Applying for a new job can feel like a full-time endeavor. With thousands of jobs and employers to choose from on online job boards, you can easily spend hours researching jobs that you are interested in. But are you spending most of your time looking at job boards and not enough time applying for positions?
Here are some tips for setting productivity measurements during your job search.
Rather than spending all of your time searching for jobs on the Internet, your time would be better spent if you broke down your daily job search efforts to a few different tasks.
Spend a few hours researching job opportunities and prospective employers, then start drafting cover letters and reviewing your resume to make sure both documents are tailored toward each position.
Spend a few extra minutes trying to identify the contact information (name and title) of each hirer or human resources professional that will receive your resume.
Create a job search productivity chart to help you keep track of your productivity measurements. On the top row, list the dates of the week. On the left-hand column going down, list Job Research, Cover Letters/Resumes, Phone Networking, and In-person Networking. Your final row should Total Hours.
These fields should be filled in from left to right with the number of hours spent on each task each day. This method will help you identify what areas need more of your time and attention.
Keep listing categories in the left-hand column to keep track of how many applications you send out. Starting below Total Hours, list Search Firms, Peer Contacts, Hiring Managers, and Follow-up Letters. From left to right, list how many resumes or letters you send out each day.
As with the hourly breakdown mentioned above, this chart will help you identify what areas you are excelling in, and which areas need improvement.
Below your listing of resumes and follow-up letters, write down your important contacts. Using the dates from the top of your chart, keep track of when and how you make contact (for example, if you spoke with John Smith for an hour on April 18, record the date of the telephone conversation and any important notes about your discussion).
Create new sheets for each week of your job search. Aim for an even balance between hours spent searching for jobs, applying for positions, following up with hirers, and interviewing. Try not to neglect one aspect of your search for another.
While an all-or-nothing approach may still yield results, a more balanced approach will likely provide quicker-and better-opportunities.