Staying Organized in the Job Hunt


Whether we’re a recent graduate, unemployed, switching careers or trying to take a step up the ladder, we are looking for new employment in many stages of our lives. That will never change. What needs to change is the approach. It’s not enough to know where to find jobs and apply. We must remember the job we applied to in case the company calls for an interview. Keeping records of job listings will help a lot.

You have no idea when a job interview will come. By the time you do, the job listing is off job boards or you may forget everything. Write down or print the following:

o Company name

o Company address and contact information

o Job title

o Job description (You can also save the webpage as a PDF or use software like OneNote or Evernote to capture a copy to save on your computer.)

o Action taken (i.e. how you applied to the job. Was it in person? By e-mail? By fax? Through social media? Through job sites? Be specific.)

o Interview (Did you receive an interview? If so, add date and time.)

o Follow-up (If you interviewed, send a thank you note/card or contact via phone/e-mail.)

o Notes (Space to add important information of interest.)

There are numerous options to keep track of the many job ads you’ll answer. This will prevent you from applying to the same job twice.

Some other organizational tips:

o Create a chart on word processing or spreadsheet software. Use the information above to create headers. For each job, fill out the headers and save it. Separate the interviewed pile from the rejected pile. Keep all jobs to make sure you don’t apply to the same one twice.

o Job sites like Monster, SimplyHired and CareerBuilder give users the option to create a profile through which you can apply to as many jobs as you like. It will keep track of the date you applied and inform you if you’re applying to the same job. However, this also requires you to be mindful; if you have more than one job search engine profile, it’s possible to apply to the same job twice. Those job listings are posted on more than one site.

o There is web software specifically for job seekers. Instead of making a chart from scratch, you can fill out the information through their website. You will have to shell out some cash for these services, so determine if what the site offers is worth it.

o Create paper records. Find manila envelopes, folders, binders, briefcases and portable office filing accessories to keep it all together. Organize it according to date applied, job title or company name.

There are no wrong answers to organization. Figure out a system that makes sense for your lifestyle, be diligent with it, and when a company calls you for an interview you’ll be up to speed on the job of interest.

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