Staying organized during a job search can be difficult. How do you keep track of which information you’ve sent to which organizations? What about following up? How do you prioritize your opportunities? Job seekers have a lot of information to keep track of, but the more time you spend on organization, the less time you have to spend actually applying. With that in mind, here are a few tips to make your job search as efficient as possible.
– Set goals. With so many tasks to handle, from networking and resume creation to applications and research, it can be easy to let things slip. Setting weekly goals for your job search will help you prioritize your top needs at any given time and make sure you meet them.
– Use lists and spreadsheets. Trying to keep track of all the material related to your job search in your head is generally a losing proposition. Keep lists of things like networking contacts, job postings you’re interested in, interviews, and companies you might want to research. Spreadsheets can be an efficient way to store multiple lists in one place. Just make sure you update your lists and spreadsheets regularly.
– Save templates for cover letters. You need to customize your cover letters for every application, but that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch every time. Templates can include a basket of accomplishments that you can draw from to highlight your suitability for each position.
– Store answers to common questions. Many job applications will ask you the same general set of questions. Rather than typing in your answers every time, save them in a text file so that you can quickly copy and paste them into a new form. Having those answers on hand can also be helpful during phone interviews, when you may be asked some of the same questions again.