Thursday, January 8, 2009

Organizing your job search

At today's CCPL Job Club meeting Jim brought up the topic of organizing your job search.

Web Sites

Jim mentioned an interesting online link that can help you called Jibber Jobber, that organizes your information in a spreadsheet like table. Click here to see videos explaining the service and here to read the FAQ. As with many web sites, there is a free portion and a priced portion. Click here for an explanation of their premium service.

Jibber Jobber Update: Its interesting to see the CEO noticed this post several hours after it was made (sounds like Google Alert) and commented here. Such personal involvement is rare. Click on his Blogger name to see his profile and the blogs he's involved in. Want to see what the press is saying about Jibber Jobber, take a look at the bottom of their home page and click on the trade press logos.

I am intrigued by this new web service, stay tuned for updates to this post and an upcoming post with more details. Thanks to Jim for taking the time to find this site and tell us about it. I'd like to point out the value of our LinkedIn discussion group as a means for sharing this information with members who missed the meeting.

Another web site Resume Spider was mentioned in a recent CVJS post. Stay tuned to that message thread for other people's experiences. If you aren't a member of CVJS, you should look into becoming one. CVJS (Chagrin Valley Job Seekers) is one of the oldest, largest, most organized job seeker groups in the area. After attending a meeting and filing out a registration you can be granted access to their very active discussion group and many informative files on their Yahoo Group site. Click here for meeting information.

Here's a few of my ideas, I'd love to hear yours too, as a comment here, at the CCPL Job Club LinkedIn discussion or as a discussion on the companion group page.

PC files

Build a directory structure to hold your files, rather than have them intermingled in My Documents. Under the top level JOBSEARCH directory you may want to include the following subdirectories.
  • Communication - resumes/letters sent
  • Companies - info on target companies
  • Contact/Network - info on people related to job search
  • Jobs - job leads
  • News - affecting the job search or target companies
  • Resources - info on how to conduct a jobsearch, articles, etc.
  • Skills - skills inventory, Success stories, info to draw on for cover letters and customized resumes


Obviously you use word for your resume and cover letters. But you can use it for more things too.

Rather than print job descriptions from the web, I create a word document to hold the information. I copy and paste from the web site into a word document. I add an outline structure (using Heading n styles) so that I can expand, collapse or drill down. I indent, highlight, make bullet lists, change font size, so that the description is more readable than one large block of text. I add sections on company research, contact, and interview preparation. Rather than lots of different printouts that are hard to read, I have one comprehensive document to refer to before or during an interview.


Excel is a convent way to make a simple flat data base. If you define it as a data table, you can have auto filter headings that allow you to filter or sort the data.


I use an outliner application that runs on my PC and syncs with my smartphone/PDA. For any Palm users, the software I use is Shadow by Codejedi Inc.. This software allows me to easily make a hierarchical checklist with start/target/completion dates and easily filter the outline to see items I would like too. Updates and filters can be done on a PC or the PDA.


Today's phones are becoming smarter, many have calendar, todo lists, address books, etc. I set up a separate jobsearch category for my job search in my calendar, to do list and address books for quick and easy access. I also setup a Callback category in my address book to park contacts that need a callback.


The important thing is that it has to be your system, easy, convenient, low maintenance, and accessible.

Well that's a few of my ideas, lets hear yours.... Please!!!

Any experiences on those two web sites Jibber Jobber or Resume Spider would be very helpful.

Status: First Draft - Last update 01/09/09 10:30 PM


JibberJobber Guy said...

Thanks for linking to JibberJobber - if you have any specific questions feel free to reach out to us :)

Jason Alba

Job Seeker said...

Well thanks Jibber Jobber Guy. Nice of you to stop by so quickly...

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.