If you are serious about finding a good job, the right job, you need to gather information and keep it organized. You need to be able to access the information you need when you need it, quickly and efficiently. Don’t assume that it’s OK to just create another stack of papers on your desk or that you can just throw everything into one drawer. This is serious business.
The BEST way to organize your job search is to put together a binder to keep track of the ideas, applications, and contacts you make during your job search. In fact, to keep your career search materials organized, a Career Binder is absolutely essential!
A career binder is particularly helpful when you are working with a career coach. Don’t even think about coming to see me in my office if you don’t have a career binder! I’ll talk to you even if you just have some papers in hand, showing that you have given some thought to your career search. But if you want me to pay serious attention, I’m going to want to see your career binder.
Your Career Binder should be constructed with dividers. It needs to be divided into five sections, labeled as follows:
01. Ideas and Inspiration
02. Timelines/Calendar/To Do Lists
03. Career Plan/Job Search Strategy
05. Job Applications/Resumes Sent
For the last two sections (Contacts and Job Applications/Resumes Sent), you need to have a set of A to Z index dividers.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to file everything online or on your computer or on your cell phone! This is hands-on stuff and there is a lot of information you need to have in hard copy where you can touch it and take notes (you can worry about saving trees after you get a job).
For many of the tasks involved in finding a job, you are going to have to keep pen and paper handy, and to get in the habit of hitting the print button.
Make sure you read each of the five sections that follow and to look at the templates to be used for organizing.