2.0   Getting Organized with Your Career Binder ... absolutely essential!

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.  I often look at documents to see where things might be going south in your job search... One candidate forgot to put his graduate degree on his resume.  He was not aware of it until I reviewed his resume and asked him why he had omitted it. 

I can also see what you are applying for by looking at the full job description and requirements. What are you applying for? Are you applying for jobs that do not challenge you? Are you applying for jobs that are way beyond your reach?  Have you missed some great opportunities or companies you should be tracking on?  How many jobs are you applying for each week?  Are you failing to apply? 

It is absolutely essential that you save jobs you are applying for!!! Don't rely on saving links.  If you are applying for a number of jobs you may get a call weeks or even months later.  The link is dead and you have no way to review the job you applied for.  

When creating your resume tailored to the job you want to apply for it will have all the key words you need to weave into your resume and your cover letter if you dissected and highlighted the contents of the job description and the requirements.  

It is also important that you be able to follow up on jobs you are applying for!  SAVE THE JOB DESCRIPTION! 

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
04.    Contacts
05.    Job descriptions, Job Applications/Resumes Sent

For the last two sections (Contacts and Job Descriptions, Job Applications/Resumes Sent), you need to have a set of A to Z index dividers so you can easily put your finger on the right job.

You can try to file everything online or on your computer or on your cell phone, but in my opinion it is really helpful to have a binder.  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.