With the economy being weak as it is, job seekers are facing stiff competition for positions. People often apply for multiple jobs, which makes it tough to stay organized. In my own job search, I applied for many positions but was able to keep organized by implementing a system. While getting organizing your job search may not seem as important as finding and applying for jobs; it is extremely important  because it will make you seem more professional to potential employers. These are some tips I used to keep organized when looking for that dream job.

1. Track Your Process

It is a great idea to develop a system to organize information about each position – whether it be a spreadsheet, database, application or just a sheet of paper. This log should include dates, the job description, contact information and notes of any interactions with the employer. I did this using popular Mac database app, Bento, Microsoft offers a free Excel spreadsheet template as well. There is even a free web application called ApplyMate that tracks progress of job applications as well as college applications online.

2. Use Evernote Web Clipping

Most job sites have a saved jobs list function for position that interest users. However, for those using multiple websites or for those listings not on a site with such functionality, that’s not an option. Evernote is a great notes app serving as a catch-all for anything that needs to be saved and organized.  Evernote also has a web clipping function for saving web content using their Web Clip browser plugins, which is available for all of major web browsers. Web Clipper saves content from websites, including text and images, into Evernote notebooks. I strongly suggest making a new notebook to keep jobs separate from the rest of your notes in Evernote. Using Evernote is a great method of collecting job search results across multiple sites and keeping them organized in one easy-to-search place.

3. Manage Your Time

Don’t try and do everything at once. Trying to do too much at once can result in sloppiness and mistakes on applications, cover letters, resumes and other materials that could cost you the job. Each day, try to dedicate an hour or two to the job search. This way, you’ll be able to avoid fatigue and make sure employers see the best in you when it comes time to interview.

4. Create Folders and SAVE COPIES OF EVERYTHING!

Make a computer folder or use a paper file folder for all documents related the job search process. Keep copies of all cover letters, which can potentially be used as templates, but if you do this, be sure each cover letter is tailored to the position. Also keep any job applications, resumes, and other application materials in case additional copies are required.

5. Bring Everything You Think You Need for an Interview and then Some!

For those who are fortunate enough to get a interview, print out, – yes I said print – everything that could possibly be asked for at the interview. Make sure to include multiple copies of resumes, cover letters, applications, work samples and other relevant documents. If the interview is with multiple people, be sure to have copies of everything for each person.  I like to put everything for an interview in a folder with some blank paper for note-taking during the interview. It is also wise to do research ahead of time and jot down a few questions for the interview to show genuine interest in the company.

The job application process has changed in the past decade, with online job sites making it easier for applicant to find and apply for job. However, it also makes it easier for employers to filter out applicants. Keeping organized can give you the edge over other job applicants and help you land your dream job.

About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, Gdovin.net. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.