Friday, January 20, 2012

Organizing for the Job Search

Today’s link suggests that you create an Excel spreadsheet for your job search, and offers some ideas about how to set it up. It’s worth starting this kind of thing now to test out how you can fine-tune it to your needs.

If you’re not using Excel or a similar spreadsheet program, this is a good opportunity to learn the program. If you simply don’t have the time or expect additional computer skills to be handy, however, a word processing document can serve a similar purpose. Just don’t go about thinking of it as a linear document, that begins at one point and progresses. Rather, set up headings and be willing to jump from one category to another.

Another thought on the insights here—the writer suggests you save to your hard drive. That’s well and good—but I would strongly recommend backing up all data. You can store a document in “the cloud,” whether as a backup or as your primary access point. Here’s another link that will give you a quick overview of free cloud storage resources, and a bit of discussion about what the cloud is:

The reason this kind of work is valuable: even if you think “of course I’ll remember that” (person’s name, date of contact, etc., etc.), you will invariably forget some key detail and want to retrieve it. You can look through your wallet on those squirrely slips of paper you’ve been hoarding (making your back pocket bulge, or your purse feel like a brick). Or you can pull up your spreadsheet.

Me personally—I keep documents like this for quick access anywhere on my iPod touch, synchronized through a program called Goodreader (one of the few programs I’m willing to pay for through iTunes), synchronized with my free Dropbox account. When I need to add stuff on the fly, I use a voice recorder to capture the data rather than trying to poke those teensy-tiny little virtual buttons to enter text.

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