Job hunting is hard. It’s stressful, it’s full-on, and there are a lot of threads to keep hold of – even more so if you’re juggling multiple applications across various different stages. Finding a job is harder again if you’re a new graduate, and it’s the first time you’ve ever really done it.
So how can you stay on track of your interviews, calls, and job hunting statuses, and keep on an even keel? We’ve got some suggestions below.
For those who like to keep things fuss-free, a spreadsheet is a really easy way to stay organized. Google’s free Sheets tool allows you to access your information from anywhere, including on your phone, so is a great pick. Set your sheet up the way you want – adding fields for companies, jobs you’ve applied for, interview stages, and follow-ups, for example.
A more visual way of doing the same thing is Trello. While it was designed as a collaboration tool for organizing projects and tasks, it actually works perfectly for solo projects. Create lists for each company you’re applying to, and within them, you can add cards for specific tasks, which have their own notes and tasks – and you can set dates too. You can also add attachments, for example, the tailored CV and cover letter you should ideally create for each job application. A bit like an expandable whiteboard, filled with loads of Post-Its, this is a free resource that is a great tool to carry forward into your working life too.
Staying focused is so important. We all spend a lot of time getting distracted when we’re meant to be concentrating, and freeing up some time to get your applications in, resumés and cover letters written, and all your admin done is vital to a successful outcome.
The One Big Thing app helps you to accomplish one set goal each day – for example, write a cover letter, apply for a new job or do some follow-ups. Add your task to write a cover letter, send in an application, or do follow-ups – and the app will help you to make it a focus and get it done. And feel great about completing it, too!
If you’re having trouble getting started, Freedom is an app that blocks the websites and apps that distract you the most. Choose what you want to block, select for how long and on what devices, and away you go.
Celebrate the wins
Your ultimate aim is to get a new job, but because you can’t predict when that will happen, it can be easy to lose focus.
Set yourself up for success by putting in place smaller goals to meet each week or month. These can be things like sending out five CVs each week, applying for three new roles, connecting with a set number of relevant industry professionals on a networking site, or attending a relevant networking event – either online or in person.
And once you’ve done these, congratulate yourself on your progress. It’s all moving the dial in the right direction.
Be kind to yourself
It’s very easy to get disheartened, but try to stay chipper. One study estimates that each corporate job advertisement receives 250 applications. Four to six of those applicants are called for an interview, with only one receiving a job offer. This means that 249 applicants face rejection, so it is not you – it is the way the job market works. You are not alone.
If you are going for a job at a tech firm, this can be even more tiring. Tech interviews can often exceed six rounds, and so the concept of interview fatigue absolutely exists. The process has become a marathon of endurance for candidates, and it can be hard to keep momentum in terms of energy and enthusiasm.
Hopefully, things are changing: Google has examined past interview data and has now decided that four interviews are enough to make a hiring decision with 86% confidence. So, go forward and apply with confidence.
Ready to start your graduate job search? TheGradCafe Job Board is the place to begin.