Tracking Your Job Search

Have you ever felt worried about your job search? Of course you have. I think most people feel that way at some point when actively looking for a new job. I recently received an email from a client who is in the middle of her job search. “I still haven’t found a job, and time seems to be flying by. What am I doing wrong?”

Have you ever asked yourself this when looking for a job? Perhaps you’re asking this question now. The good news is you can objectively measure the success of your job search. And by tracking the right metrics, you can identify the weak areas of your search strategy along with actions you can take to improve your results.

I recommend you create a spreadsheet or table to track the following information daily or weekly:

  1. Number of new job openings found, measured by applications or submissions
  2. Number of responses received
  3. Number of interviews scheduled (phone or in person)
  4. Number of new contacts you’ve added to your network
  5. Number of conversations you’ve had with current network contacts
  6. Number of offers received

After you have collected data for 2-3 weeks, you can begin to evaluate your job search process. Here are the questions I like to ask to identify what’s working and what can be improved:

  • How many jobs are you finding to apply for? How many jobs are you actively applying for? In many ways, the job search is a numbers game, so if you are not finding and applying for jobs, it will take you a lot longer to get the offer you want. If you are not finding job opportunities, then you need to expand your job search horizon. And I don’t mean look for different types of jobs (a common mistake), I mean spend some time searching on line to find out where the opportunities you want are getting posted. Look beyond CareerBuilder and Monster or your favorite job search board. Explore professional associations and alumni associations. Invest some time to build, expand, and leverage your network to unearth leads and opportunities.
  • Speaking of your network, how many new contacts have you added to your network? How many of your existing contacts have you connected with? If you are not actively building these relationships, then you will not receive the help and support in your job search a great network can offer.
  • When you apply for jobs, how many responses are you getting? If the percentage is low, then look at your follow up process. Are you following up on the jobs you apply for? If following up is new for you, you may want to track your follow ups in your spreadsheet, too.
  • How many interviews are you getting? Are they phone screens? First interviews? How far are you getting in the interview process? If you are not getting called for interviews, then you need to assess your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. Get a professional to evaluate your tools and recommend ways to strengthen the impact your tools create. Considering hiring a professional to work with you to create a compelling and targeted resume and cover letter that get results.
  • If you are getting to the phone screen or first or second interviews, but no offers, then you need to amp up your interviewing skills. Do you know how to control the flow of information so that the interviewer gets all the information they need, without having to ask for it? Remember, not all interviewers are skilled at interviewing, but you can learn to interview well no matter what the circumstances. If you are not getting offers then consider hiring an interview coach.
  • Finally, the offers. Often, if you are getting offers, you are feeling pretty successful. But what if you don’t get the offers you want? What if you are getting offers for things that don’t interest you? Then that indicates your entire search process is aimed at the wrong target. What target are you aiming for? Do all your search activities and tools aim for that?

If you have never tracked these job search statistics, I encourage you to start today (or with your next job search). Knowing this information will empower you to objectively measure and improve the effectiveness of your job search, and get the results you want – a job you love!

I want you to love your job and thrive in your career, and I want to help you do just that. If you would like to talk about how I can help you get your results faster, just give me a call or email me (my contact info is to the right) and I will follow up with you.

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I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL