When you’re looking for remote work, you’re probably applying for numerous positions at the same time. If you don’t have time to read our comprehensive article on tips for organizing and tracking your remote job search, see our video below.
With several CV versions and ideally multiple interviews, it’s easy to become unorganized.
Here are a few pointers to help you successfully plan your job hunt.
1. Maintain a positive mindset
Jack Kelly, writing for Forbes recommends adopting a positive mindset when job searching. Why?
Research cited by the Worcester Business Journal found that positive thinking, affirmations and the expectation for success goes a long way in goal achievement. Exuding positive personality traits, extroversion, happiness, and conscientious, for instance have positive impacts on maintaining efforts to obtain a job. These traits also help in ultimately securing a job says university researchers in their study titled, “Effects of Conscientiousness and Extraversion on New Labor Market Entrants’ Job Search: The Mediating Role of Metacognitive Activities and Positive Emotions.”
2. Refrain from procrastination
This is an important point. It’s simple to convince yourself every day that you’ll start looking for work as soon as you finish planning your job search. Set a time limit — a few days, maybe a week at most — to get your ducks in a row and then get started on actually applying to jobs.
3. Rid yourself and workspace of clutter
It’s really tough to think clearly if your workplace is cluttered with books, papers, and invoices. Spend a few hours tossing away all the stuff you don’t need and organizing the things you do. Productivity and clutter are intertwined.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the average U.S. CEO loses six weeks each year searching for misplaced information on their untidy desk and files. For a $75,000-a-year executive, it equates to a loss of $9,221, or 12.3 percent of their total earnings. That’s quite a hefty price to pay for ignoring clutter.
4. Create a method for organizing your job search
You’ll need a system for keeping track of the companies and jobs you’ve applied to, as well as the status of each application. When it comes to follow-up, tracking your application is crucial. If you’ve interviewed with a company but haven’t heard back, you’ll need to keep hold of that information so you can make a follow-up phone call or send an email.
Consider creating a comprehensive spreadsheet that tracks all relevant details of your job search, such as the job title, company, contact information, date you applied, details of any scheduled interviews, whether you followed up, and the status of your application.
If you’re the type of person who forgets to update the spreadsheet, look into free online project management solutions such as Trello.
You can automate your job hunt using tools like Trello. You can, for example, be reminded when to send a follow-up letter to the hiring manager or recruiter. You may also keep track of your meetings using free apps such as Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. A sticky note may be the right solution if you’re a visual person.
5. Create a timetable
Set aside time every day to concentrate on your job hunt. The quantity of time you set aside is typically determined by whether you are already employed, as well as other time constraints. If you’re currently employed, it may be as little as two or three hours each week. Whether it’s two hours every Sunday or three hours every weekday, no matter how much time you have to devote to your job hunt, make a commitment to stick to a strategy.
6. Set goals, milestones and benchmarks
The Journal of Vocational Behavior indicates what we all know to be true, ‘the job search is goal directed behavior.’ It involves developing a plan, working the plan with the anticipation of obtaining the goal set forth in the plan; i.e. getting a job. No joke, Sherlock!
In addition to setting a daily, weekly and monthly schedule of activities, Flex Jobs recommends setting a 30-60-90 job search plan that includes goals, milestones and benchmarks. Why? Research from Wanberg, Hough, and Song (2002) show that when a job search goal is clear, when the career objective is concise, and when the job seeker actively commits to the plan; high levels of success are achieve.
A job offer is extended in less time. The potential employer proves to be a better fit than had a careful plan not been undertaken. Further, the risk of the newly hired employee quitting is much lower.
5. Revise and improve your CV
When you start looking for employment, you’ll need to have your finest résumé possible ready to go. Depending on your industry, you may need more than one résumé on hand to apply for a range of job titles. There is a wealth of information available online on how to write a CV. Make sure your resume is tailored to each position.
6. Use keywords
Focus on keyword usage and accomplishments. Why? Today, it is often that human eyes don’t even look at an application or resume once it is submitted until the final stages of candidate selection. Human resources departments make ample use of algorithms to pre-screen applicants.
If you failed to mention the keywords and their derivatives at least three times in your application you will not pass robotic screening. So as you revise your resume based upon the position for which you are applying, use the same keywords written in the job description to describe your experience and accomplishments.
7. Make a list of potential employers
Where would you like to work? Begin by investigating the reputation and culture of at least a dozen businesses you believe are excellent places to work. Of course, you should continue to network, reply to Internet job listings, and interact with recruiters, but it’s helpful to have a list of specific businesses to target.
After you’ve compiled your list, perform research on each organization and consider conducting informational interviews. Use the information you’ve gathered to personalize your CV, cover letters, and interview replies to each business.
And don’t forget, this list is a living document. Each day there are news of companies who are expanding and in need of new employees. There are also those companies who are retrenching from the marketplace and laying employees off. So, it is important to check your list daily. Your targets are moving. They are changing daily depending upon business conditions. Here’s a list that is updated regularly.
8. Consider freelancing and registering with employment agencies
Consider freelancing, volunteering and registering with temporary employment agencies as ways to upskill, expand reference list, remain active, update your professional profile, and build long lasting social and professional networks. Harvard Business Review (HBR) recommends employers utilize temporary staffing agencies and online freelance platforms to attract workers during worker shortages. These activities can represent a win-win scenario for both job seekers and employers seeking to fill hard-to-place jobs.
9. Begin or expand your network
Lots of people manage to get a job simply by networking, so try to get out there and meet new people. Ask for guidance and find out who else you should be talking to. Who in your target organizations may you be able to network with? Or do you know someone who can put you in touch with someone?
10. Organize your job hunt using LinkedIn
When you look for jobs on LinkedIn, you may bookmark positions that interest you. If you can’t apply right away, you’ll end up with a rolling list of interesting jobs to choose from when it’s time to concentrate on your job hunt.
Spruce up your LinkedIn profile by promoting yourself using material from your CV to communicate what you are looking for clearly. Bring your profile up to 100 percent, or at the very least 90 percent.
Obtain references from as many of your contacts as possible, with a focus on clients, supervisors, subordinates, and corporate colleagues. These will indicate to prospective employers what kind of employee you are.
If you don’t have an email address for someone who works for one of your target firms, you can contact them using LinkedIn Groups. If you’re in the same LinkedIn group as them, you may send them a free message using the site.
11. Ask for and Seek Internal Referrals
Andrew Seaman, writing for Linkedin suggests that internal referrals are the key to getting a job. There are several reasons why job seekers should try to obtain referrals from inside one of their prospective employers.
- It’s easier for your resume and application to get separated from the 100s of nameless, faceless candidates vying for the same position,
- It’s highly unlikely that the referring employee would refer someone unqualified for the position as they would not want to tarnish their own reputation inside the company, and
- It’s automatically assumed that the employee referring you has some connection to you, making it more likely that you will accept an employment offer, you will be a good ‘fit’, you will be happier and you will more likely stay with the firm.
12. Apply for the appropriate positions
Many job searchers assume that the more positions they apply for, the more likely they are to obtain an interview. As a result, they apply for each remote job they come across. However, applying for jobs you are ineligible for is a waste of time, not to mention an easy way to get unorganized.
Sending out fewer resumes that are properly tailored to specific positions is always a good idea.
13. Monitor your job search efforts every week
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a remote job. This is why you need a strategy to perform certain activities and arrange your job search week by week. Set aside one or two hours each week to browse job boards—most job boards will send you updates through email.
There are many things to keep track of when job hunting, but by following these easy suggestions, you’ll be able to track and organise your remote job search efficiently.
Search Remotely is an online platform for remote job hunters looking to escape 9-5 and for remote companies to hire international remote talent.