Career Planning

Gaining Control Over Your Job Search

Elizabeth Hoyt

May 17, 2016

Gaining Control Over Your Job Search
Take back control of your job hunt!
Do you feel like you’re constantly job searching without results? Don’t put in time without payoff – there is a better way! Your search shouldn't be consuming all of your time and efforts. With a little organization and effort, you can restore balance into your life. Follow the below guidelines and take back control of your job hunt.
1. Look at your job search as a job. Determine your “working” hours (the time you’ll be looking for jobs) and stick to the schedule you’ve created for yourself. That way, you can work hard when you’re scheduled to, but have guilt-free time when you’re not scheduled also. Remember, it’s all about balance! 2. Organize and allot your time.
Decide how much time should be devoted to each task, focusing on one aspect at a time. Studies have shown that multi-tasking, despite the rumors, does not help efficiency. 3. Prioritize. Determine which tasks put you closest to gaining a job offer and focus on those first. Your priorities should be preparing for and following up on job interviews – those get you closest to landing an actual position.
Next, utilize and create networking opportunities. Speaking with actual people should always be prioritized over any internet search activities. Lastly, create time for researching new companies, job leads and potential networking opportunities. Make sure to include building your personal brand in your job hunt, especially taking interest in your LinkedIn profile. 4. Organize your work space. Organize all of your job search documents into files and folders. Nothing will get finished in a messy environment where you consistently feel overwhelmed by paperwork! At the end of your daily “work” hours, clean up your work space so that you are able to start fresh the following day. 5. Organize your computer. Determine what type of filing system works for you and then utilize it. Create folders for various tasks such as research, applying, applied, recruiters, etc. Once you have a filing system organized on your computer, it will be easy for you to access any documents you may need for your search in the future. 6. Automate repetitive tasks. You will find that searching for jobs can be a repetitive process. Organizing and creating file systems will likely also save a lot of time and effort since a lot of documents can be slightly edited and re-purposed, rather than constantly going back to the drawing board. Automate notifications like on Monster, Google Alerts and other job boards to follow people you’ve networked with or companies that may have potential job openings. If you set up automatic alerts, you won’t have to worry about searching for them, the notifications will come right to your inbox. Save past search results by hyper-linking a cell within a spreadsheet. Make sure you add details of what the search was created for and repeat the searches by clicking on the links regularly. The new results will automatically come up and you don’t have to sift through a long list of search results you’ve already seen. These efforts can seem intensive, but once they become habitual will aid your search tremendously. However, nothing can compensate for commitment and motivation, so make sure to review how much more productive your new processes are so that you’ll continue the practices throughout your entire search. Have you found other ways to make your job search more efficient?

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