5 Ways to Stay Organized During Your Job Search

Posted by John Carroll on Thursday, October 24, 2013 Under: Job Search

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.’”

–Oprah Winfrey

When you’re on the hunt for your next great opportunity, it can feel like landing a job interview can rely so much on serendipity – meeting the right person at the exact right moment, running across a perfect posting while searching for something completely unrelated, or randomly running into an old friend who gives you a lead by mentioning that their coworker just gave two-weeks’ notice. Good luck, as some call it, that just “happens” to us when we least expect it.

It often feels like you can do all the right things in your job search, but it’s those last-minute, unexpected strokes of luck that end up getting results. Planning and structure are absolutely important in achieving goals, but so is the readiness to act when spontaneous opportunities arise, seemingly out of nowhere. How organized you are can make the difference in landing or missing out on a job opportunity or project that could accelerate your success.

So how do we prepare for the things we’re not expecting? Here are 5 of our favorite ways to prepare for opportunity and create great luck in your job search:

1.    Have your paperwork ready

Sometimes, job searches feel like they drag on for months with no movement. Then, suddenly, you get a phone call asking if you can come in for an interview first thing tomorrow morning or even later that same day. That’s great news, unless you’re not prepared. Be ready to say yes by having multiple printed copies of your resume ready, as well as a printed list of your professional references, your past employers’ contact information to put on applications, and a notepad and pen. Keep all of this in an easy-to-grab portfolio so you can be interview-ready on a moment’s notice.

2.    Set aside your interview attire

Deciding what to wear can be one of the most stressful aspects of interviewing. If you get a call for a last-minute interview, there may not be time to scramble to the dry cleaners or put together your best professional outfit. Eliminate this stress by thinking ahead and keeping your suits and other interview attire clean, pressed, and in good repair so you can be interview-ready at any time. 

3.    Know how to tell your story

Always be ready to explain your professional background in a concise, logical way to anyone you meet. This includes your work experience as well as sensible reasons for every transition on your resume. Be sure to prepare a clear, succinct, 30-second “elevator pitch” to introduce yourself, as well as a detailed narrative story to tell about your career history. You never know when you might run into someone who can help you on your search or get called for a spontaneous phone interview, so you need to be prepared to make a great first impression.

4.    Prepare your references

Even if you haven’t been on any interviews yet, it’s a good idea to let your professional references know they may be contacted. You can take that opportunity to tell your references about the type of jobs you’re applying for, so they can be sure to highlight the strengths and skills that directly relate to your potential new employers’ needs.

5.    Clear your plate

Your job search is the perfect time to evaluate the big picture of your life, and consider what really deserves your time and attention. Leave whatever is draining you behind so you can focus on moving forward. New prospects need space, time, and energy. If your life is jam-packed, there’s no room to take on any new opportunities. What can you leave behind to make space for something new? A time-commitment you always dread? Supplies for a hobby you’ve abandoned? An old grudge? It’s time to let it go.

Have questions or concerns regarding our blog posts? Contact Alison Hooker at ahooker@watsondwyer.com, or comment on our social media pages!

In : Job Search 

Tags: "interview tip"