Organising your job search

Written by: Jessica Robson, Bain and Gray
Published on: 8 Jan 2015

Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions; be more organised, and find a new job.

If you’re finding that your search for a new role is dragging, and you need to up the ante a notch then perhaps you need to systemise your search a bit better. The time in which you may be searching for is unknown, so you have no way of pacing yourself or estimating when the right role may finally come your way. It might be tomorrow, in two weeks, or in four months’ time, and that is why having an organised system in place is going to help you from losing touch and motivation with the job search.

So why bother? 

When you’re applying for countless numbers of jobs and contacting an unknown amount of recruitment agencies it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the balls you are juggling. If you have a log of information (so you know who was contacted when and what was applied for when) you can make sure you never miss an application deadline, or completely forget the name of that HR manager.

If you have a log of the roles you’ve applied for; and consequently been rejected or accepted for interview for, you will know how well your CV is working for you and which industries are taking a keener interest. Pretty good to know, right?

On another note, it is easy to forget how much time and effort you’ve put into the job search, and it might feel that you are putting in a lot of time without reaping any reward. At least if you can reflect on what has been done, you have something to prove for the time you’ve dedicated to searching.

How to go about it 

Take a breather from applications for a few hours to get yourself organised. As long as you don’t OVERSPEND your time on doing this, it is not a waste of time.

Think back to the days when you were revising for exams at school. What works best for you? You might like to use handwritten lists, use the diary on your phone for who to call when, mind maps, or perhaps a spreadsheet. Everyone is different, but the key is finding a way to track the hunting progress.

Ensure you discipline yourself to dedicate a certain frame of time each day to job hunt. This is important… if you don’t know when to “clock off” then the task will become sprawling and overwhelming.

The only time when creating a system would be a waste of time would be if you didn’t actually use it. EVERY time you make an application, receive a phone call or go to an interview (etc), make sure you log it! If you’re reluctant to use the system then chances are you need to amend it slightly so that you’re more compelled to take it on.

It is really important when using your new system that you don’t overload it. Only register with a few select agencies who are solely focused on the sort of role you are looking to find. There are many agencies out there, but not all of them will be right for you. Remember; quality not quantity.

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Jessica Robson

Having previously studied on an Executive PA Diploma in Oxford, Jessica is the Office Manager/Social Media Coordinator for Bain and Gray, a boutique recruitment agency specialising in secretarial and PA roles. Having made the leap from countryside to London life, Jessica is a frequent blogger for Bain and Gray, covering many areas of lifestyle and recruitment.