by Elinor Crosby, Head Editor, INALJ Nova Scotia
The Cloud and Your Job Search
When I was underemployed and doing a lot of job searching, resume re-tooling, and cover letter writing, I decided to pay for an upgrade to my Dropbox account. I’d already gotten a lot of free space by getting my friends to sign up, but it just wasn’t enough anymore. I did this because I wanted to have access to all the iterations of my resume at all times. I did this because I didn’t know when I was going to have time to work on applications, and had to snatch that time wherever I could find it. I’m going to show you mine.
I’m sure that other job-seekers were and are much more organized about it that I; I’ve never kept a spreadsheet of jobs to apply for, for instance. While I can see the value in it, that kind of systems doesn’t work for me. I have a folder of “Resumes in Progress” which when opened contains all the job descriptions I’m currently working on applying for and the most recent versions of my resumes. When an application is done and sent off, it goes into a folder called “Application Archive”. You’ll notice in this screenshot that there is also a “Job Apps TO DO” folder, but that is full of things I forgot to apply for because they were in another folder. Not productive at all!
The “Resume Archive” is obviously for resumes that are no longer current, but contain relevant job information I may want to put on a C.V. someday. The “Cover Letter Archive” is the same. My favourite folder is the “Resume Design” folder, though, as it contains experiments in formatting, font, spacing, and wording. While I may not use them, they were an interesting exercise while on a dead evening shift when I had no assigned work to do and no patrons to serve.
The “Application Archive” is also fun. This isn’t a complete list of everything that I applied for; I didn’t save screenshots or copies of online applications, and occasionally some work I was applying for (like clerk/page jobs) was easy enough that I had something prepped and just had to change the competition numbers and names of libraries. (I know it’s a no-no! Desperate times call for desperate measures!) Anything that is not a clerk or library assistant position has a descriptor, and each folder contains the resume and cover letter I applied with, and the original job posting. I may have many copies of pretty much the same resume in these multiple folders, but I like to have everything for each application in one spot. It also helps me when I occasionally need to go back and see what exactly I wrote in my cover letter that got me an interview at one place, but not at another.
Using a cloud-based service like Dropbox was essential to me during my job search. Being able to fiddle with design and tweak my resumes, cover letters, and applications was invaluable, as was being able to it in every free moment wherever I happened to be. Other cloud-based services also work well, including GoogleDocs, iCloud, and others. I use Dropbox still to keep everything I need for my INALJ commitments straight, and GoogleDocs to collaborate with my colleagues and friends.
How do you store keep track of your applications and supporting documents? I’m sure everyone would love more tips and tricks to stay organized and to help them keep on top of their files and folders!