and one for joblist emails, can make it easier to keep job listings in one place. You could achieve the same with a strict folder system and filters, but having multiple accounts is simple and relatively easy.

2. Automate what you can. RSS feeds can work wonders in job searches. Many sites create a feed of postings that is often updated. If you can have these feed into your reader, you can easily be sure you are seeing the job postings you need to be. Some sites even will create alerts or feeds based on the keywords you search for. This is useful because it means your searches are done for you and easy for you to digest.

3. Use descriptive file names. Although it is easy enough to name your file “Resume” right before sending it off, try to organize slightly by using folders or very descriptive file names. This may seem like more work up front, and it is, but it will pay off when you get a call for an interview and want to look over what you originally submitted again.

4. Save every email. This one also seems like a large amount of work up front, but setting up folders and subfolders to keep track of what you have applied for and any response you have received will make things much easier to find later. One way to do this is to move both incoming and outgoing messages regarding a position into a folder (or subfolder) that is titled with the name of the company/library.

5. Secure references far in advance. Many current coworkers or supervisors would love to be a reference, but sometimes they have various reasons for not wanting to see you leave. This can easily be solved by sorting out references far in advance of applying. The more they are aware of what you are looking for, the more they will be ready to help out. To make your search even easier, have a few references ready to use at any given time.

Although these five tips may seem like they will take up a large amount of time, they all boil down to being organized. An organized job search takes a lot of effort, but when you need to find information along the way, it is ready and you can access it quickly. This can help eliminate some of the stress and quick panic when searching for a resume file that you are sure you saved somewhere.

  2 comments for “5 Ways to Simplify Your Job Search

  1. March 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I think you are absolutely correct Lauren. For the last few interviews I’ve prepared for, I’ve taken the job listing and copied it into Word so that I can go through and type the relevant experience I’ve had next to each point as well. Saving a copy of the posting is a wonderful idea. If nothing else, it is very useful in interview prep – I once applied for a position that was filled, but a year later they called me in for an interview and I was able to get the job. While the circumstances were a bit odd, the interview went great. They had a printed copy of the description I had applied for and the updated description, as well as my old resume and I could provide a new one easily.

  2. INALJ Canada
    February 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Great tips, can I suggest one more? Save a copy of every posting you apply to. This way you have them for reference for multiple reasons:
    – Knowing what you’ve already applied to
    – Taking a copy to the interview with notations/examples
    – Salary negotiations!

    – Lauren INALJ Ontario

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