This Method Will Make Your Job Search More Productive

Job Search

A well-organized job search can take (some) of the stress out of the arduous tasks of applying, interviewing, following up and everything else that goes along with finding a new job. Especially when you’re still working full-time, a job hunt feels like a second job you have to go to every day. But instead of getting overwhelmed or anxious, tackle the search with a plan.

First, create a spreadsheet or document that outlines the applications you’ve sent out, the date you sent them, contact information and any other relevant notes. Update this continually with the date you followed up, if you were contacted for an interview, etc., so you have a record of where every application stands.

But now you also need to find the time to look for jobs you’re interested in, write cover letters, send in applications, prepare follow-up emails, take interviews, complete other interview requests, etc. So again, a plan is key to make sure you stay on top of what’s needed to land that dream job. Below, we’ve outlined a formula for when to tackle certain tasks in the job search.

If it Takes 5 Minutes

Shooting off a quick “thank you!” email or a follow-up note on an application takes little time. These are the type of things that you can do quickly and easily as they come up, even at your current job. Fortunately, these also tend to be timely tasks, so respond to that interview request as soon as it hits your inbox. Basically, if it won’t be a big distraction or take a lot of brainpower, and can be done quickly, get it done right away.

If it Takes 30 Minutes

If you need to customize your cover letter, take a phone interview or send in an application, you need more time and thought. Don’t do these tasks while you’re supposed to be focusing on your current job or if you can’t dedicate your undivided attention to it. Instead, save it for a lunch or similar type of break. Get out of the office and head to a cafe or spot nearby where you can focus solely on the task at hand. You don’t need to get caught in an open conference room on the phone with a recruiter.

If it Takes More Than 30 Minutes

And finally, save the things that take ample time for outside of office hours completely. Combing job boards, taking networking meetings and going on in-person interviews should all be saved for personal time. This could mean taking a few hours off on a morning or afternoon to head to a potential new company’s office or completing a screening assessment when you get home from work. Not only should you respect your current employer’s time, these are the things that need your full energy for you to put your best foot forward.

So, once you have your job search spreadsheet organized and the hunt is officially underway, complete the tasks that come up with this method in mind. It will help you take the guesswork out of when you should do something, plus it provides boundaries between your current job and the new one you’re looking for.

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