Whether you’re 16 and searching for your first job, or you’re a recent graduate looking for a full-time position, you know how frustrating a job search can be. I’d like to say I’m an expert at searching for jobs now, seeing as I’ve well passed the 200 job applications mark. No word of a lie. Like my first post said, when I moved to Toronto, I didn’t have a job, but I had applied to 160 jobs prior to even moving.
While doing my research, I came up with a system to help me keep track of what position I had applied to and what the responses were. It’s an easy tracking system and helped me determine where I should apply next.
I’ll also be giving out some tips to help you during your actual search.
In an excel spreadsheet or any similar program (one with multiple tabs), create a table with 6 columns and how many rows you think you’ll need. Personaly, I put 40, to be able to apply to everything I can even think of. I mean, let’s be honest, times are hard.
Column 1 – Company/Organization
Column 2 – Address
Column 3 – Email
Column 4 – Date resume was sent
Column 5 – Date of Follow up (I’ll explain these later, but these are quite important)
Column 6 – Notes (this is where I’ll put any responses or comments)
Now, if you’re looking for your first job, or you’re like me; going back to school and looking for a part-time job to support yourself at the very least, you may have to apply in multiple fields. Which is why I use the tabs at the bottom of my excel documents (sheet1,2,3,etc.) to differenciate the types of jobs I’m applying to. For example, this time around I have the following categories: Hostess/Cover, Reception, Activity Coordinator, Retail and Other.
As you find jobs that interest you (try not to be too picky, seriously!), simply fill in the grid.
1. There are so many great sites to help you find jobs nowadays (awesome!). So be sure to check everyone to maximize your chance of finding your next gig. Some sites will repeat job postings, but it’s completely normal. When that happens, it mostly means that the employer is really adamant on finding a person soon. Check out these sites!
2. Apply to EVERYTHING. The best advice that I’ve gotten was “Apply even if you think you won’t get it.” Seriously, you never know.
3. Post your resume online and create yourself a LinkedIn profile. The job that I currently have is because I posted my resume online. They found me. It doesn’t guarantee a job, but it definitely helps.
4. You have friends and contacts. Use them. Call or email your contacts and ask them if there is anything where they work or if they’ve heard of any other posting. This doesn’t mean to have your friends talk to their bosses and have them ask to hire you. This just means that they can give you the name and contact number/email so you can pursue that lead. You still need to do the work and make sure you prove yourself to be a great candidate for your potential job.
5. Follow up. I know this sounds ridiculous and yes there are the occasional time when they don’t respond actually means they don’t want you to work for them, but there’s also the possibility that your email was mistakenly deleted or sent to the “junk” folder. I usually wait a week or two before following up.