How Lists Can Take Your Job Search from Chaos to Efficiency

When looking for a job, you become a de facto project manager, monitoring the status of myriad applications. How can you keep track of all the details and keep the process moving? Strategic lists can help you focus your energy on the substance of your applications and interviews rather than getting mired down in distracting details. The job-search process has four main stages: research, applications, interviews, and offers. Interviews and offers are bracketed by some necessary follow-ups. By keeping lists that correspond with these phases, you can stay organized and productive.

1. Positions to pursue. Positions of interest come your way through many avenues. Whether you see a position on LinkedIn, hear about it from a friend, or are contacted by a search firm, you need to capture the position to a central list where you can return to it later. Research jobs in this list to determine if they are a good fit for you and to gather information about the company to inform your cover letter and résumé.

2. Applications to complete. Applying to a position is a process. While you craft your cover letter, obtain permission from your references, and tailor your résumé, keep a list of your applications in progress and the status of each.

3. Follow-ups to complete. Once you have submitted an application, it’s normal for there to be a lag as the hiring manager or search committee reviews all the applications they’ve received. Checking in to see that they have all the materials necessary can prevent you from being passed over for an incomplete application. You can also use this list to track thank-you notes once you’ve had an interview.

4. Interviews to prepare for. Use a list to track the interviews you have scheduled and how you want to prepare for each. This list will often be one of the shorter lists of the set. While different items will have priority at various times throughout the process, understanding the broad picture of your job-prospects enables you to keep all applications in motion.

5. Offers to consider. Closing out the process, you can keep a list of offers. This list can also include colleagues you want to discuss your offers with and response deadlines.

Cheryl Hyatt, Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search

With over 20 years of executive-search consulting experience, Cheryl Hyatt has been responsible for successfully recruiting senior-administrative professionals for educational and non-profit organizations. Before partnering with Dr. Fennell, she was the President and owner of The Charitable Resources Group and provided not only executive search services but fundraising consulting expertise to the clients she served. Her breadth of experience, knowledge, and contacts makes her sought after professionally in her field. Ms. Hyatt has written articles and presented to various non-profit groups. She sits on various local non-profit boards offering a variety of expertise to each organization. Hyatt-Fennell brings over 60 years of combined highly successful executive search expertise to its clients, a reputation for achieving results on the national and international level, and the ability to place top executives with higher educational institutions nationwide. The Executive Search firms of Gallagher~Fennell Higher Education Services and The Charitable Resources Group merged in 2010 to formalize their partnership and create Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search.


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