4 Ways to Streamline Your Job Search

Posted February 5, 2014 by Denise DeGennaro in Career Moves
The Job Search.

Three words that encompass all kinds of emotions: stress, excitement, anxiety, confusion, perhaps dread. Job searching is a process, but where do you start? Gone are the days when you can open a newspaper to the “classifieds” section and circle positions that interest you in red pen. The internet has both complicated and simplified the job search process. While you can truly cast a wide net and apply from the comfort of your couch, the number of places to look for the ideal position has grown exponentially. If you’re having trouble navigating the process and getting your butt in gear,

Here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Use “advanced search” features. Many online job boards feature a keyword search, but also offer a link to an advanced search page. This will allow you to narrow your search criteria and leave you with fewer results to sift through.
  2. Save your search. After narrowing your search, create a job agent by entering your email to get updates for when new positions match your specified criteria. This will make your job search much easier – you just have to check your inbox!
  3.  Organize your files. Each time you apply to a new position, you should be tailoring your resume and cover letter to highlight how/why you fit this particular position in this particular company. That can lead to a huge number of resume and cover letter files on your computer! To organize them, I recommend saving the files as: Company_Position_Resume or Company_Position_CL or some variation of that. This takes the guesswork out of uploading your documents to online application forms. Don’t forget – saving as .pdf will preserve your formatting! 
  4. Keep track of applications. Job searches take forever, and companies will likely take some time to contact you after receiving applications. When you’re aggressively applying to jobs, it can be easy to forget when/where you’ve applied. Create an Excel sheet, or Google spreadsheet, or just create a running log of applications you’ve sent out. Include: company, position, date you applied, notes to jog your memory about the position. I also leave space to note whether I’ve followed up, and if I’ve been contacted by the company.

Having a system of organization in place that works for you is essential in keeping your job search stress to a minimum. Remember, you are responsible for the effort and not the result (wise words from one of my best former supervisors).

About the Author

Denise DeGennaro

Denise DeGennaro is a student affairs professional who helps undergrad and graduate students (and sometimes friends and family) at all stages in their transitions from school to career. She is an expert resume and cover letter writer and reviewer. Denise received her Master's in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of work, Denise enjoys all things girly and loves testing out the latest beauty and nail art trends.