Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Keeping Track of Your Job Search

Have you ever experienced that awkward moment of getting a call from a potential employer, and you didn't remember applying to the company?  This is actually a very commonplace issue.  Up to 60% of companies either start interviewing or finally fill their job requisition three months of more after first posting it online.  Why you say?  It's a simple matter of money and/or time.  First, if a company waits longer to fill a position, they save thousands of dollars for those months the requisition remains open.  Second, if they are inundated with work already, it often takes that long to do resume review, phone interviews, in person interviews, second interviews, make a decision, send the offer letter, and get the new employee on board.
As a jobseeker, you need a simple way of tracking your applications, and I recommend keeping a Job Search Notebook.  Any three ring binder you have around your house with sufficient room for lots of papers will do!  With this handy little tool you can keep track of the following:
--Each company/organization you applied to and a copy of their job advertisement.
--The tailored/personalized resume and cover letter you used to apply - please take this version to the interview, not a generic version (or worse yet, one with another company's information). 
--Date of application OR date of handoff/email of resume to a networking contact or recruiter for forwarding to HR or another company contact.
--Date of application confirmation.
--Company research (never apply to a company you haven't researched, this way you can give a complete answer to the question:  "tell us what you know about our organization?")
--Communications from the company (still in consideration, rejection email/letter, additional questions).
--Date of phone interview.
--Notes from the phone interview.
--Date of in-person interview.
--Notes from the in-person interview.
--Thank you note written to the interviewers.
--Follow up information.
--Contact information, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers.
Now, when you get that call two, three, or even four months after applying, there is ample documentation for you to refer to, and refresh your memory for, a good phone or in-person interview.   Try the Job Search Notebook idea, as it will keep you organized, and avoid the embarrassment that comes with not remembering where you applied.  To your job search success!

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