Author: Frederick Ezekiel Pasco
Sure, you can apply to 10 companies in 5 minutes using Linkedin’s "Easy Apply" and/or Indeed’s "Resume" feature, but chances are rapidly applying will even get your resume in front of the eyes of the hiring manager. Instead, maintaining a high level of organization when it comes to your job search will make the whole ordeal a lot less uncertain and messy.
I get it. No one wants to be on the job market. I was there not long ago, and the moment I was unemployed I knew I wanted my job search to end right away. The initial and middle stages of the search were hectic and stressful. There were days when I would have 2 back-back interviews and I would not have an interview for the next week or so. It felt like even when I got an interview I was showing up only to fail, but eventually I learned to make the whole process more tolerable and set myself up for success.
Here’s what worked for me:
Job searching is a process and you need to always start your day with a plan.
Wake up at 8 AM. Even before you open up your laptop, you need to have a plan for success in place for the day. For example, if the region you have recently been searching in has not paid off, perhaps it is time to expand your search radius. Or maybe some of the positions you've seen available are not exactly your specialty but are similar enough that your skills could apply to them. Try looking into those positions. Having a plan in place to guide your search is key to adding structure to an otherwise uncertain job market.
Gather some inspiration.
At 9 AM, open your LinkedIn profile. Have you updated it? Are you engaging with your connections? Have you been keeping up to date on the current trends in your industry? More importantly, are you reading through the inspirational and motivating content that is available from your network?
Remember, the people in your network have all been in your situation before, or potentially are currently looking for jobs as well. You are there to provide value to each other! Job searching will always entail rejection, but having people you respect tell you not to give up is a big thing.
By 10 AM, after you’ve gotten up to date on LinkedIn, set aside an hour or two to search job portals such as Indeed for positions that meet your criteria or qualifications. Do not apply yet. I repeat, do not apply yet. List at least 5 down.
Remember to eat.
Take your lunch at 12 or 1 PM. Never ever skip it. This will give you the energy boost that you need for the next thing that you have to do.
Editing takes time.
After lunch, it is the time to go through the 5 positions that you found. Read the job descriptions thoroughly. After studying them in-depth, edit your resume so that it is specifically tailored to each position. That is the best way to beat any sorting algorithm you'll encounter. Remember, that doesn't mean faking your experience, but rather curating the experience that you have to suit each particular position and/or company. Most of the time, this just means revising your wording and highlighting key skills. Remember to jot down the keywords that are most relevant from the job description.
While keeping a general resume on hand is a good idea, if you have to choose between that or a specific resume tailored to a company and/or position that will give you the best fighting chance, always choose the latter.
NOW you can apply.
By 2 PM, if you have any, you should prepare for your interviews for the day. Don't forget to check some of the previous Job Shop blog articles, like this one from Job Shop Recruiter Jojo, for good interview prep advice.
You should be scheduling your interviews for around 3 or 4 PM. This gives you adequate time to prepare after your daily job search.
Reflect on the day and plan ahead.
By 6 PM, while winding down from the day, you'll want to take a little time to reflect on what went right and wrong with everything that you did today. Was there something you said that don't think went well in one of your interviews? How could you have improved that interaction? What things did you say that your interviewer seemed to find positive and/or helpful? Take note of that for future use.
If you take the time to improve your resume and your interview skills, sooner or later you’ll find the job that you’re looking for, or perhaps a job even better than that! Just remember that by rushing the process you may feel like you are accomplishing more, but you're actually reducing your odds of success. Good luck!