Why you need to be organised when it comes to job hunting
If you are going to apply for more than one role you need to be organised. Why? Well, you don’t want to be applying for the same role over and over again. If it happens to be with the same advertiser then you will begin to look desperate. If it is with different advertisers, then you run the risk of the potential employer receiving multiple applications, which may harm your chances.
Some of the adverts you respond to will have been posted directly by the company and some will be posted by recruiters. If it is the company that has placed the advert, their call to you will be a telephone interview and the first step in the recruitment process. You should treat these calls differently to those from recruiters. But you need to know who is who.
You’ll want to tailor your CV for each application, so you need to track which job is which. There is a statistic in the recruitment industry that a CV is only looked at for 20 seconds on average. You need to make sure that how you are perfect for the job jumps out at the reader within those 20 seconds. If the company receiving your CV uses something called Applicant Tracking Software or ATS (which many do) then the absence of key words may mean your application is rejected.
You need to know who to chase up and without their details you can’t do that. If you haven’t heard back from an advertiser after a few days then it is worth a quick call, ideally, or email to check if they received your application and if there is any feedback. Sadly, not all adverts are real (see my previous blog post). If you spot a fake, then you know to avoid that recruiter in future.
Keeping a list also lets you keep track of recruiters. You are not always going to get on with a particular recruiter. There are many reasons for this but if you know which ones you don’t want to work with, you can avoid applying to them in the future. The flip side of this is that if you also know the ones that you like to work with, you can focus on applying for roles with them, keeping in touch with them and going directly to their website.
Being organised comes into its own when you get to the interview stage. You need to make sure that you know where you are going, when, who you are meeting and which job it is for. Before the interview make sure you have researched the company and read the job spec. Take this with you to the interview to have a refresh before you go in.
So what should you be doing? Simple. Keep a list of job title, company name (once you know it), recruiter name (if applicable), location, reference number, contact details, dates and source. Update it at each stage of the processes, including adding details of your interview. You might also find it useful to add in things such as salary and website addresses. Those of you who are really organised might even want to include your thoughts on the job and company etc. For those of you who are less admin-centric this might sound like a lot of work but it really is worth it. Once you have the basic details in place, it can be a really powerful tool to help you manage your job hunt and ultimately decide which job is going to be perfect for you.
Victoria Watkins is Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as a Recruitment Consultant for 5 years she moved to Office Management for an IT consultancy 6 years ago. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+
Photo courtesy of Brent Polman on Flickr