The Perfect Recipe for an Organized Job Search (Winter 2023-2024)

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November 25, 2023
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min read

Applying for jobs is a job in itself. It requires time, effort, and consistency. And if you’ve spent some time looking for your next role, it’s likely you’ve applied to a lot of places.

After a while (and a few applications), details may start to slip through the cracks. You might wonder if you forgot to follow up with one company or how long it’s been since you’ve heard back after a first interview. All the moving pieces can start to become unmanageable.

That’s why, this winter, it’s key to have a system in place to find a new job—not leaving your career to chance. It's time to create an organized job search.

3 key takeaways

  • Why you should organize your job search
  • 3 steps for organizing your job search process
  • Using the Teal Job Application Tracker to efficiently manage the job application process and stay organized

Why an organized job search is a must 

Without a plan to organize your job search, it can quickly devolve into chaos.

In fact, it’s nearly impossible to remember all the job search activities. You don’t want to forget where you’ve applied, who you’ve talked to (and what was the last name of that hiring manager again?), and how much the role paid. 

Things can slip through the cracks, and you might miss important follow ups. Finding a job requires being proactive and not just waiting for people to come to you. So why is an organized job search important? An organized search can take some power back and help you stay on top of things. 

You can look at metrics like:

  • How many jobs you’ve applied to
  • Response rate 
  • How many replies and interviews you get relative to applications submitted
  • The time period between interviews one and two 
  • Time from application to potential job offer 
  • Salaries for each position 

Having all this data in one place can be helpful and inform your next steps. If you feel that’s a lot of work and wonder what is a good way to organize your job search, you’re in luck.

Teal’s Job Application Tracker simplifies this process. Within the Teal platform, use the interview tracking tool to rate excitement for each job, move the role through each stage (bookmarked, applying, applied, interviewing, negotiating, accepted), set follow-up reminders for each role you apply to, and more.

A graphic of Teal's Job Application Tracker stages for an organized job search

How to organize your job search in 3 easy steps 

Landing your next role requires a strategy to make sure you’re not wasting your time or missing out on opportunities. Here’s how to organize a job search. 

Step 1: Narrow down what you want 

You might think that you should apply for any and all jobs and just see what happens. But if you want to build a fulfilling career, you should narrow down your options. Clarity can help you stay focused (note: if you’re financially strapped, consider gig work while keeping your eyes on your dream career). 

Think of it like this: instead of, “I want a job!” it’s, “I want a full-time remote job in the tech industry as a product manager.”

Some questions to answer to help you narrow down your search:

  • Are you looking for temp, contract, part-time, or full-time work? 
  • Are you looking for remote, in-office, or hybrid work situations?
  • What is the minimum pay you’re willing to accept?
  • What types of companies are you interested in?
  • What roles or job titles are you searching for?

Answering these questions can help you stay laser-focused on job opportunities that fit your criteria so you’re not spreading yourself too thin. 

Step 2: Create a job search routine

Having a job search routine can make your life easier.

Start by picking a time every day or every week that you can commit to searching for jobs. After that, choose a time and day when you apply for those jobs. Then, block them off in your calendar. 

For example:

  • Every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am-12 pm, you look for jobs
  • Every Wednesday and Friday, from 9 am-1 pm, you apply for jobs 

You can increase or decrease the amount of time and choose the days that work for you, as needed.

If you’re currently unemployed, having a schedule can be helpful. A routine can provide structure, boost productivity, and help you maintain motivation. Also, with a set schedule, you don’t feel like you have to be searching all day, but you’re consistently focused at specific periods.

Aside from nailing down the time and days, write down the job search engines you’re checking in order of importance. For example, job posting sites like:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • FlexJobs 

That way, you know where to start first and can get into your routine. To help save time, be sure to sign up for job alerts so you never miss an opportunity.

ProTip: Using the free Teal Chrome Extension to bookmark roles from job boards can help you easily save job listings to your Teal account to revisit later. 

Step 3: Track your efforts 

Tracking is a key ingredient in the search for your next opportunity.

Why? Because data doesn’t lie. For example, sometimes you can feel like you’ve been busy with the job search, but then realize you’ve only submitted one application in two weeks.

The “looking” part is important, but the “doing” is even more important. In other words, taking the time to submit your cover letter and resume. 

You also want to have all relevant information in one place. Consider a job search tracking spreadsheet to help you manage everything in your job search effectively in one place. Information can include:

  • Company name
  • Job title
  • Salary range, if posted
  • Job description link
  • Application date
  • Interview date
  • Follow-up date
  • Status (No response, First interview, Second interview, Rejected) 
  • Name and contact information for hiring team 

Teal's Job Application Tracker lets you track position, company, maximum salary, location, status, date saved, date applied, follow-up, and even your excitement level. 

Tools to help organize your job search 

Now that you know the steps to take, you might wonder what is a tool you could use to organize your job search? The good news—there isn’t just one, and you can find the best fit for you. Below are tools you can use to organize your job search. 

Create a job search spreadsheet

Create one in Excel or Google Sheets. Customize it the way you want it and enjoy this low-tech and free method. 

Use a job search organizer binder

If you want to do things old school, you can create a binder and include job descriptions, and manually track the data points you want to come back to. 

Download a mobile job search app

Some of your favorite job search websites, like LinkedIn, may have a mobile app that can keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends, new jobs, and relevant posts or articles. 

Set job alerts

Even with searching for jobs on your own, you’re bound to miss some things. Sign up for job alerts, so you can get curated postings to your inbox. 

Use a project management tool

If you’re already used to working in Asana, Monday, or Trello, you can keep tabs on your job search using a tool you’re familiar with. 

Schedule your job search using Google calendar

Block off time dedicated to looking and applying for jobs. Use this as soon as you get a call for an interview. Or block off time for a specific application. 

Use the Teal Job Application Tracker

Teal has a free all in one job tracking tool to stay on top of all sides of your job search. Think of it as a CRM for job applications. Sign up for Teal for free and:

  • Bookmark and save job postings
  • Track the status of your applications all in one easy-to-use tool
  • Move through each stage of your job search progress (bookmarked, applying, applied, interviewing, negotiating, accepted)
  • Set follow-up reminders for each role you apply to
  • Track interviews (date, type, status, prep, etc.)
  • Save notes
  • Save contacts and link them to specific jobs
  • Use the AI Resume Builder to create a unique resume and concise cover letter for each job you apply for

Get started organizing your job search with Teal

Landing your next role (maybe even your dream job) includes a lot of steps.

From finding the right job openings, customizing your resume, applying for jobs, preparing for an interview, to getting an offer, there’s a lot to manage. And it can be a lonely and frustrating process. But you don’t have to do it all alone.

Start your winter search job with the Teal Job Application Tracker and the AI Resume Builder. These tools were built to help job seekers like you make a complex process simpler to manage. Don't wait—get started today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective strategies for tracking job applications during a winter job search?

An effective strategy is to create a detailed spreadsheet or use a job tracking app where you can log each position you apply for, including the company name, contact details, date of application, follow-up actions, and any notes on interactions. Regularly update this tracker as you progress through application stages or receive responses, ensuring you don't miss any important deadlines or opportunities to follow up.

How can I schedule my job search activities to stay productive during the winter months?

To maintain productivity, set a consistent daily or weekly schedule dedicated to your job search. Allocate specific time blocks for different activities such as researching companies, tailoring resumes and cover letters, networking, and applying for jobs. Also, factor in short breaks to avoid burnout. Using digital calendars with reminders can help you stick to your schedule and ensure you're balancing your time effectively.

What are some tips for maintaining motivation in my job search during the winter season?

To stay motivated during the winter, set clear, achievable goals and celebrate small victories, like securing an interview. Keep a positive routine that includes exercise and social interaction. Also, consider joining job search groups or finding an accountability partner to share progress and challenges with. Remember to be patient with yourself and the process, as job searches can take time.

Melanie Lockert

Melanie Lockert is the founder of the blog and author of the book, Dear Debt. Through her blog, she chronicled her journey out of $81,000 in student loan debt. Her work has appeared on Business Insider, VICE, Allure, and more.

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