How to Organize Your Job Search

Posted: February 18, 2020

The job search process can be intimidating. There’s a lot to consider with online job boards, interview questions, resume prep, and everything in between. While it can be overwhelming, finding ways to organize the job search will help you feel more confident, comfortable, and prepared.

Use these quick tips to create an effective strategy!

Reflect On Your Job Search Goals

Before you start anything else, make sure you take some time to reflect on what your job search goals are. Do you have a specific industry you’re interested in? A role? A city? How important are company values for you? Can you be flexible with company size? Are you interested in a structured leadership development program?

Knowing what your professional and personal goals for the job search are can help you prioritize. The more confident and clear you are on your goals, the better you’ll feel when everything really kicks into gear.

Create a List of Target Companies

Once you know a little more about what you want to get out of the job search, start thinking about what companies align with your goals. If you’re focusing your search in a specific geographic region, look up relevant companies in that area. If values were an important part of your search, then look for companies that align.

This targeted list will help you narrow down your job search and applications, rather than just sending out as many applications and resumes as you can. Having a distinct purpose to your job search will give you a strong sense of motivation. Be sure to not only focus on large companies; considering a variety of company sizes helps increase your opportunities. Not sure where to start? Check out the list of hiring employer by major.

Make a Schedule

Think of the job search as a part-time job in itself. What does any job require? Time.

Schedule time every day, or at least every week, to look through postings and apply for positions. Setting aside this time will make sure you have dedicated space in your schedule to send out applications, update your resume and cover letter, and get your job search moving. You don’t want the perfect position to pass you by, and waiting too long can mean just that!

Develop a System to Organize Your Job Search

This step is really up to your preference. Some people like to make an Excel document that includes details from the position to the date they applied, while others just use sticky notes. Whatever system works best for you, make sure it’s well organized and something that you will use consistently. There’s nothing worse than a company reaching out to interview you for a position you forgot about applying for!

Use Your Resources

Have you met with an ECS Advisor within the past year? Since your experience and circumstances have likely changed, consider meeting with someone who can help address the most pressing job search concerns. Make use of Handshake and LinkedIn, where new positions are consistently posted and you can easily track the roles for which you’ve applied—covering multiple steps at once! Exploring online resources will help make your search more manageable. Visit Handshake > Career Center > Resources and keyword search “job search” to get started.

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Anonymous