Like most job seekers, Michael did not have all his notes, documents, and research in one place…anywhere. Not in a binder, in a shoebox, or on a computer. He started to tell me about this company and that one and, “Gee, I thought I was going to get this one.”
I asked him to show me what he had been submitting to each job application and he handed me his résumé. How about an example of a cover letter? How about a follow-up letter if you have the email address of a hiring manager? Michael admitted, sheepishly, that he sent applications off and just waited. He has no tracking mechanism but he is busy applying!
Stop the insanity! Before you apply to another position, get organized; it’s going to take massive attention to detail, brilliant follow-up, and networking to secure your next career move. Whether you are searching for your next role within your company or you are looking outside, you need to “project manage” your job search effort.
Here’s the solution: Get your job search notebook or technology in order.
Will you be using a PC? Or are you more comfortable with a binder with pages that you will handwrite? Or a combination: using a PC, then printing out and inserting pages into a binder so you can find them at any time. You decide. Do something.
Tips for choosing the best solution for you:
- DO pick something that you can carry around with you (laptop, USB drive for a borrowed or library PC, binder). That way, you can work on it during any free time you have.
- DON’T scribble on small pieces of paper, like yellow sticky notes, and throw them in a folder.
- DO make it simple for you.
- DON’T start something you won’t use.
- DO prepare to be disciplined. If you don’t build your organization tools, you are not committed to job searching.
There is a direct correlation between the SPEED at which people get employed and the disciplined process they are using. Why? There is no way anybody can remember everything about every position.
For example, If you are networking and someone asks you, “Who is the hiring manager at Boeing for that job you want?” What will you say? You won’t remember if you have a healthy pipeline of job opportunities. I remember interviewing Mark for the final round of interviews and asked him who he interviewed with two weeks prior. He couldn’t remember and had no document in front of him with that information.
The biggest risk to not being organized around your job search details is that you will fail at follow up. You will miss an opportunity to send a thank you note, to do research about a company, or to follow up with a hiring manager about their job opening!
I have created all kinds of tools for you to manage your job search in an organized way. They are free with the purchase of my book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era. https://www.danamanciagli.com/book/ Or you can buy them all here https://www.danamanciagli.com/tool-downloads/.