Though having a job can cause stress in itself, actually finding a job can cause an even bigger headache. Things can get disorganized pretty quickly — and you may find yourself lost in a job search black hole, missing some important deadlines or opportunities in the process.
How can you avoid these dreaded job search blunders? Here are three sure-fire ways to clean up your search:
Get organized! It happens to the best of us: no matter how hard we try to be organized, things fall to the wayside. However, in any job search, staying and maintaining organization is important. Additionally, creating a plan for your job search can be the difference between landing a job and missing out.
How can you stay organized when you’re sending out tons of applications, making phone call after phone call, and e-mailing employers until your fingers fall off? Though the specifics may vary, creating a simple spreadsheet can help you track who you have contacted, the status of job openings, if follow-up has been conducted, points to note, etc. You can also create a calendar with alerts to remind you of important deadlines. That way, you’ll always be on top of your job search and be able to conduct it more thoroughly.
Schedule your time appropriately. Job searching is a full-time job in itself – but that doesn’t give you an excuse to zone out of Facebook, follow people mindlessly on Twitter, and spend your free time on the couch. When conducting your search, be sure to schedule your time and create a routine, just as a normal professional day would be conducted.
If you find yourself moving away from your overall goal, it may be a good idea to come up with an organizational routine, such as getting up at the same time everyday, spending X amount of hours using professional social networking, following up with employers for an hour, etc. If you create a routine and stick to it, you will have a better chance at getting what you want. Additionally, never forget your end goal: landing a job. If you don’t put in the appropriate time, you’re not going to get the result you want.
Search correctly. A common job search blunder is that job hunters are not looking for jobs properly. For example, if you’re using a job board, are you looking by job title or by industry category? Probably the former, right? Think about looking for jobs through categories since many employers place jobs in larger occupational categories (like management, for example) to reach the most candidates. Further, the employer’s needs are more important than yours, so they aren’t thinking about how you’re searching. Employers are thinking about how to source the best candidate skill sets.
In addition to job boards, be sure to be searching for jobs where industry opportunities are more prevalent, like on certain social sites, at networking events, or even through your connections. The more thorough your search, the more chances you have at landing a job.
How do you clean up your job search? What else do you suggest?