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Carrying out a job search is always a tough process that requires you to consider multiple things at once, but when it comes to high-level positions, everything gets more complicated. In most cases, you’ll be applying for various positions at once and be at a different stage in the process for each one. There’s a lot to juggle. However, it’s possible to stay on top of everything — you just need to establish the right systems.
Let’s run through five of the best ways to stay organized and keep track of your high-level job search.
1. Choose quality over quantity
The easiest way to organize your job search comes before you even start filling out applications: Making the decisions to keep things simple and intentional. It’s going to be far easier to keep track of five job applications than 20, and the great thing is that choosing quality over quantity often means you land a role more quickly anyway.
When you’re a fresh graduate trying to secure your first job, it might be tempting to file hundreds of jobs across different sectors and roles — but once you reach a senior point in your career where you’ve found your niche, there’s no reason to do this anymore. Your skills and experience will be most valuable to the organization it matches most closely, and it’s unlikely there’ll be dozens of suitable openings at any given time.
So, be selective about the positions you put time and effort into applying to. This will make every other step of the job search process so much easier.
Related: 3 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Job Search Sites
2. Track everything on a spreadsheet
Even if you limit yourself to just a few jobs, it can be tricky to stay on top of everything. Each application you’re completing comes with different contacts, varying job requirements and dates to keep track of. You might be capable of holding all that info in your head, but why should you have to when there’s an easy alternative?
Instead, use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet that keeps track of everything you need to know.
Remember to include the following pieces of information:
Name of your primary contact at the company (and their details)
Date you applied
The current stage of the application process
Any upcoming interviews or deadlines
Reminders (such as needing to send a task before an interview or a thank-you note)
This might sound simple, but it can be surprisingly effective when applied properly. The next time you get a phone call you suspect could be related to a job application, you can quickly get the spreadsheet up on your computer screen to ensure that you’re not left scratching your head.
3. Use a digital calendar
Are you the kind of person who uses their calendar app (whether it’s Google Calendar, Apple Calendar or a more niche choice) intermittently? It’s time to start taking things to the next level — a digital calendar should be your best friend when trying to stay organized during a job search.
Add in all your interviews and screening calls as soon as you find out about them, and make a habit of checking your calendar at the start of each day and week. If you’re working a job while searching for your next position, also be sure to add in any meetings or obligations with your current employer so you don’t have any awkward mix-ups.
Related: Job Hunting and Outreach Just Became Way Easier
4. Make the most of automation tools
When we say automation, we’re not saying that you need to code your own application or hire a robot to do your tasks for you. There are plenty of simple (and free) digital tools that will automate aspects of your life for you, and most people fail to take advantage of them.
Following our suggestion to use a digital calendar, you can add in reminders for upcoming interviews so you don’t have to waste your precious brainpower trying to remember what you have coming up. You can also make templates of the key documents you’ll need throughout your job application process — including your resume, cover letter and even follow-up emails.
Finally, if you’re the type of person who likes to check your emails late at night but feel sheepish about sending anything off at this time, make the most of the “schedule” function. See? Automation doesn’t have to be complicated or even particularly clever.
All these things might sound small when considered alone, but combined together, they can have a huge impact.
5. Schedule your time carefully
It can be difficult enough to juggle your personal life with your job, but when you’re also applying for new roles, this balancing act can become almost impossible. Often, the best approach is to treat your job application process as a part-time job.
Set a specific period of each day aside just for tasks related to your job search, and build a routine around it. Your digital calendar can be a great tool here. As well as adding interviews and appointments, you can add in chunks of time when you’ll be free to send out cold emails or prepare for interviews.
Related: Looking to Streamline Your Job Search? Consider These 10 Job Search Hacks.
No matter how high up on the career ladder you are, securing a new job is never easy. Even if you happen to be the kind of person who thrives off interviews, handling multiple processes simultaneously while getting on with the rest of your life is overwhelming at best.
But if you have the sense and discipline to follow the advice above, you’ll be well on your way to your next role. Plus, you’ll be able to use these systems time and time again when you encounter similar situations.
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