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How Do I Organize My Job Search?

Whether being out of work or already employed, job searches can be exhausting, and taking a toll on a job seeker’s finances and personal well-being. To avoid the general stressors that come with a job search, job seekers need to get organized, maintain records, make time, and remain mindful of the importance of self-care.

Maintaining job search records. Creating and maintaining detailed records regarding your job search is essential for job seekers to successfully manage traps and pitfalls that commonly appear when looking for work. For unemployed job seekers receiving unemployment pay, this is especially important as maintaining eligibility for unemployment benefits generally requires evidence a job seeker is actively looking for a new job. Fail to produce job search records, and a job seeker will likely lose his unemployment check.

Whether creating a digital record system in a Microsoft Excel or Access spreadsheet or relying on pen and paper, job seeker’s need to (1) keep a careful record of the jobs/positions they applied to, (2) the company/organization they applied to, (3) the date of their application submissions, and (4) a list of what materials were submitted, usually a résumé, a cover letter, and transcripts verifying completion of a relevant degree or certification from an accredited college or university. The educational record is especially critical nowadays as employers are checking to verify degrees and program accreditation. The employers do that because many job seekers either lie about having completed a degree or list degrees or training certificates obtained through unaccredited institutions, often referred to as ‘diploma mills.’ These institutions are perceived as giving out degrees, certificates, or certifications without requiring rigorous testing of students’ knowledge.

Job seekers should also keep records or notes on job interviews they had and what company or organization they have already checked for job openings. As for interviews, a job seeker should record notes about any advice, if any, the employer provides or additional information the employer needs before they can be fully considered for a position, no matter how well an interview goes. This step is essential because many interviewees claim they will remember something said during an interview only to forget the minute they leave the interview room. Maintaining records during an interview reflects professionalism and organization from an employer’s point of view; so, take notes during your interviews.

Time Management. There are only so many hours in a day, and for job seekers, free time can be limited if they hope to find a job quickly. To conduct a productive search, keep a regular schedule, including set time each day to search for jobs online, write and submit resumes, and prepare for scheduled job interviews. Job seekers should also set routine times for everyday activities such as meals, sleep, and time to relax. Failing to plan often leads to time wasted on non-career related activities, which ultimately leads to needing more time (days, weeks, or months) before securing a good job.

Self-care. Whether looking for a job because you were laid off or because you want to pursue a new job opportunity, a job search can be tough on any person. The stress associated with a job search can lead to anxiety, depression, or an array of illnesses, including common colds, headaches, and even ulcers. To maintain good health during a job search, make sure to organize your day to include time for plenty of rest, healthy meals, and relaxation time. Additionally, especially if a job seeker feels anxious, depressed, or similarly overwhelmed, they should contact their primary care physician or a mental health professional and ask for assistance. It is hard to find and do well at a job if you are gravely ill or emotionally exhausted.

In closing, maintaining excellent job search records, time management, and self-care is critical for your job search. Stay positive when your situation gets tough. Keep going with organizing your job search, and it will help to ease your situation. Good luck!

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