Over 50 Resume Quick Tip – #8 – This is essential…Keep job search organized!
Where’s that resume?
You get a call for a job interview for Company XYZ. The recruiter wants to set up a phone interview. You sent out 5-10 resumes this week, and about the same last week. If you are changing your resume for every application, how do you know which one you to sent to Company XYZ? What did you put in the cover letter? Where are they? What do they do? Did you name the cover letter by the company name? What about the resume?
Every resume filename you send out should only be your name.
When you name your resume file, you always want to use you name for the online copy you send. That means every resume you send out needs to have the same name, regardless of how you changed it. This will help your recruiter keep up with which resume belongs to you. If you change your resume to mirror the job description for each application then organization becomes key.
Chaos is not what you want in your job search.
I ran into chaos early on, putting all my files in same folder. I keyed the filenames to the company, but the folder ballooned and it was difficult to quickly find information. I also did not keep a copy of the resume I sent after I changed it. That was a serious mistake. When someone called, I had no idea exactly what I had sent.
After a little trial and error, I found a method that worked. Once organized, I could quickly see companies I had already applied to, as well sort them by similarity. This really sped up applications, because I could copy the resume and cover letter, then simply adjust the mirroring.
Organization step by step:
- Create a root jobs folder.
- Inside the root, create a folder with the company name.
- Document the company and add a link to their website.
- Add notes regarding why you are interested in the job.
- Copy the original resume into the folder. Keep your name as the filename.
- Change the resume to mirror the job description.
- Copy over a cover letter if you have a good one and adjust it.
- Place a copy of the job posting in the folder.
- Add a notes document. Use this to:
- Record the names of people you come in contact with.
- How did the interview go?
- What could you have done better for next time?
- If you get a rejection letter, file it in the folder.
- Get a cloud account of some sort. I use Microsoft One Drive. It is free and will let you access you job files from any device, like your phone, tablet, or another computer.
There are other ways to get organized.
Getting organized in the beginning is easy. Getting organized after the fact is harder. I read several articles regarding what other people do, and it is really subjective. Many of the articles were targeting young people just learning how to find a job. The methods would work if you used the same resume over and over again. Methods for several sites included keeping an Excel spread sheet or a word document. Google drive also provides online spreadsheet, then there are the job search programs.
JibberJobber.com is one program that can help. The program keeps track of the jobs you applied to, maintains your network of contacts, and tracks the companies. Of course it also has a mobile app which is convenient for on the go. This is a nice option for people that like to work with a program interface. Other excellent programs worth looking into are:
- Huntr – A Kanban Board
- The A-to-Z Job Search Tracking Spreadsheet (Excel)
- JobSearch Log (Free Printable Sheet)
Job search sites such as Indeed.com or Monster, also track your applications for you and can be useful if you use only one. If you use more than one, then it can be more difficult if you are not sure which one you used for an application.
Articles that may help you get organized: