JOB SEARCH / FEB. 17, 2016
version 8, draft 8

Time Management for Successful Job Hunting

The reason why so many people’s job hunt drags on and on is because they fail to understand one simple truth about the process: it’s exactly like having a full time job; it can be as tiring and as time-consuming as any full time job.  

See Also: How to Manage Job Search Frustration

Job hunting needs to be taken seriously since there are so many things you need to be attentive to: customizing your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, doing research on the companies you want to work for etc. It also needs to be managed carefully so that it doesn’t become a never-ending process. Not managing your time thoughtfully when you are job hunting can seriously hurt your chances of getting a job since you will basically be wasting time, rather than making the most of it.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list with useful time management tips that can help you during your job hunt.

1. Find Your Target

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A common mistake among job seekers is that they start looking for a job without being sure what they want to find. Any job is not the answer here because no one hires any employee. You need to carefully go through your skills and your qualifications, your wishes and your expertise and decide what you want to do.

Figure out what your goal is and then start planning with that in mind. Lay out the steps you’ll need to go through to get to your target and write everything down neatly. This is your game plan.

2. Take One Step at a Time

We usually do our job hunting in a hurry, nobody wants to be unemployed for longer than necessary, so we rush to do everything at once. Usually this results in a big mess which is exactly why you need to avoid it.

Remember that the first step to take is realizing what you want to do with your life, the next step is finding a set of companies you’d like to work for, the third step is to see if these companies have any openings and the next step is to customize your resume and write your cover letter on the basis of their job description.

If you rush to do everything at once you will miss essential parts of your preparation which could mean that neither your resume, nor your cover letter could be good enough to get you in the door.

3. Do Your Job Hunt in Bursts

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One of the hardest parts of job hunting is that you have lots of distractions. You have internet access, there’s no one to scold you if you don’t do what you are supposed to do and self-discipline goes to hell when you have non-stop Netflix access.

So how do you avoid these distractions and stop wasting your time? Well, the best answer is to allow yourself short regular breaks. Tell yourself that you’ll have a 10 minute break for every hour of job hunt and don’t allow yourself any distractions during that hour.

4. Plan Your Day Ahead

It’s important to understand that effective planning will go a long way with your job hunt. And effective planning means organizing. The first step to organizing is listing your priorities for the following day.

If you’ve been to a network event for example and you want to contact the people you met there, don’t just tell yourself that you will send them an email first chance. Jot it down in your schedule and break the task into pieces. First do your online research on the person you will be emailing to –this might provide you with an engaging subject to discuss in your email- write a draft of your email, proofread it and then send it to them.

Remember to break down your activities ahead of time so that you know exactly what you will be doing the following day.

5. Make a Weekly Timetable

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Doing the same things over and over again can be counterproductive; this is why you need to mix up the tasks of your job hunt. Have Mondays for going through your target companies’ websites for example, and Tuesdays for going through job boards, one day can be for updating your social media profiles, websites and blog and so on. This way you’ll be making the most of your time while you’ll also be avoiding repetition that can end up being boring.

See Also: 4 Steps to Creating Your Job Search Plan

It’s true that job hunting is stressful, however, the more you plan and organize, the less overwhelming it will be.

What other time management tips do you have for our job seekers out there? Share with us in the comment section below.

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