Searching for your dream job takes up a considerable amount of time and energy. It also takes plenty of focus. As a job seeker, you need to spend your time on what’s most important — networking, finding the right opportunities, and tailoring your applications to suit each job.
Fortunately, job searching doesn’t have to be a painful experience. With the right planning and organisation, you can maximise your efforts and get the most out of the time you set aside for job searching.
In this blog post, we will discuss five easy ways to maximize your jobsearch productivity. These steps help you save time and become a more productive job seeker.
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1. Have a plan.
Don’t just job search whenever, wherever. Instead find windows of time for job searching, then block out that time and stick to your schedule. For example you can do an hour before breakfast, after dinner or on the weekends.
It can also be helpful to break down the job search process into different categories: for example, maybe on Saturday you look for jobs for two hours; on Sunday, you draft and review your materials and submit your applications, Wednesdays you research companies, make one new networking contact; and you use Fridays for follow-ups.
2. Use technology to job search for you.
Most job search websites and LinkedIn offer you free email alerts, when a new job is posted that matches your search criteria. Some even offer twitter feeds that tweet new job postings as they come in. Choose whichever type of alert is most convenient for you, and choose weekly or daily updates so you learn about new job openings as soon as they are posted.
3. Find and use niche job search sites.
Google your industry or career keywords and “job search website” or “career website” to see what comes up.
Join professional associations and see what other members recommend.
Read industry-specific websites to see what job search sites they recommend.
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4. Keep track.
Having a spreadsheet or even a simple list that you keep handy for the jobs you’ve applied to (the role, the of name company, on what date, to whom, and with which resume/letter). You should also have a separate sheet of the networking contacts you’ve followed up with (who, when, what transpired, leads to follow up with). Make this part of your routine to update, as keeping track of which jobs you’ve applied to, or considered applying to, will help you out considerably in the long run.
In addition, you can use this data as a sort of record that you can use as a metric to determine your level of success (meaning, how many responses or interview invitations you receive) with different types of jobs or companies.
5. Customise your CV and cover letters.
You don’t have to rewrite your entire resume and cover letter for every job you apply to, but you should update a couple of specifics such as keywords, your summary of qualifications, and your letter’s content for each job. You can easily accomplish this by creating a “core” cover letter that can be quickly edited for the position you’re applying to. As a result your applications will be much more targeted and effective.
If you are applying for a few different types of jobs, write a cover letter for each type, and create different versions of your resume to go along with them. Store these in organised digital folders on your PC and use clear naming conventions as to not mix them up.
Recommended reading: Why You Need to Write Down Your Career Goals
If you're ready to finally move forward in the next phase of your career, to make the kind of money you know you deserve, to be excited about your work, to have a career and not a job, then get your free Career Clarity Worksheet by clicking here.
Good luck with your job search!