"To find the most opportunities, job seekers must turn their searches into structured data projects," said Career Coach Hallie Crawford.
(PRWEB) October 11, 2012
With nearly three million jobs added since unemployment peeked in late 2009, according to the U.S. Labor Department, and unemployment staying range-bound between 8.1% and 8.3% so far this year, it’s time for job seekers to start focusing on long-term horizons, says noted author and certified career coach Hallie Crawford. For many, that means managing their search as a major project and then recording, tracking and making use of every detail.
“Economic experts continue to underscore that job recovery isn’t spiking any time soon,” says Crawford. “As a result, those looking for jobs should realize that following the ‘right’ advice on a week-to-week basis is no longer enough. To find the most opportunities, job seekers must turn their searches into structured data projects.
“Companies use specialized tools to help teams manage long-term projects, make connections and retain focus over time,” Crawford continues “Job seekers must do the same if they want to succeed. In fact, I tell my clients, ‘If you think you don’t have enough information to require project management and tracking, you aren’t working hard enough on your search.’”
According to Crawford, one especially valuable tool is an opportunity tracking worksheet. She provides her clients with a Jobsearch Worksheet, divided into multiple categories such as Networking, Recruiters, Job Boards, Application Status and Elevator Speeches. Job seekers use the worksheet to track information ranging from names, dates and places where they met valuable contacts (including business cards they collect) to postings on job boards that interest them. The Elevator Speeches category lets job seekers keep the text of short self-promotional speeches in one place. They then manage the worksheets actively to stay busy with follow ups, new searches and more.
“Some type of tracking mechanism is crucial to long-term projects, including job searches, and my clients who use them have higher success rates,” says Crawford. “Not only do these worksheets prompt job seekers to revisit opportunities and remind them of contacts they might forget, but they also keep them focused and give them perspective on what they have accomplished.”
For a limited time, Crawford is making her Jobsearch Worksheet available at no charge on her Website. Crawford offers these additional project management tips to help job seekers structure their searches for success.
- Pick your program: Although Crawford’s Jobsearch Worksheet was created in Microsoft Excel, it can be imported into and used in Google Docs (an online office productivity tool), which is free. Job seekers can also create their own worksheets in Google Docs and log into the document anywhere they have Internet access. Other online task tracking programs, such as Producteev, are free for individual users and may also be helpful.
- Set Reminders: Users of programs like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar can create events and set reminders. Taking the time to set reminders for follow-up with networking contacts and prospective employers can ensure job seekers don’t miss important opportunities.
- Go Mobile: Job seekers with smartphones or other mobile, Internet-connected devices should use them to record details and set reminders as soon as they make a contact, rather than waiting to do them later. “Smartphones are wonderful tools for recording ideas, taking down information when you see a Now Hiring sign, and documenting other spontaneous activities,” says Crawford.
- Look for Connections: Those who maintain detailed trackers often find powerful associations they might not otherwise have noticed. For example, a job seeker might meet someone who works for a certain company and then apply for a job at that firm, months later. With the contact recorded and tracked, they’ll notice the connection and can ask the contact for pointers, in advance.
“Tracking and managing all the information relating to your job search is a winning strategy—and the only way to use a large amount of data effectively over time,” says Crawford. “If you’re not disciplined by nature, it will also help you gain valuable experience working with structured data.”
About Create Your Career Path
Since 2002, Create Your Career Path and its team of certified career coaches have helped job searchers nationwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. New college grads through mid-career professionals have used our career coaches to find their dream job. Create Your Career Path was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs and Entrepreneur Magazine.