How to Stay Organized During Your Job Search

What's the one thing everyone lies about on their resume? I'll give you a hint, it's something you claim to have experience with, but really all you know is where to find it on your computer and that's about it.

Excel! Excel is one of those programs that would come in super handy if we know how to properly use all its functions. Truth be told I have very basic Excel skills, but that's never stopped me from using spreadsheets to help keep my life organized. My sister laughed at the fact I use a spreadsheet to keep on top of my job search, but without it, I would have no way of keeping myself accountable and on track with my goals.

If you're searching for a new job creating a spreadsheet of job prospects is the best way to not lose an opportunity because of something as simple as a deadline, which is why I wanted to share today how I create a spreadsheet that has made all of my job searches as simple as possible.

Choose your program

I know I've been talking about Excel the whole time, but in reality, I use Google Spreadsheets because I can easily access and edit it no matter where I am. Whether you chose to use Excel or Google Spreadsheets doesn't matter, as long as you keep all your information in one document.

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Select your categories

This is where everyone's spreadsheets may become different. I try to be detailed when it comes to what information I keep track of when job hunting, but not too much that my spreadsheet becomes cluttered. My must-have items to keep track of are: job title, organization/business, applied yet (yes/no), salary, link to the job posting, and additional notes.

'Applied yes (yes/no)' is where I keep track of which jobs I have actually submitted an application for, otherwise, I'd have no easy way of keeping track of which applications I've completed. Be sure to note which date you applied as well, this way you can know when to follow up and how many jobs you apply to a week on average. In regards to the salary section, I only fill it with the salary an organization has stated they are willing to offer. If an application asks my salary requirements, I will add that to the additional notes section. Always keep track of the salary you requested, don't fall into the trap of asking for less than your initial offer!

Typically additional notes will include whether or not an application asks for references (which is where I'll write who I listed, has a short time period for accepting applications, or if I had any communication about an interview date.

Be specific with your document names

Is there anything more painful than sending the wrong cover letter along with a job application? I don't think so. The way I avoid this is by naming all my documents as detailed as possible, typically including my name, document type, and organization. If applying to work at Uber I would name my document "Rubi Mancilla_Cover Letter_Uber." This way when uploading my documents I am absolutely sure I have selected the appropriate files.

My advice for resumes is to have different ones that tailor to different fields. For example, I have one resume that highlights are my administrative experience while another focuses more on my mental health skills. Both list the same past job experiences, yet each has differently worded descriptions about the work experiences. To not confuse the multiple resumes you may have, name them each something slightly different, then keep a note on your desktop of which is which. In my case, my 'Rubi Mancilla Resume" is my mental health oriented resume, while my "Rubi Mancilla_Resume" is the resume that focuses on my administrative skills. The names are very similar which is why I keep a sticky note on my laptop of which is which.

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Read the entire job listing

If you're searching for a job chance are you've read a lot of job descriptions, which can make them all sound the same after a while. Even though it's not the most exciting read, make sure you read every word of the job description and don't get lazy near the bottom! More often than not the most important information is at the bottom of a job description, including the qualifications and special instructions. Things to look out for are required documents, who they would like you to address documents to, and whether or not they accept calls inquiring about the open position.

If you found this post helpful, you can save it for later with the image below! Now tell me, what's the hardest part of the job search for you? Tell me below and my next post may address the issue!