Job hunting can be a hectic experience. You send out a batch of 20 CVs and cover letters to 20 different employers and then furiously try to keep track of who’s who as the calls come in. Then you have to organise interview and follow-up times. Some days, you feel as you are so busy that nothing really important gets done! This article follows up on our last topic about organising your time after a job loss. Here, I will give you some time-saving tips on how to better organise your job hunting efforts.

Organise the Search

There are many ways to organise your job search. Some people like to colour code things; others prefer a detailed filing system. Some people like maintaining things in a computer system; others like a hard copy of everything sent out. Regardless of what kind of system you choose, it is having a system in place that is important.

Example: Linda likes to colour code her search and wants a hard copy of everything so that she can bring a file with her to the interview. She buys a supply of cheap, paper folders and titles it with the company and job title of every position to which she applies. In it, she keeps a copy of the cover letter and CV version she sent initially, a log of all follow-ups she has made, and the names and titles of people with whom she has spoken. Additionally, her files also contain her research on each company and position.

Organise the Time

As noted in our previous article, you will need to organise your job search time schedule. It is unrealistic and unproductive to spend all day, everyday searching and applying for jobs. You might prefer to spend two hours every morning looking at the latest postings online, or your may prefer to set aside every Monday and Thursday for researching new postings and submitting your CV for relevant positions. Your time will work out best if you can actually set aside two days each week for interviews. However, I say this realising that this is not always realistic – employers and recruiters have their own schedules to deal with. That said, I also have never seen someone lose a job opportunity simply because they could not drop everything right that second and run in for an interview. Simply think in terms of maximising your efficiency.

Organise the Follow-up

For every job application you make or interview you schedule, you need to follow up. This is a major focus of my You’reHired!TM workshop series. While there are multiple follow-up techniques and tactics to choose from, you need to log your efforts and keep track of when more follow-up is needed. After a while, you should see a pattern emerge as to what works best for you and your industry.

Organise the Results

Hopefully, in a short period of time, you will start receiving offers from different companies. While it may be tempting to jump at the first offer presented, make sure you give yourself time to thoroughly think through the advantages and disadvantages of the offer(s). Many of my client candidates find themselves in the position of receiving several offers at once. It is especially important in this scenario to organise your information on each company and take a look at the long-term environment and benefits package being offered. You may decide the company offering lower pay now will actually offer better long-term benefits for you overall.