How to manage your job search (including a free downloadable job application tracker)

We’ve said it before but it often rings very true for many job seekers – “searching for a new job can feel like a full-time job in itself!”

When you’re looking for a new job, especially if you are still in your current role, it can feel like there simply isn’t enough time to really propel your search.

That’s where a bit of clever time management and organisation can make a big difference. Here at Anne Corder Recruitment we speak to job seekers every day who are worried about squeezing in time for applications, CV updates and vacancy searches – let alone interview preparation and beyond.

Each time we offer the same advice and suggest they give these five tactics a go:

1. Work in short bursts

Dedicate chunks of time to your job hunt. In that time log out of social media, mute your phone and really focus on your job search.

Instead of overwhelming yourself with the prospect of a full day searching, section up your day with plenty of breaks: maybe an hour spent earmarking at least three possible opportunities; then have a break; then onto an hour researching in more depth one of those opportunities, and then another break and so on.

If you are still in your current role whilst searching for a new job this approach can work particularly well – set aside an hour before you go to work in the morning and an hour in the evening to do a bit of job searching. Then put aside a bit of time in a similar format at the weekends.

2. Use an application tracker

Job application trackerWe’ve created a free job application tracker – in a simple and easy to manage spreadsheet format – to help you stay on top of your job hunt.

Click here to download the job application tracker

A job application tracker is a great way of managing your job search. At a glance you can see what needs following up on, any looming application deadlines and upcoming interviews.

Don’t burden yourself with trying to keep all of that information memorised! Put it down into the spreadsheet and focus on what matters most, getting your applications right.

Extra tip

When you send off an application you’ll often tweak your CV or send a tailored cover letter. Make sure you know what you’ve sent in response to each vacancy by saving each application as a separate document and title it accordingly, for example “CV [Name of Company] [Job Role] [Date Sent]”. Make a note of whether or not you sent the application via a website or email in the job application tracker and note what sort of application it was and where you can find it on your computer for future reference.

We always recommend job seekers review the CV they submitted before an interview. It may sound like a silly thing to do – after all, you should know what’s in your CV – but it can be a surprisingly good way of building your confidence and putting you in good stead to answer any interview questions that relate directly to your application.

3. Keep your goals in mind to stay motivated

It can be tricky to stay motivated during your job hunt, especially if you don’t seem to be having much of a response to your applications.

Keep your goals in mind to help you power through those extra hours you need to put into your job search. Make sure to have a read of our blog: Planning your career: 5 tips to help you set your goals

4. Work with a great recruitment agency

A recruitment agency can really help you manage your job search. They will source appropriate jobs for you and do a lot of the ‘leg work’ when it comes to liaising with the employer – and we’re experts in making sure candidates are put forward for jobs that are the right fit for them.

So it’s wise to make good use of a well-chosen recruitment agency! In our resource on the benefits of using a recruitment agency we explain just what a difference it can make to your job search.

If you would like to find out how we, at Anne Corder Recruitment, could help with your job search click here to get in touch.

5. Make good use of your phone

Telephone interviewLast but not least, a lot of job seekers now rely on their phones or tablets to manage their job search. Whether you’re on the train to work in the morning or simply browsing vacancies on-the-go, it’s often easiest to do so via a phone.

So why not track your job search there too? Download Google Sheets and Google Drive to store and manage your job application tracker on your phone and use your phone’s calendar to log reminders on application deadlines.

The Anne Corder Recruitment website has also been developed to work on mobile devices, so you can easily view, save and apply to jobs straight from your phone.

If you put your mind to it, you can break your job search down into manageable chunks that don’t feel overwhelming. Your job search doesn’t need to take over or become a burden if you take the right steps.

About the Author

Emma Plummer

Emma Plummer

Talent Scout

Emma blogs for the ACR jobseekers’ blog covering tips on how to stand out, managing the job-hunting process and more.