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How To Organize Your Job Search The Easy Way

By Nicole Cavazos

Studies show that the more organized you are, in life and in work, the more likely you are to succeed. It’s no different when looking for a job. Not only are organized people more effective at finding and securing interviews, they’re also more confident and better prepared. So rather than strike out on your job search haphazardly, here are some steps you can take to manage your time more effectively and significantly improve your odds for success.

Organize Your DocumentsFirst, create a computer file for your job search documents. That file should contain separate files for your cover letters, resumes, media and other work samples. Make sure your documents are carefully named, particularly if you have multiple resumes and cover letters for various purposes. You should always know which resume was sent to whom.

In addition, make sure your online presence is up-to-date, including your LinkedIn page and any portfolios (if applicable).

Set Goals and Make a PlanHow can you find what you’re looking for if you haven’t clearly defined what you’re looking for? Before you start, take a moment to sit down and define your goals. Are you looking for a specific job in a specific industry, or are you open to a broad range of options in your skill set?

For instance, if you’re a graphic designer looking specifically for jobs in an advertising agency, you can customize your search to achieve this goal. Once you have figured this out, your plan might include researching agencies to target, setting up job alerts that match your specific criteria, and scrutinizing your network for possible contacts in this field or at targeted companies.

Establish a ScheduleAfter you’ve made a plan, it’s time to execute it. It’s true what they say, in order to find a job, you’ve got to work at it. So schedule your time as if you’re trying to accomplish an important project in a timely manner.

Organize the day into working segments. This could include researching companies, scanning job listings, and sending emails in the morning; making phone calls, updating social media and going on interviews in the afternoon.

Use the Right ToolsWith the help of technology and the Internet, looking for a job these days is easier and more efficient than ever. Most of your job search will probably take place online, via social media and job listings sites like ZipRecruiter, which enable you to search multiple job boards in one click.

Every day, new job hunting apps come out, allowing you to do everything on the fly, from crafting and sending out resumes to reviewing interview prep questions.

In lieu of the good old Excel spreadsheet, there are now numerous job search organization applications that are better at handling large amounts of information. Sites like JibberJobber let you track where you’ve sent your resume, the jobs you’ve applied for, and the status of each job. You can also track your personal networking contacts and note how they’ve helped you.

And thanks to tools like Google Drive and DropBox, you never need to worry about lugging along unwieldy portfolios, resumes and other documents to interviews. These services let you upload files directly from your computer to a remote site so you can access them from anywhere.

Getting organized has never been so easy!

Nicole Cavazos

Nicole Cavazos is a Los Angeles-based copywriter and blogger. As a former contributor to the ZipRecruiter blog, she covered the job market and wrote advice for job seekers.

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