Tips And Tricks For Mastering Your Job Search

I recently moved from Alexandria, Virginia to Denver, Colorado without a job or the prospect of a job. I was applying for jobs casually about four months before I made the move and for the last two months I have been seriously hunting for job opportunities. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.

Use Glassdoor to research the company before you apply

In some cases, the company or nonprofit you’re applying to isn’t on Glassdoor but if they are, employee reviews tell you more about the company than you could find out in an interview. In the beginning of my search I made the mistake of not looking up companies before I interviewed. In several of those interviews I found out that the “marketing job” was really selling products in Costco. About a month ago, I walked out of an interview where I hadn’t had the opportunity to ask questions and with no real idea what the company did or what the role was. Through Glassdoor, I was able to find out that the company hired people for door to door sales and that they were commission based. Glassdoor also has a salary tool to help you find the general salary range for a job title in your area or a specific salary for a job with a company. This is great when companies ask for your salary requirements.

Excel is your friend

Excel or Google sheets, or any spreadsheet software can help streamline your application process. Have columns for the company, job title, date of application, date you want to follow up, date of interview, date of thank you email, etc. Plus, you can color code priority jobs, jobs you’ve applied for, and anything else that makes your heart sing.

Have a daily or weekly goal

Recently, I set myself the goal of 3 job applications a day, 5 days a week. It helped motivate me through that last cover letter (if you aren’t writing cover letters, here’s why you should be). It’s ok if you don’t hit it every day but it provides a boost of motivation. Using LinkedIn Easy Apply and Indeed definitely count (also great tools).

Break up the monotony

I’m learning calligraphy. Partially because I want to learn, partially because it’s a cheap hobby, and partially because it’s an easy way to break up my job applications. I didn’t know I would love it this much. Some fun, cheaper hobbies include knitting, crocheting, sketching, coloring but having something you enjoy doing to get you away from the computer screen is a lifesaver. Also, if creativity strikes, start a side hustle. Finding something you enjoy doing will keep you sane.

Find what works for you

I’ve tried several different organization methods. Currently, I’m using Microsoft OneNote and Asana to keep track of jobs I want to apply for and to organize what kind of jobs they are. I love Asana because I can have multiple different boards for my different projects and I’m slowly switching away from OneNote to just Asana. That doesn’t work for everyone, just like I couldn’t keep up with my excel spreadsheet. Find what tools work for you.

There are lots of ways to master the job search, the trick is finding the right combination of methods that work for you. It’s hard to stay motivated as the rejection emails come in, so finding ways to reward yourself and keep morale up is key.

 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Lauren Gustafson

Lauren is a Virginia native and graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she majored in English. She reads passionately, bakes occasionally, and loves rugby. Lauren has spent multiple summers supervising children at overnight camps and she is a pro at dealing with awkward and inappropriate questions. Her goals in life include: being a crazy book lady, living on her own, and traveling any chance she gets.
Lauren Gustafson
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