Friday, October 21st, 2011
Looking for a job is a full-time job that only pays on contingency. It¹s a lot more than just posting your resume, reaching out to a few contacts and hoping for the best.Here are 5 tips to simplify your hunt.
Tip 1: Begin with the end in mind. The process can be overwhelming; break your tasks down into smaller chunks. Are you focusing on informational interviews this week? Do you have a targeted position in mind?Brainstorm what you want in the end ‹ then you can figure out the steps to get there.
Tip 2: Consistency counts, so systematize EVERYTHING. You want to retrieve information effectively and constantly follow up.Here are the best tricks:
- Create a folder on your computer for each opportunity. Include the job description, as well as your brilliant, customized cover letter.
- Keep a spreadsheet of your job leads. It should include the company, position, date applied, contact name, contact information, status of lead, and notes.
- Bookmark the job sites that you frequent.
- Set up Google Alerts for all identified position titles you¹ll find new opportunities quickly.
- Create a list of job-related contacts in your email address book AND carve out time to regularly follow up with them. Since getting a job is often about who you know, talk to anyone and everyone about your search.
- Consistently update your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Set calendar alerts for follow-up actions.
Tip 3: Walk away from your computer. Plan informational interviews; attend networking events; volunteer, or do other activities that you enjoy. When you¹re out in the world, that's when things happen. Carry a small notebook (it can appear rude to type into your phone). When you connect with someone online or in a thank you note, remembering the details will show you¹re on top of your game. Also, while you may be inclined to spend every waking moment obsessing over your job search, carve out time to exercise, eat well and get plenty of sleep.Be rested and stay positive. When interviewers come calling, you want to be at your peak.
Tip 4: Organize some Accountability. Sometimes we all need a little motivation! If you find a great posting, share it with your friends, and ask them to check in with you about it. Do you have another friend job hunting as well? Work on applications together, or ask her to read your materials.
Tip 5: Be patient and persist! Many companies take a long time to fill a position. In other instances, it¹s fast and furious. Never forget what makes you a fabulous prospective employee, and find ways to remind yourself of that. Know that if you put the work into it, your time will come.