If you’re embarking on a job search for your next move, the process can seem daunting. Especially if you are applying to multiple open positions at the same time! These tips should help you stay organized while you look for the right fit.
1. Remember Where You Found It
During a job search, we often check several different websites and networks to seek out opportunities. It’s important to keep track of where you found an open position so that you can let the hiring manager know. Did you see it posted on an online job board? Was there a social media announcement? Were you referred by a friend? This is valuable information for the company to know and will be much appreciated! Plus, you might need to go back to the source to get more details.
2. Outline the Details About the Job
When you’re applying to several different positions in the same field, the details can start to run together. It also becomes tricky when you’re asked to interview and you can’t remember what the main focus of the job is. Ideally, you will print or document the key responsibilities and skills needed for each job you’re applying to. It’s a good idea to also note the salary and benefits of each, along with where they are located and your commute time or remote options.
3. Organize Your Resumes and Cover Letters
You should create a tailored resume and unique cover letter for each position you apply to! This is a must if you want your skills to line up as best as they can to the job description. (Especially important if an applicant tracking system is being used to scan your resume.) Keep organized folders on your computer with the resumes and cover letters so that you know exactly what you have submitted to each company.
4. How Did You Apply?
Along with where you heard about the job, make note of how you applied. Was it through an online application? Did you email your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager? You need this information for follow up and peace of mind. A folder in your email program would be beneficial for filing email confirmations of your submissions.
5. Keep Track of ALL Responses!
Of course you will want to keep track of any interview requests you receive—how exciting! But you should also keep track of any responses you get that decline to interview you. Why? Because things change and often a “no” is really a “not right now.” Especially if you receive an email from a human being and not just an automated response, you should make note of their contact information. You never know when you may need to follow up.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Brag (a Little Bit)
Besides your tailored resumes and cover letters, you should have a folder for brag items. These are the kudos you’ve received from supervisors, clients, and colleagues so far in your career. Pull from these scenarios when you’re preparing to answer behavioral interview questions. It’s much easier to use a success story to describe how you would handle a specific situation!
7. What Else Can You Track?
If you’re going to be prepared, take some time to consider what else you might want to keep track of during your job search and interview process. Maybe you want to monitor the outfits you’ve worn on interviews so you don’t use the same one twice for a single company. Or remember what you were asked in each interview at each company. The sky’s the limit, as long as you find a way to stay organized with your notes.
8. Don’t Forget the Follow Up!
It would be smart to keep a list of people you’ve met during each interview round at each company so that you can follow up properly. A quick thank you note via email is a great way to remind the interviewers and hiring manager that you’re interested and ready to discuss further! At the very least, you will identify yourself as a professional and a good person to keep on their radar.