6 Ways to Stay Organized in Your Job Search

By Julia Dunn on March 27, 2017

When you’re rushing to get a job, it’s easy to jumble up the details associated with one job search with those that correspond to another job. Add this stress to the challenge of managing college alone, and you’ve got enough to worry about.

Students typically don’t have loads of time to spend sorting out job application details if they start blending together, so it’s best to set up an organizational system that you can use to keep application processes straight.

1. Set up a master document of all the places you applied

On Google Docs, make a document in which you create a simple table with the following columns: “job title or position,” “employer,” “employer contact information,” “start date,” “location,” “why I’m drawn to this job,” “pay rate (if disclosed on the ad),” and “special notes.”

This way, you can aggregate all the most important information about your job search results in one place. You can embolden or highlight the position name if you get contacted for an interview (and you might even include a section where you can indicate when you applied, whether you’ve been contacted, and when your interview will be). This master list will lower the chances of you forgetting where you applied and when your interviews are.

2. Create a quick reference sheet of your key experiences

Different jobs call for different skills and experiences as pre-requisites for applying. If you, as an applicant, can highlight the right qualifications, there’s no reason that employer shouldn’t hire you easily! The point is to make the employer wonder how they’ve been getting along without someone like you.

The best way to do this? Organize the experiences you have had, and create different reference sheets for different types of positions. For instance, make a reference sheet of experiences that outlines your administrative experience, and maybe another that amps up your programming experience. You can use these sheets to “study” before an interview so that you don’t somehow forget your most relevant experiences.

This is helpful especially if you’re someone who has gathered a lot of work experience in different fields or types of employment, as you won’t always get to talk about everything you’ve ever done when you’re interviewing for 10-15 minutes.

3. Write down where you found the best jobs (for current and future reference)

If you’re looking for jobs on one of those general sites like Indeed or Jobs.com, start writing down which ones have been more helpful to you. There are so many websites that draw from databases of different kinds that you may find yourself confused about which job listing came from which site, and which websites tend to bring up jobs you’re most interested in — especially since job search websites have very similar names sometimes.

Make a list of your top 4-5 favorite job search websites so that you don’t waste your time searching on a database that you don’t find productive.

4. Plan out what you’ll wear to your interviews in advance

This one should be pretty obvious, but it’s easy to wake up on your interview day and realize you can’t find the shoes that look good with the sleek blazer you wanted to wear, or that your black skirt is wrinkled up in a bag of unwashed laundry. It’s good to lay your outfits out the night before your interview day so that you can be sure everything is washed, clean, and easily located.

Image via Pixabay.com

5. Bring a notepad to your interview with pre-written questions for the employer

One of the best ways not to get the job is to say “I have no questions” at the end of your interview. To stay organized and ensure you display interest and care in the position you’re seeking, prepare a few questions in advance that you plan to ask the hiring manager and have these already written down in your notebook when you get there. This is an easy way not to forget this crucial element of an interview.

6. Write down notes during job interviews

Avoid looking like you’re writing a novel down in your notebook while you’re speaking with employers, but don’t fail to write down important logistical details the interviewer tells you about the position.

For instance, if you’re being interviewed and the employer begins by running through a general overview of the job’s timeline, don’t just listen and hope you’ll remember it all later. Employers will think you to be diligent and conscientious if you take the time to write down the critical information associated with the position (and it’ll be much easier for you to remember which job is which).

Getting a job involves a lot of prior preparation and organization, both of which matter if you really want to get a position that matches your needs. Those applying to multiple jobs will need to set up an organizational system that keeps different groups of information separate, for this ensures a successful application process.

A lack of organization can turn employers off if you arrive at an interview unprepared, and failure to ready yourself beforehand will make you much less confident when going in to speak with employers. Your efforts will make a difference!

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
I'm Julia, a third-year Literature (Creative Writing: Poetry) and Biology double major at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am an editor/signer for Chinquapin Literary Magazine (the longest student-run literary magazine at UC Santa Cruz) and 1 of Uloop's 10 National Columnists as well as the Campus Editor for Uloop at UCSC. I am a memoirist, poet, and lover of literature and experimental writing!

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