Preparation

Keep Track of your Job Search

Job Hunting
Written by Jonathan Burston

When I was in the job market recently, I realised that I had to market myself as widely as possible.

I had to think of myself as a product, like something you see on a TV ad, a press ad etc. If I did then I’d increase my chances of getting a job as quickly as possible.

Routes to the Job Market

As part of making sure I covered every angle, it meant:

  • Using my network of contacts
  • Establish which recruitment consultants were the right ones to use
  • Following and engaging with users on Social Media
  • Researching potential companies that I wanted to work for
  • Identifying relevant jobs and crafting an application
  • Following up on all conversations, opportunities and actions

The task was large. It was a lot of effort. But it’s an effort that you have to go through to ensure that you have left no stone unturned in finding your next role.

Keeping a Record

That means that you need to remember:

  • What you’ve done
  • Who you’ve spoken to
  • What you said
  • What they said
  • The actions
  • Who you applied to
  • When the closing date was
  • When you’ll hear back
  • Follow up dates
  • etc…

There is no way, unless you’ve got a photographic memory – which I don’t have – that you’ll remember everything. No way.

A Simple Way Forward

So to help me, I created what became known as my Job Search Logbook (free download available at bottom of article). This became my one stop resource for everything that I was doing with my job search.

I recommend that you create one, so that you have everything in one place.

Our memories can play tricks on us. Sometimes the people we speak with won’t always remember what they said. Therefore, get into the habit of recording your conversation immediately once it has finished – before moving onto the next one.

So What To Do?

There are a couple of options you can take. The easiest, and the one I chose, is to use a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers. I used Excel.

Using a spreadsheet gives you flexibility to add and delete rows, and adapt to your needs. If you can, use a spreadsheet.

The other option is to use a journal or notebook that you can record the information I detail below.

Job Search Logbook

TabsMy Job Search Logbook had 3 tabs in the spreadsheet:

  1. Contacts
  2. Conversations
  3. Opportunities

 

1. Contacts

I recorded all my Contacts in this tab. I included their name, company, email address and phone numbers. Plus I included any relevant notes and information that I might find useful.

Contacts

2. Conversations

The Conversations tab became the hub for all my activity. When I’d had a useful conversation with a contact that I felt was important, I recorded it here. I included:

  • Who I’d spoken to
  • Their company
  • The date, summary of the conversation, actions and follow up date.

Conversations

I also included their telephone numbers and email address. That way I didn’t have to revert back to the contacts tab every time I needed to speak with them.

3. Opportunities

This tab included details of every role that I’d applied for or was applying for. I listed who the contact was e.g. recruitment consultant or company contact and whether I’d used a job board to apply e.g. LinkedIn.

I then detailed the actions I’d taken plus any follow ups.

Opportunities

Easy to Review

I had in one file everything related to my job search. It made it easy to review my previous conversations, the actions plus what I needed to do next.

This is a simple technique you can apply to your job search and one that will keep you on top of everything you do.

I’m a goal oriented person, so each day I’d look at my Job Search Logbook, and think I have to do more. I’ve got to add to this list. What else can I do?

The Job Search Logbook kept me focused. It can keep you focused on marketing yourself as widely as possible. But most importantly it’s a record of everything you’re either doing or done.

Tip – don’t delete it once you’ve got a new job. Keep it safe as when you’re looking for your next role it’s worth while going back to it as a potential resource.

To get your own copy of the Job Search Logbook (Excel format), enter your details below. The download will begin immediately.

 

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About the author

Jonathan Burston