It’s time we all face a very basic fact: finding a job—even with a great college degree—is extremely difficult in the current economic climate. But, even for those of us struggling to find jobs, there is hope to be found in due diligence.
Job Application Success
I spent the first few months following my graduation in despair over job applications. Many friends had found jobs, and my initial searches were fruitless, and before I knew it I’d gotten pretty lazy about the process. I was half-hearted in searching for openings, unorganized in tracking applications, and increasingly apathetic. But after coming close to landing an interesting job through total chance, I realized it was time to get back at it, and this time I approached the job market with an eye toward organization.
Nearly a year after graduation, I have yet to land that perfect job. But, through a more organized approach, I have already had more success in finding jobs I actually want to apply for, and I’m feeling more optimistic than ever. In the interest of helping other people like myself, here are a few of the specific tips I’d suggest for turning your application process into a more organized experience.
- Stop Prioritizing Job Listings – This might sound like the opposite of organized, but it makes some sense. The fact is, you won’t hear back from many of the jobs you apply to. So, instead of waiting for the perfect listings, apply to any positions you see that even might interest you. Contact is most important; You can figure out if it’s perfect later on.
- Use Technology – I’m not just talking about using smart phones to check job listings on the go here. Think about something more inventive. For example, I’ve found great benefit in using cloud networks like those offered by Share File Citrix. It helps to be able to access resumes, cover letters, ongoing applications, etc. at any time.
- Keep Detailed Notes – Sometimes it’s tempting to just apply, hope to hear back, and call it a day. But this makes it harder to recognize and remember your applications, mistakes, etc. Each time you send an application, write down the details – the company, how and where you applied, the date the job was posted, and the date you applied.
- Label Cover Letters With Notes – While each job requires an independent cover letter, it can’t hurt to label these letters by type. For example, if you’re applying to jobs with editorial involvement, you can have a single cover letter “template” for editorial jobs. You can then tweak it quickly as needed for specific applications.
- Set Application Goals – A while ago, I gave myself a goal of applying to two jobs each day. This is my personal goal, but the concept has proven helpful to me, and keeps me from having lapses in my job search. I’d certainly recommend this if you tend to get discouraged for days or weeks at a time.