Job-hunting can be a challenge, especially if you are sending a large number of applications to a variety of employers. How should you keep track of what you’ve done, and what you ought to do next? The key to managing your job-search is to be super organised, which isn’t nearly as time-consuming as it sounds. Here are a number of tips you can follow to ensure an easy, streamlined and less daunting job searching process:
Plan before you start
Before you even begin, start by deciding what your goals should be: identify your preferred role, industry, type of company and any other factors that are important, such as whether you wish to stay in your university town or prefer to move. Once you have highlighted these, set some realistic targets. This can be how many applications you want to send each week, how much time each day or each week you want to dedicate to your job search, or how many sources you want to consult (websites, newspapers, job boards).
Aiming for a goal will increase your motivation and provide a sense of achievement once you reach them. There are a number of apps that you can use to help with your job search too. Why not use Evernote to help organise documents such as your CVs, cover letters and references and synchronise them across all of your devices?
Find a consistent routine
The job-hunting process can be very fast-paced and so finding the best routine early on will be useful in the long-term. If you are more productive in the mornings then use this time for the more challenging tasks. The mornings are also a good time to make follow-up calls or send emails to the companies you’re targeting. Similarly, if you are evening person make the most of this time by filling in online applications.
This begins with choosing a good place to work. Do you work better at home, or in the library with fewer distractions? Use a big open space where you can readily pile up all of the notes and documents that you will need. It’s also good to keep the workspace you have selected clear of everything that’s not job search-related, as it helps focus on the task at hand. If you’re in that space, that’s what you’re there to do.
Once you begin the search, find your preferred technique to keep your status with each company up to date, for example, a spreadsheet, mind map or colour-coded system. Finally, categorise your email responses into folders according to the status of the application.
Keep track of your progress
Progress will change on a day-to-day basis so keeping an accurate track will be crucial. Using a spreadsheet for this will be useful as it can be used to map everything out. Make sure that as soon as a reply comes in, or a status changes – for example, if you’ve been invited to an interview or assessment centre – this is updated as soon as you can. Another great tip is to label which companies need to be followed up on which dates, to ensure that no opportunity is lost. That includes sending a thank you note after each interview you attend.
Remember to take some down-time
With the pressure of job hunting, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of work involved. Taking regular breaks, or the evening off to unwind will give you some time out to relax and enjoy some time with your family and friends. They are the ones that should be supporting you and have probably been through the process themselves at some point.
The process can be long and quite rigorous but by putting our tips into practice and adding a little structure and organisation to your job search will ease the stress and help you land your job much sooner than expected. Look at the graduate jobs that we have on offer and use our advice to keep on top of your progress.