Before You Begin the Job Hunt - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Before You Begin the Job Hunt

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Part 1: Job Seach Guide, Organizing

Updated: Monday, 25 Apr 2011, 4:04 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

New Graduate Job Search from

myFOX Job Shop - To get the most out of your job search, it's essential to be organized—so you can effectively manage the sometimes chaotic process. An organized job search can also be more time efficient, and though there's no big, red "Easy" button, the process of getting organized isn't complicated. Here's how to do it.

Define your ideal job

Whether you're a new grad without any experience or one with a few jobs and internships under your belt, everyone needs to start by assessing what job they want.

Where you do you want to work? What industries? What occupations? What companies? List out attributes and descriptors of your ideal job, such as a focus on social media, a job located in Chicago, a job at Disney or to have the title "Network Test Engineer." These can become keywords once you begin searching.

Keep a calendar & schedule

Keep track of your daily plans, upcoming interviews, follow-ups with employers and other appointments with the help of a calendar. (Hey! The Mayans had a calendar, and they're considered downright brilliant!)

Manage contacts

Track who you meet during your job search. Include people you've interviewed with or met at networking events, recruiters you've been in contact with and people who have served as your references. Note their contact information, company and what they've done to help in your search—for "thank you" notes later. (You will send a thank you note, right? Right?!?)

File management

If you create different resumes and cover letters for each job opportunity, you'll find yourself with multiple versions on your computer. To keep track of your various files, organize your application materials into separate folders and make sure your naming strategy makes sense: high-level "Resumes" and "Cover Letters" folders, with subfolders for "Cover Letter-IBM" or "Resume- Graphic Design," etc.

Use email folders to track progress

Once you start applying for jobs, you'll want to keep your email communications neatly organized as well. To stay on top of your game, create folders for your emails that follow the flow of your job search process.

For example, in a top-level folder named "Job Search," create subfolders for:

• Unsolicited: Emails sent to recruiters or employers.
• Suspects: Emails mentioning potential jobs to pursue, such as job email alerts.
• Prospects: Got a "live one on the hook"? Move correspondence here from employers who are considering you.
• Opportunities: Correspondence with your references about potential opportunities and progress
• Dings: They took your resume and placed it in their circular file? No worries; we all face rejection. Move all of the correspondence with that company here so you remember not to contact them again.

A little organization can go a long, long way

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