When you are looking for a new job it is easy to get overwhelmed. Looking at the work that will be involved in each application can seem quite daunting, especially if you are trying to fit this in in between the responsibilities of your current job. Getting organized before you start applying for a new job can make the process that much easier. One of the best things you can do to start getting organized is to develop a job search toolkit. When you have all your tools readily accessible it will be much easier to turn out applications quickly without compromising the quality of your materials. But what should be included in a quality job search tool kit?
Preparing Your Application
There are a few items that you know most job applications will ask you to provide. Taking the time to prepare these items will help you ensure that you are prepared for any applications that you come across as you start your search.
- Resume- You may want to create a variety of resumes that play up different skills that you have developed. This way it will be easy to tweak these resumes to address the specific requirements an application has.
- Cover letters- While it is always important to create a personalized cover letter for each application, having a few samples ready to go will make it much easier to get started when it comes time to create an application packet.
- References- Ask 3-5 people if they are willing to act as a reference to you and collect their contact information should you require it.
- Portfolio- If you work in an industry that requires you to showcase your previous work you should collect a few samples that you can utilize for this purpose. Focus on more recent work and have a variety of styles selected so you can easily pull things that are appropriate for different positions.
Finding Your Job Search Tools
If you have been out of the job search market for some time, it may take a while to learn which resources are the most helpful in finding new jobs. Take some time to learn about job boards that are unique to your area or field as well as generic boards which post jobs from all categories. You may find that some job boards post the same content so you can easily ignore them and focus on the sites which update more regularly. Having an organized pool of job sites to review will allow you to send out a few applications each day.
Some find that they would like to create a new email address or designate specific contact information when they are applying for jobs. This will help you keep all correspondence organized so nothing is lost. It will also help to ensure that you can keep your job search discrete if it is not appropriate for your coworkers or employers to be aware of the fact that you are searching for a new job. Link your new email address to your networking tools like LinkedIn to ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunities.