5 Awesome Steps To Track, Measure, and Optimize Your Job Search Efforts

by Rich DeMatteo on November 17, 2011 · 21 comments

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During the Social Media Plus summit yesterday here in Philadelphia, I had time to chat with Michelle Bizon, a local pal that I’ve known through the interwebs for a while, but had never met IRL.  Naturally, Michelle and I talked at length about her job search, and I immediately noticed that she needed more focus.  I won’t go into details, but when I began giving her tips on how to organize, track, and measure her job search, she agreed that I should turn this advice into a blog post.  Well, here it is…

…and damn, I’m extremely proud of this step by step guide I’ve created.  Honestly, it may be the most useful blog post I’ve ever wrote for job seekers.  Let’s get to it…

5 Ways To Track, Measure, and Optimize Your Job Search

 

1. Write Out EVERYTHING You Want and Need From A Job

When  you aren’t clear about the exact jobs you want to apply for, then you end up sending your resume to everything on the damn internet.  It’s a terrible strategy.  In the end, you forget which jobs you even looked at, and it comes across as desperate to employers.

Write out a list of 15-50 things that you WANT and NEED from your next job.  Write down everything from the location, to hours, to type of company, to industry, to type of manager, to the skill sets the job description requires, to… you get the point.

Have this master sheet available at all times and only apply to jobs that match. When you do this correctly, you’re able to ensure you’re applying to jobs that you WILL love and be much more focused when actually looking for jobs.

 

2. Use The List You Create in Step 1 to Build Your Resume & Cover Letter

If you’re REALLY successful at building your jobs wish list, you’ll find that the positions you want to apply for online will have the same words in both your wish list and job description.  Since most employers use ATS Systems that track key words found in the resume and job description, you’ll want to boost the words from your wish list into your resume and cover letter.

Make sense?  I’m going to assume it does, but if not, just shout out and let me know in the comments.

 

3.  Set Weekly Application Submittal Goals

Great, you’ve figured out what your must haves are for your next job and you’ve built a focused resume and cover letter that matches job descriptions that you’re interested in.  Now it’s time to set your weekly submittal goals!

It’s important to set a weekly submittal goal for a few reasons.

  • If you don’t set submittal goals, you’ll either spend far too little time on  your job search or far too much time.  Both are really bad for you physically and mentally.
  • Establishing a routine is important in a job search.
  • If you’re not successful, you know that you need to increase your submittal goal.
Start out low (5-10) and then increase after a couple weeks if you aren’t successful at first.

 

4.  Create Spreadsheet For Resume Submittal Information

When you’re applying to 5, 10, 15, or more jobs per week, it’s beyond critical to import as much information about the jobs as possible.  Some of  the information you want to capture is:

  • Company and contact name
  • Submittal date
  • Skills required for job
  • Any and all words on the job description that match your wish list
  • Industry
  • Step reached in hiring process (waiting, never heard back, phone screen completed or scheduled, interview completed or scheduled, and rejected)
You can include more fields in your spreadsheet if you like, but it’s on you to decide what information is most important to keep track of with each job.  Take down all of this information so that you’re not only able to organize your job search, but also to help you for the next step!

 

5.  Review, Revise, and Repeat

Now that you’ve gone through and tracked all of the jobs you’ve applied to, you can go through and start analyzing your job search data.  Probably best to do this monthly, but you can also go for a bi-weekly review cycle if you’re on a tight deadline for your next job.

  • Review:  Review the information field that explains the outcome of your resume submittals.  Review the companies that decided to go to the next step of the process after you submitted your resume.  Look closer at the companies that rejected you immediately.  Study the companies that decided to interview you after a phone screen.  What are the similarities between these companies?   Try to identify why certain organizations found you attractive or unattractive.  Pull out the job descriptions and search for your very own Job Search Da Vinci Code!
  • Revise:  What can you revise about your job search?  If you seem to be on target, but haven’t passed the phone screen, you might want to increase resume submittals.  If you’ve barely received anything from companies, maybe you need to change your resume or tweak up your wish list.
  • Repeat:  It’s time to go through the process again.  Hopefully, this time you’ll see success.  If not, then continue to Review, Revise, and Repeat!
Any questions on the above process?  Am I missing anything?
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