The call that you’ve been hoping for comes in - the opportunity a lifetime. A perfect fit, a big-time raise, the company is in your neighborhood, and the recruiter who is on the line is a personal friend of the hiring manager.
After passing through the recruiting firm’s screening process with ease the next step is moving forward and having the recruiter send in your information to his client. He tells you that he would be shocked if you don’t get at least an initial interview.
Up until this point in your search for a new opportunity you have kept no records and have no idea where your résumé has gone, who has seen it, and what has been done with it (get ready for the ‘something bad is going to happen’ music).
The next day the recruiter calls back and drops a bomb on you – about two months ago another recruiting firm submitted you there for a different position and their policy is that if two recruiters submit you within a six month time frame you are out – no exceptions.
Tough luck, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200.
One of the most important investments you can make in your job-search is a notebook where you document everything you do. The better organized and documented your search the likelier you are to be succesful.
- Track your résumé / application submissions. Outside of the example above there are numerous reasons that you should track where you send your information -
- So that you don’t appear desperate by sending your résumé to the same company over and over(read our previous post on this topic here)
- So that don’t get blacklisted. I have heard of at least two companies that have started policies that state that if they receive your résumé more than X number of times in X number of months you are not to be considered for X amount of time.
- Track who you are networking with and what the outcome was. I receive a fair number of calls from people wanting referrals for their search and there is nothing more frustrating than giving them a name and number and then having them call back two days later and say they did not write it down.
- Track relevant information that you receive. All information that you receive that can further your search (websites, information collected, tips and tricks, etc) should be documented so that you can refer to it later.
- Keep an ongoing list of your top potential employers. As a job-seekers you should always have an ongoing list of companies that you would like to work for that would be dumb not to hire you. This list gives you a goal to work towards, gives you a target for networking, and gives you an idea of how to spend your time.
- Document all of your interview prep and post-interview notes. Having this in one place can not only help you in following up and keeping track of your progress for that opportunity, it can help you in getting ready for future interviews.
- Keep up with your job-search to-do list and top priorities. As with every other project you take on, your search will have things that need to get done ASAP and will have other things that need to get done in a timely manner. If you are not documenting these things and checking them off they will probably not get done.
If you are not tracking and keeping up with your search it can have dire consequences (getting discounted as a candidate, making you look back, etc) but it can be devastating for your next search (having to start all over again). The $2.00 you spend (or don’t spend) on a notebook can be the difference between success and failure.
Until next time, good hunting and good luck!