The nitty gritty of a “YOU” centred job search

Now that we’ve covered how to start a “YOU” centred job search, sticky notes, relying on your memory or your email sent box just won’t cut it! You’ve gotta get organized! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.    Network tree

2.    Job vision board / Mind map

3.    Application and company research spreadsheets

4.    Calendar

1. Network Tree

This is a list of contacts. It could include people from your last job, friends, neighbours and/ or family members who might be able to help make connections. Make sure to include on the spreadsheet how you know them, their contact info, date contacted and follow-up date.

2. Job Vision Board or Mind Map

You need to clarify what you need out of your new position; these can be both logistical and value based. Logistical might include: the location, hours, and benefits, while value based might include: what the company does, and the corporate culture. If you aren’t clear about these things you may apply to a position only to find out later that the “fit” wasn’t right and you’re on the hunt again.

Here’s a youtube video on how to create your own  Mind Map

3. Application and Company Research Spreadsheets

Each row in your table, whether electronic or handwritten, should have a line that represents a job opportunity. It is important to list in the columns the company, position name (this helps you focus your search if  titles tend to vary, for example: customer service rep or sales rep) where you saw it, deadline, your application date and follow-up. If you want you can include a comment column as well. A similar spreadsheet should be created to track specific companies within your industry so you can check their websites on a regular basis.

4. Calendar

If you’re promising to get back to an important contact you definitely don’t want to forget and lose out on a job or informational interview. Remember your future is on the line!

Once you’ve sorted out which tools you’re going to use and how you’re going to use them it’s time to organize your week…remember job searching is a full time job. Here’s a great example by Brooklyn Frontiera of Michigan Works on how to do this: Job Search Weekly Schedule

Organizing may seem painful at first but you’ll be thankful later when you get a call for an interview!  

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How to create a job search that “fits” YOU!!

So you’ve lost your job, it’s scary isn’t it? So where do you start? If you’re like me you want to dive right in…checking the job postings, modifying your resume and basically driving yourself crazy right out of the gates!

Well, I can tell you from experience this strategy is based on fear and will ultimately take you in circles. To proceed you need to ask yourself the following questions:

What am I comfortable doing?

What position(s) am I looking for?

In what sector/industry am I looking?

Then you can organize your search…

A “you” centered strategy

1.Sometimes it’s good to stretch outside of your comfort zone however, it has to make sense. For example, if you’re not comfortable with computers tying to track your job search using Excel will only result in frustration. Use a paper copy instead, lots of employment centres offer sheets that you can use.

What do you want?

2. What kind of job are you looking for? Are you staying within your field or are you making a career change? You have to identify this information or you’ll stretch yourself too thin and try to grasp at anything that comes along…

What’s your industry/field?

3. Your strategy has to fit the industry. If you are looking for a 9-5 office position, then your in-person cold-calling and networking will generally revolve around those hours. On the other hand, if you’re looking for work as a server, you’re not going to drop by a restaurant to talk to the manager on a Monday or during the dinner “rush” on a Friday?

Now that you’ve answered the 3 main questions, it’s time to get organized. Trust me you’ll feel a thousand times better when you’re controlling the process and it’s not controlling you!

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