At this point, you probably already know that job searching is not always an easy task. It may take you a while before you can get a call and get invited for an interview. Ultimately, you may have to wait to actually land yourself a job. True enough, job searching can be frustrating at times, so much so that you may find yourself looking for ways to divert your attention and get my mind off things for a bit.
In between customizing your resume and cover letter, and clicking through online job listings, you might be tempted to check your social media accounts or even watch an episode or two of your favorite TV series. These may not seem much, but those minutes you spend can add up if you’re not careful.
The key to not wasting time while job hunting? Create a plan. In this post, we’ll take a look at the five ways that can help increase your job search productivity.
1. As mentioned above, create a plan
Don’t look for a job whenever you can or when you just want to. You also need to consider your weekly schedule and find ways to dedicate time to your job hunt. Block out a specific time that you will spend solely on job searching. This is particularly important if you’re currently employed and looking for new opportunities. If you’re still working five days a week, then you may need to spare time off your weekend. You should also dedicate time for checking your application materials and updating them when needed.
2. Use anti-distraction apps
Even if you’re still searching for a job, you need to treat this task as an important one, as if it’s part of an actual job itself. After all, it’s best if you can form the habit of shunning distractions away as early as now. If you find yourself distracted by social media and other websites or apps, anti-distraction apps, such as StayFocusd and ColdTurkey can help you focus on the task at hand.
3. Utilize time tracking
If you’re generally busy and you’re just squeezing job searching into your schedule, you have to make sure that you don’t get too distracted by the job search itself. If you’re still employed, you need to keep on performing well at work. Now is the best time to use time tracking apps. When you track the time you spend doing something, you will be more aware of how much time it has already taken you and you will be able to gauge whether those minutes have been productive. Time tracking also helps you focus. Try Pomodoro technique timers.
4. Strategize and organize your application materials
Creating a cover letter for every job you apply to can take a lot of time. Although it’s important that you don’t send the same letter to everyone, it’s still best to have a template that you can easily edit and customize. Basically, create materials that feature and highlight your “core” qualities.
It’s also better if you have a folder for all of the application materials that you can quickly access. Save them to the cloud, too.
5. Keep track of your tasks and applications
You should have a list of the job listings you’ve already sent applications to. This way, you won’t run the risk of applying to the same job post twice. Making that mistake will make you look like you don’t pay attention.