Your 2012 Job Search… Made Easier

2012 is finally here and like many people, I’ve made a few resolutions for myself. First and foremost, my main goal is to find a job and get my professional career started.

This is a daunting task, but even more stressful when I think to add my internship, full course load and extracurricular activities into the mix. How on Earth will I be able to manage all of this in the next few months?

If you’re a job seeker like me, I’m sure you’re feeling overwhelmed as well. Luckily, your job hunt can be made a little easier if your stick to one main organizational tactic this year. Not only will this help you to keep everything pertaining to your job search together, but it will help you to feel a little more on top of your personal life as well.

The best way to stay organized is to create a job search spreadsheet. Save this document on your desktop because I can guarantee you will be using it a lot! Programs like Microsoft Excel make staying organized super easy, especially for job seekers. I will use this program as an example.

At the bottom of the screen you will see that the program is broken up into “sheets.” I recommend designating one sheet to networking contacts and one to resumes and interviews, just to get started.

  • For the networking sheet, decide which method of organization will work best for you. If you only have a few contacts, alphabetical might be the best way to go, but if you have several connections at the same city or company, you might consider organizing it that way. Don’t forget, the spreadsheet can always be modified in the future.
    After you’ve decided what your main way of organizing will be, break each contact down as much as you can. For example, create blocks containing their Name, Company, Position, Email, Phone Number, Twitter Handle, City, State and Notes. The notes block is where you can write details to help you remember each contact such as how you got connected with them, a personal connection (ex: you both attended the same university), or any other details. This will not only help you to remember them, but will give you a quick and easy reference point to bring to future conversations to help your contact remember you as well.
  • The resume and interviews sheet is key to staying organized. If you plan to apply for several jobs this year, you can easily lose track of key details which can really hurt your chances of getting hired. To avoid this, Rich DeMatteo from Corn on the Job gives examples of details to add to your resume and interviews sheet such as:
    • Company and contact name
    • Submission date
    • Skills required for the job
    • Any and all words on the job description that match your wish list
    • Industry
    • Step reached in hiring process (waiting, never heard back, phone screen scheduled or completed, and rejected)

Update both of these sheets as often as you can so that your information is always the most recent. Even if you don’t get a job offer, don’t delete the contact information name. You never know when you will need that person in the future! Remember, the job search is difficult for everyone, but if you stay organized you will have a better handle on the hunt, and will easily find time for your personal life as well!

Have you used a job search spreadsheet before? What sort of information did you add to yours? I’d love to hear from you!



About the Author: Emily is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh where she majors in Communications and is working toward a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. She also served as the PR and Social Media Coordinator for her service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma. Emily Tweets regularly and blogs.



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