Applying for jobs is a job in itself. It requires time, effort, and consistency. And if you’ve spent some time looking for your next role, it’s likely you’ve applied to a lot of places.
After a while (and a few applications), details may start to slip through the cracks. You might wonder if you forgot to follow up with one company or how long it’s been since you’ve heard back after a first interview. All the moving pieces can start to become unmanageable.
That’s why, this summer, it’s key to have a system in place to find a new job—not leaving your career to chance. It's time to create an organized job search.
Without a plan to organize your job search, it can quickly devolve into chaos.
In fact, it’s nearly impossible to remember all the job search activities. You don’t want to forget where you’ve applied, who you’ve talked to (and what was the last name of that hiring manager again?), and how much the role paid.
Things can slip through the cracks, and you might miss important follow ups. Finding a job requires being proactive and not just waiting for people to come to you. So why is an organized job search important? An organized search can take some power back and help you stay on top of things.
You can look at metrics like:
Landing your next role requires a strategy to make sure you’re not wasting your time or missing out on opportunities. Here’s how to organize a job search.
You might think that you should apply for any and all jobs and just see what happens. But if you want to build a fulfilling career, you should narrow down your options. Clarity can help you stay focused (note: if you’re financially strapped, consider gig work while keeping your eyes on your dream career).
Think of it like this: instead of, “I want a job!” it’s, “I want a full-time remote job in the tech industry as a product manager.”
Some questions to answer to help you narrow down your search:
Answering these questions can help you stay laser-focused on job opportunities that fit your criteria so you’re not spreading yourself too thin.
Having a job search routine can make your life easier.
Start by picking a time every day or every week that you can commit to searching for jobs. After that, choose a time and day when you apply for those jobs. Then, block them off in your calendar.
You can increase or decrease the amount of time and choose the days that work for you, as needed.
If you’re currently unemployed, having a schedule can be helpful. A routine can provide structure, boost productivity, and help you maintain motivation. Also, with a set schedule, you don’t feel like you have to be searching all day, but you’re consistently focused at specific periods.
Aside from nailing down the time and days, write down the job search engines you’re checking in order of importance. For example, job posting sites like:
That way, you know where to start first and can get into your routine. To help save time, be sure to sign up for job alerts so you never miss an opportunity.
Tracking is a key ingredient in the search for your next opportunity.
Why? Because data doesn’t lie. For example, sometimes you can feel like you’ve been busy with the job search, but then realize you’ve only submitted one application in two weeks.
The “looking” part is important, but the “doing” is even more important. In other words, taking the time to submit your cover letter and resume.
You also want to have all relevant information in one place. Consider a job search tracking spreadsheet to help you manage everything in your job search effectively in one place. Information can include:
Rapidez Job Application Tracker lets you track position, company, maximum salary, location, status, date saved, date applied, follow-up, and even your excitement level.
Now that you know the steps to take, you might wonder what is a tool you could use to organize your job search? The good news—there isn’t just one, and you can find the best fit for you. Below are tools you can use to organize your job search.
Create one in Excel or Google Sheets. Customize it the way you want it and enjoy this low-tech and free method.
If you want to do things old school, you can create a binder and include job descriptions, and manually track the data points you want to come back to.
Some of your favorite job search websites, like LinkedIn, may have a mobile app that can keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends, new jobs, and relevant posts or articles.
Even with searching for jobs on your own, you’re bound to miss some things. Sign up for job alerts, so you can get curated postings to your inbox.
If you’re already used to working in Asana, Monday, or Trello, you can keep tabs on your job search using a tool you’re familiar with.
Block off time dedicated to looking and applying for jobs. Use this as soon as you get a call for an interview. Or block off time for a specific application.