By Jama Thurman, career services manager at Hodges University.
The Office of Career Services would like to help you organize your job search. Searching for jobs can be overwhelming and stressful at times. One way to minimize stress is to develop a tracking system that works for you. There are numerous online/websites, apps and computer options available, or you can use the trusty notebook or binder. The important thing is to find a system that works for you and use it.
Here are a few common items to keep in mind as you are developing your tracking system:
- Research each company and keep track of information about each position.
- Develop a list of target companies/industries you would like to work for so that you can begin networking and building relationships within those organizations.
- Track each company, position, job description, contact person, contact information, date applied, resume and cover letter, interview date, interview notes, and follow-up contact.
- Record how you heard about the job, especially if you were referred by a friend or colleague.
- Keep a list of colleagues and professors who have agreed to serve as references.
- Keep copies of any recommendations or awards you have received.
- Develop a career portfolio on the Office of Career Services online job board, College Central.
To keep track of company information, consider one of the following options:
- Using paper – Create a filing system using folders or index cards for each company.
- Using computers – Create an Excel spreadsheet, database or use online web tools.
- Using a tablet or smartphone – Track your job search with various apps.
One of the best online tools for tracking jobs is JibberJobber, which helps you track companies, status, dates of application, interviews, thank you letters and more. It allows you to develop a list of target companies and develop contacts at those companies so that you can begin to network. Another web-based tool is Toodledo, which offers a to-do list, places to write notes, make lists and track items.
If you use a tablet or smartphone, there are a number of job search apps that can assist with your search and keep track of applications, including Indeed, GlassDoor, SnagaJob and SimplyHired. Good.Co can help you see if you are a good fit with the company’s culture. SwitchApp is another app that might be helpful.
Once you have chosen a tracking system, follow a schedule and develop a job search routine to stay organized. You can automate your job search at the sites above, and you will receive job alerts for your interests. Make sure you search College Central and other job search sites frequently. Jobs are often posted with short deadlines. Each day, or at least once a week, you should schedule a few hours for online job search (including social media), researching target companies, making phone calls, sending emails, updating resumes and cover letters, and completing online applications. You will also need to schedule time to attend networking events or professional association meetings, discuss opportunities with your professors or meet with the Office of Career Services for individualized career plan or job search assistance. Networking can be more beneficial in your job search than looking online. Your personal contacts are an invaluable tool. Reach out to them and let them know you are looking for a new position.
Develop a job search routine, which includes the following:
- Create a plan with daily tasks.
- Create a list of your preferred job search sites, user IDs and passwords, and work through the list each time you search.
- Break your goals into smaller tasks and complete one each day (i.e., one day you will research one of your target companies, and the next day update your resume and cover letter.)
You can also find job leads posted daily on Twitter.
Please check out the Office of Career Services LinkedIn Group (HU Career Development Group). Job openings, articles and tips are posted often on our social media accounts.
For more help organizing your job search, please visit the Office of Career Services in Building U, Room 170F on the Fort Myers campus, or make an appointment for Naples.