How To Stay Organized While Job Searching

While it seems as if everyone has a soft spot for beautiful office supplies and organizational tools, the truth of the matter is that not everyone knows how to stay organized. This struggle can often come to light during the job search, when organization is one of the key skills that allows you to coordinate a resume, cover letter and interview with a new company.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a certified Type-A nerd to manage a successful job hunt. If you tend to be a little scatterbrained, here are three things you can do to keep your job searched organized.

Start Fresh on Your Computer

No matter how cluttered your computer desktop or your file system, you can always start fresh for a current job hunt. Instead of hoping you’ll know where to find your updated information, create a new folder for each position. Label each folder with the company and job title you are applying for and include a new copy of your resume, cover letter and background notes.  

Maintain a Guide Document

As you find and apply for jobs, maintain an Excel spreadsheet that includes pertinent data regarding those positions. For example, you may want to record the link where you found the job, the way you applied (electronically or by email) and the date of your last follow-up. This will help you remember who you are talking to when you get a response.

Choose One Calendar and Use It

If you aren’t committed to one system for planning your appointments, you’re leaving the door open to embarrassing scheduling conflicts. Whether you prefer a paper calendar, your personal digital calendar or your business digital calendar, it’s vital that you choose one and use it for all of your appointments so that you won’t accidentally miss one or double-book yourself. This is also an important habit you can mention in your interview to explain how you stay organized.

If you decide to use a digital calendar tied to your workplace, use acronyms to be vague. “Appointment” or “unavailable” are perfectly acceptable descriptions to have on your work calendar if you don’t want to advertise the fact that you are interviewing for a new job.

Keep Your Career Goals Organized, Too

Organization isn’t just for physical and digital items, it’s also for your mental state and career goals. As Monica and Chandler from Friends showed us in a previous Simply Hired post, organizing your thoughts and making a clear path between the skills you have and the jobs for which you are qualified.

Beyond making sure your files and calendars are organized, spend some time reflecting on why you are pursuing the jobs you are pursuing and which jobs will be the best fit for your five- and ten-year career goals.

Don’t let your scatterbrained nature derail your job hunt. Use these tips to stay organized as you find, apply and interview for a new job.