Guest Author - Dianne Walker
An effective job search is no longer a casual affair. With so many different avenues to research, it is imperative your job search be organized and up-to-date. One small slip can be the difference between a job offer and another day of unemployment. Here are some tips on how to conduct a successful job search.
Determine a tracking method. Are you a pen and paper person or do you prefer an on-line method? If your preference runs toward pen and paper purchase a packet of 3 by 5 index cards and a card holder from the dollar store to keep your work organized. On the front of each card list the position, company, salary and any other pertinent information, including where you found out about the job. If you’re using newspaper clippings, consider attaching the clipping to the back of the card. If you’re obtaining the information from the Internet, make sure you carefully note the web address.
If you prefer an on-line method of tracking, a simple Excel type spreadsheet should be adequate. Enter the same information as you would on the paper version. Set up and label columns to enter the information. Two tips to using an on-line tracking method. First, hit the “save” button often. Second, If paper and ink permit, print a copy of the sheet as back-up at the end of the day.
Is one method better than the other? Not really. Computer systems can crash. Cards can get lost. Having a backup system will help to avoid these disasters.
Split your day into segments. Searching for employment is a full time job. With hundreds of applicants for every vacant position, researching one or two jobs a day will not garner much success. Divide your day to allow time to actively engage in all aspects of your job search. Spend part of the day geared toward researching for jobs. Another section of your day should be devoted to reviewing your resume in comparison with the knowledge and skills required for each position. Another part of your day should focus on e-mails and other correspondence.
Get a hit? Pull your documentation. Forgetting the company or position you applied to, does not look good when a potential employer calls to discuss an interview. Once you are finished on the call, note the name, phone number and address of the person you spoke to. Sometimes companies will call you about a different position than you applied for.
Fianlly, set aside a specific location in your home to conduct job search activities. Stock the area with supplies such as paper, pencils and any other tools you may need. Maintaining a specific job search location saves time and frustration.
Competing in today’s job market requires organizational skills to maintain an effective job search. An effective job search is the first step to employment success.