Disorganized Job Search Slows You Down

Whether you’re currently in a job search or not, you need to be aware that disorganized job search activity can slow down your progress–sometimes considerably. Of course, not everyone is a highly organized, efficient person who dots all the i’s and crosses all the t’s. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t make a real effort in that direction. You owe it to yourself and your ongoing career success.

How Disorganized is Your Job Search?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being indescribably disorganized, where would you rank yourself? Be honest! You don’t have to tell anyone else the answer, but don’t try to fool yourself. That’s an exercise in futility.

Normally, I’d say there’s no crime in taking a free-spirited approach to various aspects of your life. Spontaneity can be very productive, if it suits you. Even a highly organized person might benefit from a little “off the cuff stuff” now and then. It only becomes a potentially big problem when it stands in the way of your achieving an important goal–such as landing a much-needed new job or a coveted career promotion.

Organize Your Job Hunt

Recently I read an article on CBS News’ MoneyWatch by Suzanne Lucas, titled “How to organize your job hunt,” that speaks to the point about having an organized job search plan and activity. Lucas interviewed Deanne Kelleher, founder and president of kAos Group, which specializes in organizing a lot of things, not just job searching. It’s worth reading, if you haven’t already seen it.

Among other things, the article talks about some of the key pieces to getting your job search organized, such as bringing all your contacts into one central location, including notes about people you speak to during your job search, and organizing both your hard copy files and your job search emails.

It finishes up with this advice: “As you go throughout your job hunt, it can be tempting to stop keeping track of what you’re doing, trusting yourself to remember, but Kelleher cautions that you need to continue tracking your contacts, and your emails and everything involved in your job hunt. Keeping organized can help make your job hunt easier and more successful, which is something we all want.”

Although there are numerous tools on the market, including something as relatively straightforward as an Excel spreadsheet, one of my favorites is JibberJobber.com. It’s a fairly robust and useful tool. Founder Jason Alba developed it after his own job search proved to be much tougher than he had expected, and it has been used by countless job seekers in the years since then. Jason works hard to keep it useful and relevant, too. (He has also written some books, including I’m on LinkedIn–Now What? and I’m on Facebook–Now What?)

As a popular saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You don’t want to make that mistake with regard to your career success, so avoid the perils of a disorganized job search that can slow down your progress!

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