Career Advice

3 Tips To Stay Organized During Your Job Search

Posted by Heather Huhman

October 16, 2012

The job search process can certainly cause an excess amount of clutter. Searching, applying, tracking, and networking your job skills can be stressful when you're on the hunt for a job.

It doesn't always take a personal assistant, website, or online application to make the job search more organized. Cut your stress by applying these three simple tips for staying organized during your job search:

1. Preparation

It isn't often that job seekers find success when entering into the job search blindly. Never underestimate the secret weapon that is careful preparation. Putting a strong attention to detail into the necessary job search preparations will not only cut down on your job search time, but also generate more successful results.


The job search doesn't just entail applying for jobs. Effective preparation means creating customized materials for each application, building a marketable online or offline portfolio, perfecting your elevator pitch, and much more. Perhaps the most important preparatory step for job seekers is setting specific goals for the job search. These goals could be anything from the amount of job applications you’d like to complete each week, to how many new networking connections you plan to have informational interviews with.

2. List Generation

The simplest and most practical way to stay organized during the job hunt is by creating detailed records of your search.  This is where spreadsheets become a job seeker’s powerful ally. For every application submitted, use a spreadsheet to keep track of the following:

  • Company
  • Position title
  • Job description,
  • Company website URL
  • Date submitted
  • Status of submission

The detailed spreadsheet records you've developed will give you an overview of several important factors of your search. An overview can give you a general idea of how long it takes for certain kinds of employers to respond and an easier generalization of which types of employers seem to be interested in your resume. Detailed records also offer a chance to document contacts at certain companies for future outreach.

Of course, there are also plenty of free and paid apps out there to replace the old school spreadsheet.

3. Time Management

Many job seekers overlook the importance of good time management techniques when applying for jobs. While preparation and record keeping will be extremely beneficial to the search, your overall job search goals will not be met without adequate time management.

This is as easy as creating a job search calendar and directly aligning it to your specific job search goals. For more time efficiency, dedicate a set number of hours each day to researching and applying for jobs, and identify the specific time of day you plan to complete these tasks. Finding an even balance between your job search and your personal life will mean a more organized and successful job search.