How to Schedule Your Time During a Job Search

by Paige Ryan   Ulticareer  | Advice  | Life lesson  | Work tips  | Productivity  | Job search  | Time management  | 

When it comes to searching for a job, it can be overwhelming because there’s a lot to accomplish. There is a lot that goes into looking for a job which can seem intimidating and overwhelming. It is easy to procrastinate and slack off during your search for a job, especially if you do not organize and plan your time well. Use the tips below to succeed in a search for your new job.

First and foremost, you need to make sure you get all your tools set in place. Look over your resume to make sure it is up to date with your most recent, and relevant, experience, references, and skills. It will not be helpful if you haven’t spoken to one of your references in years. Don’t forget to make sure everything is correct such as spelling and grammar. You want to start with your best foot forward, which will not happen if your resume is riddled with errors. Also, staying active on social media, especially LinkedIn, is also important in helping recruiters find you and be more willing to consider you.

Next, you need to come up with a plan of action and a time frame in which to act upon it. It will be useful to create a routine for daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Quantifiable goals will help keep track of your progress and move you along. For your daily schedule you should have something to accomplish, but nothing too major such as: update your LinkedIn, practice interview skills, apply to one job etc. Each week have a goal set for how many jobs you want to have applied to. Set goals each month for how many follow up calls you want to make, how many networking events you wish to attend, etc. Don’t forget to focus your time and energy on applications that are relevant. You would be wasting your time focusing on an application that you are completely under qualified for, or would be uninterested in taking if you actually get a job offer.

           Staying productive and on track throughout this period may be difficult. In this case, it is recommended that you buy yourself a calendar specifically dedicated to the job search. Planning months ahead is a little unrealistic since nothing is completely set in stone, however, this will help you keep track of your goals and which day is best to do which activity. For example, if you have a couple of interviews on Tuesday you can plan to do some interview prep on Monday. You can also plan to apply to more jobs on Wednesday, just in case you don’t end up getting the job. This way each day you are doing something productive and sensible for the end goal. Don’t forget to schedule times to go out and do in-person networking on your calendar. It is best not to just hide behind a screen and actually get your face out there.

Lastly, each day should be treated as a work day, including assignments and deadlines. Get up, get ready, and head to your office or work area each day during your job hunt. This could be your kitchen table, the library, or an actual at-home office, either way, make sure it is kept tidy and professional in order to encourage productivity. Each day should have a checklist of plans that get checked off as you go. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, as well as let you know when you have officially completed the day's work. When the work for the day is done, you have time for leisurely activity in order to not overwork yourself or make yourself miserable.

           It will help to find out what times you work best at and schedule your “working hours” during that time in order to be the most productive. It’s smart to wake up and get ready for the day early on, so you’re not blindsided if you have an interview at nine in the morning. However, if you work better at night, then you should work during that time period. No matter when you work, just make sure you allocate a specific time for it in order to help prevent procrastination.

Searching for a new job can be tiring, and seem like a large workload. Hopefully, these tips help reduce the pressure and help you further the process of finding what you want to be when you grow up. What ways have you scheduled your time during a job search? Share your advice in the comments below and share your career story on UltiCareer’s survey to help people looking for a career path learn about what your type of job is really like.

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