On average, a job seeker has to apply for 27 jobs to get a single interview. How do you keep all of your information straight? You don’t want to apply for a single job multiple times, and you don’t want to mix up your interviews. Here are some tips for staying organized.
Build a Spreadsheet
Use some of your tech skills to create a database or spreadsheet of the jobs you’ve applied to or interviewed to. Sort them based on where you are in the application process, from “applied” to “interviewed” to “followed up.” Your spreadsheet should include the:
- Company name.
- Position applied for.
- Person you contacted.
- Date of last contact.
- Status of last contact.
You can use this list to see whether you’ve already contacted a certain organization and whether it’s time to follow up on some of your applications.
Follow Your Own Organizational Style
Some people are visual and tactile organizers: they need physical journals, calendars, and post-it notes. Some people are digital and online organizers: they need cloud-based appointment systems, project management solutions, to do lists, and reminders.
If you are more visual and tactile, the act of writing down information regarding job listings and scheduling will help you retain it. If you’re more a digital learner, putting your information into your computer system or smartphone will help you remain organized. Set reminders for things like interviews and follow ups so you won’t forget them.
Try to Keep Detailed Notes
When you do go in for interviews, take detailed notes regarding the job and any follow up questions you might have. If you’re interviewing for dozens of positions, you may find it difficult to remember the specifics of each interview.
Not only will taking notes help you, but it also often gives an interviewer a positive and lasting impression of you. It shows that you’re paying attention and that you care about the opportunity — and that you aren’t just asking questions to sound engaged.
In addition to your personal notes, consider keeping a copy of the original job posting and printed copies of emails and other correspondence. This will give you a fast, easy way to find out more about a specific position.
Looking for a job requires organization and diligence. With better job seeking habits, you’ll be able to drill down to the positions that are most promising and interesting for you. In tech-related fields, many positions can be highly competitive and very detailed. Showing your organization throughout the job hunt may be the very first step towards showing your organization in other ways.