Being between jobs is tough. I found this out for the first time in 2011. Having worked steadily since I was 16, being unemployed for 8 long months became a test of faith, endurance, and organization.
One of the first things I realized as I started to apply for various jobs was that I needed a good system to keep my job search organized.
- Where have I sent my resume?
- How long ago did I send it?
- When should I follow up?
All of that can become confusing if you don’t have a good system in place. Especially when you are searching on multiple websites that have the same postings for the same companies.
Where to Start
The place to begin is by using Evernote. I’m a huge fan of Evernote and have been using it to organize everything in my life for a few years. If you don’t already use it, I’d highly recommend downloading it (it’s free) and Google “how to use Evernote” to catch up on the basics.
Evernote is a digital filing cabinet. There are three main elements to Evernote:
- First, you have the basic “note”. This is the equivalent of a piece of paper you take notes on.
- The second is a “notebook” or a folder that contains several “notes”.
- Finally, you have the “stack”, which is a compilation of notebooks.
How Evernote Helped Me Stay Organized
So I’m job searching, filling out applications, and sending resumes to various organizations. I’m checking different job sites every day. How did Evernote keep me organized?
- I made a note for every application I sent. This kept me from sending in multiple applications to the same job opening. Like we all know, when you’re searching various websites, it’s easy to forget what you’ve applied for.
- I made several notebooks. I made a notebook titled “current applications” where I kept every note from the past week. My “current” notes would get moved to the “follow up in two weeks” notebook at the end of the week. Two weeks later I would send a follow up email to make sure that my application was received. Next, the notes would get moved to a “monthly follow up,” followed by a “two month follow up” and then a “3-6 months follow up” notebook. I also kept a “no go” notebook for any jobs that I didn’t get.
This simple system kept me sane while I kept up with the hundreds of applications that I had sent out. It’s not rocket science, but it will definitely save you from having additional stress while you’re trying to find a job.
What ways have you found to be effective to keep track of your applications?