Once you begin contacting employers, you will have much information to organize. You’ll need to know who you’re to call, what happened when you called, what steps you must take immediately, and when to follow-up. The simplest way to organize these steps is by using employer contact sheets in a job search binder.
The binder can be as simple as an inexpensive spiral-bound notebook from a local discount store. Or you could use a three ring binder with dividers. How you package your records is not so important as keeping them.
On the employer contact sheet write vital data from each and every contact. Here’s a sample entry:
Date of contact:
Results of contact:
You can probably fit four or five contacts such as this on a notebook-sized sheet of paper. Store the pages in the binder in chronological order with most recent contacts on top.
Look through your job search binder at least once a week. Take any follow-up actions needed. When you find follow-up phone calls to make, list them on your current contact sheet and then make them. As your job search goes on, you’ll be following up to these previous contacts as well as making cold calls to new employers.
Your follow-up calls are especially productive; you show employers that you want to work and that you are dependable, two qualities employers always look for. You’ll also find yourself at the right place at the right time when an employer says, “We’re just getting ready to fill that position. You’re lucky to have called today.” Your call had little to do with luck and much to do with being organized.
Your Job Search Headquarters
Another important step in organizing your job search is creating your job search headquarters- a comfortable and inviting space from which you reach out to employers. Just like you may have a workshop, or craft room, dedicate a space to job search. You need a phone, writing surface, calendar, and a place to organize the paperwork that will soon accumulate. A computer is a great asset too.
Decorate this space by hanging a two by three foot piece of poster board on the wall. Across the top in large letters write: I Am Valuable. Below this display things that clearly show your value: lists of your skills, attitudes, results you’ve produced; awards you’ve won; your resume; your work history; sayings or pictures that inspire.
This “I Am Valuable” board serves two purposes. It keeps important information in view in case you blank out while on the phone. And it helps offset the negatives that are always a part of job search. When your self-worth is plummeting, a look at the I Am Valuable board can recharge your self-image and keep you going.