Conducting an Organized Job Search

By Jeffrey Metzger

     "Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
-- Albert Einstein
     A job search can be stressful, overwhelming and frustrating. Your ability to overcome these obstacles will play a large part in determining your level of success. It's been reported that an average job search in the current market can be 8-10 months. The keys to beating those estimates are planning, strategy and organization. Here are some simple ideas on how to maximize your productivity, reduce stress, and put yourself in a position to be successful in your search

Treat your job search like a job- If you're not currently working, treat each day as if you were going to work. Set the alarm, complete your morning routine and make a to-do list for your day. Who do you need to connect with by phone or online? Do you need to follow-up with anyone regarding previous applications? Use one of the many free calendars available online or on your phone to make (and keep!) your schedule if you're conducting your job search while you're currently employed, try and set time aside several times a week to work only on your job search. Remember, it's inappropriate to use your company's resources (computer, phones, copier, time, etc.) to look for a job. Never use your work email to send or receive communications related to your job search.

Know yourself- Be realistic with yourself about your productivity. If you know that you are sharpest in the morning, set that time aside for the most challenging tasks. As your productivity wanes, use that time for less intense tasks like record-keeping or documenting your progress.

Create a space- Find a comfortable place, free of distractions that will be used exclusively as your work space. Don't pick a room with a television, but if you do, turn it off! Music is fine and will often help you in the creative process. Ask the kids to steer clear while you're working. Don't be distracted by your pets. When you're in your job search space, resist the temptation to do things not search-related.

Maximize your resources- Resumes should be customized and focused for each job. Don't get lazy and apply for a job with a generic resume. Cover letters should be written for each specific job. Do your homework and find the name the person to whom the cover letter is being sent. Get on LinkedIn - One of the great free resources available to you. You need to be there, and you need to look good.

Set goals, write them down- While "finding a job" is certainly a goal, it's just too broad to be an effective part of an organized job search. Get specific. How many new quality connections will you make today? How many interviews do you hope to secure this week/month? Write them down. Put notes on your fridge. Use sticky notes. Tell your friends and family what your goals are and ask them to help you stay on track.

Track everything- Know what you've sent, to whom, and when. If that all-important call comes in, you don't want to be fumbling around while a potential employer or recruiter is waiting on hold.

Take advantage of all available resources- Check your local library for classes, workshops and networking opportunities for job seekers. Look online for free webinars on topics related to your search. Use a site like which will put all your job search activities, calendar, and reminders at your fingertips.

Stay positive!- Finding a job in this economy is not easy, but you will be successful. A great attitude and an optimistic approach are the greatest tools in your job search
Jeffrey Metzger is Owner and Chief Resume Architect at Your Resume Consultant. Find out how Jeff can create a resume for you that will attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Visit us at