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Organize Your Job Search

July 9th, 2009

JibberJobber, launched more than three years ago, was developed as a website to organize your job search.  While it has evolved into a Personal Relationship Manager, and even a lightweight CRM for entrepreneurs (and contractors and freelancers and small businesses), it really shines as a job search organizer.

If you are just starting your job search, or think you might within the next year or two, let me suggest the primary information you need to organize in your job search:

Where you send your resume: What job did you apply to, and which version of which resume did you send it, and when?  Easy to keep track of at the beginning of your job search, but what about when to followup on each submission?  Or what about when you have applied to over 25, 50 or 75 jobs?  JibberJobber shines here.

Who you communicate with: Supposedly we will network our way into our next job… doesn’t it make sense that we keep track of contacts?  I’m not talking about a tool where they have to agree to connect with us, I’m talking about a tool we can use whether they know it or not.  You should know when you first met, when you need to follow up, what you talk about, and even perhaps who introduced you.  Yeah, of course you can do all of this in JibberJobber.

What companies you are interested in: aka, Target Companies.  In my job search I would go to the elevators of office buildings and write down the names of companies at each building – then go back to the web and do some research.  Having a list of Target Companies is critical, as you never know what your next employer might be.  Again, log notes about them, create action items, etc.  Guess what website that rhymes with libber lobber does this well?

There is other information, let’s call it secondary information, that is good to keep track of in your job search, including:

How will you answer various questions: In JibberJobber we have “Interview Prep” area where you can wordsmith responses to questions like “can you tell me about yourself?” and “why did you leave your last job?”  Trust me, the difference between preparing the response before the interview and just winging it is HUGE.

How much money you spend on the job search: We put an Expense Tracker in JibberJobber (it’s an upgrade feature), to let you keep track of expenses and even mileage in your job search.  I wouldn’t have kept track of that information because for me, filing taxes was easily a year away from my job search and I knew I’d lose the slips of paper I would write it on.

What past professional accomplishments were: Every career professional advises you to keep a “job journal,” which is integrated into JibberJobber.  Why is this important?  Because when you are in a job search you might not be thinking clearly, and forget many of your past accomplishments.  These accomplishments, big or small, help you tell your story, whether it’s in your resume, your LinkedIn Profile, in a network meeting, or in an interview.

Of course there is more to organize… but let’s keep it simple for now – that’s a good start, isn’t it?

One final note: If you told me I would get value out of (or NEED) JibberJobber early in my job search I would have said I was an exception to that rule.  In fact, my job search was going to be so short I’d barely need my Excel spreadsheet… but as my job search went on and on, I found keeping track of all of this information in a job search spreadsheet was a joke. I really did need something like JibberJobber.com.

Another final note: If you are not in a job search, you still should be (at a minimum) managing relationships and keeping track of target companies – even if you work for someone else… you need to OWN YOUR CAREER, and this is a part of that.

You can get started on JibberJobber here.

5 Comments »

5 responses to “Organize Your Job Search”

  1. Great post, Jibber Jobbers’!

    The best thing that you can do during a job search is be organized. Like Jibber Jobber said, make sure you remember who you met, where you met them, and why you met them.

    Organization is one of the single most important things to keep your job search relatively stress-free and moving forward, not backwards.

    Good luck to all.

  2. worldlymrb says:

    I was fired from my last job for not making quota the last 6 months, even though I was over quota the last 4 years.

    And for the last 4 months, I got interviews, but no hire. And it was getting to the point where I spent half the interview explaining why I couldn’t reach sales goals and why I was fired.

    I gave up and decided to outsource my job references. I just by-passed the whole g*damn ordeal. I got hired 3 weeks later.

    So if anyone is in my shoes, check out CareerExcuse

    Good luck to all!

  3. Sam Diener says:

    Jason,

    Great job getting this site to the point it is at. Its a great name, and I like the concept. I am glad you found another use for CRM. Hopefully soon, you will know me as the guy behind JoBlessYou! Don’t worry, I won’t be competing.

    Samuel

  4. […] he didn’t mention any tools by name, he did say that a good search with the keywords “Organize Job Search” would help.  This, and my previous experience as an open-source software user, was the […]

  5. […] Though he didn’t mention any tools by name, he did say that a good search with the keywords “Organize Job Search” would help.  This, and my previous experience as an open-source software user, was the catalyst […]