Guest post by Janet Barclay
Following last week’s post about time management during your job search, today we’ll look at organizing your workspace.
At a minimum, you need a chair and a desk or table with plenty of space for you to work with your information, make and receive telephone calls, and plan your job search. All necessary supplies should be stored close by, including paper, pens, index cards, paperclips, staples, and your telephone directory. During your job search, you’ll likely accumulate various versions of your resume and cover letter, job postings, company profiles, advertisements, and business cards, but they will be of no value to you if you can’t find what you need. A binder or filing system, sorting the information into topics, will allow you to refer quickly to both the job posting and that specific application when you receive a telephone call from a prospective employer. It will also allow you to find easily any other information you may have gathered about the organization before your interview.
You may find it beneficial to have an alternate job search office such as your local library or employment center, where you can research, read, and write without the distractions you may encounter at home. Many are equipped with computers that you can use for Internet job search as well as resume and cover letter preparation, which can be a great benefit if you don’t have a home computer or must share it with other family members. If you plan to use this type of service on a regular basis, you’ll need some type of portfolio or briefcase to hold your job search material, including your resume in printed form and on a USB flash drive, your calendar, and a notebook for jotting down leads and ideas. Most facilities do not allow you to receive telephone calls, so be sure that potential employers can reach you by voice mail, pager or cell phone.
Of course, you’ll need a calendar for marking down job interviews and other important meetings. You’ll also need a system for keeping track of your job applications. This information may be needed to confirm your eligibility for unemployment insurance or social assistance, and will help you to follow up on your applications.
Next week, we’ll explore different options for keeping track of the people you contact during your job search.