Conducting a job search for legal position requires effective management of a LOT of information. (Emails, social media posts, PDF brochures, audio and video files, website links, interview forms, transcripts, letters and resumes — not to mention job postings from a wide variety of online platforms.) We offer a few suggestions to help you manage it all…
Make Evernote Your Home Base
If you’re looking for a “home base” for collecting and organizing a variety of job search material, you need to consider Evernote. This popular information-management solution is versatile, secure, and always accessible (via smartphones, mac and pc computers and tablets) in the cloud. Even the basic account (which is free) provides a generous monthly allowance of space for storing your information online. And by upgrading to a premium account you can enjoy additional features to help with networking and contact-management.
With Evernote, you can customize a folder structure that makes it easy for you to organize information on industry news, influencers and prospective employers. (Download the Evernote Web Clipper — so you can easily store articles and links in this central location.) You also can use this service to collaborate and share. Just set up a “public” folder that allows you to generate links — giving prospective employers access to key documents about you.
One more tip: If you’re serious about taming all of your job search information, scan all related paper (letters, receipts, hand-written notes, brochures, etc.) into Evernote, as well. (The Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners have built a base of loyal fans.)
Maintain Good Email Hygiene
It’s not uncommon for candidates to make job inquiries from the email account at their current employer. You’ll make a better impression, however, by establishing a personal email address. What’s more, maintaining separate accounts for your personal job search matters is a good practice for information-management. (If you choose a Gmail solution, you’ll have easy integration with a “Contacts” address book — and ready access to a host of add-on services to meet your custom needs.)
Set Up Google Alerts
It’s essential for a job searcher to generate a steady flow of fresh information from the marketplace — but why conduct the same online searches every day? Instead, go to Google Alerts — where you can easily set up ongoing web searches that automatically deliver news to you. (Receive the alerts by email — or set up a feed that sends the news to your RSS reader.)
What to monitor? For starters: your name; your target companies; names of relevant influencers and opinion leaders; and keyword phrases related to the most important issues and trends affecting your industry. When an opportunity arises, you want to be the first to know.
Organize Your Personal Brand
A strong “personal brand” is an important asset for anyone seeking a new position — and this strength comes from a solid value proposition that is executed consistently. All-too-often, however, recruiters and employers see a “chameleon” candidate — someone who portrays himself differently on every social media profile, resume and letter.
You can avoid a watered-down personal brand by carefully choosing the words and images that will be your “ambassadors” in the marketplace. Then it’s a matter of consistent execution — which you can achieve by keeping all of your “brand assets” in a central spot. (You may want to consider personal database software. Applications like this can keep image files, text snippets — your “elevator pitch,” for example — links to your social profiles, and key documents in one place.)
Manage Your Contacts And Tasks
A job search effort is a complicated communications campaign requiring ongoing contact with a shifting network of contacts and prospective employers. If you don’t already have a trusted system for capturing this information, keeping in contact and getting things done — this may be a great time to make that investment. (The good news: There’s a wide variety of capable and affordable apps — both for smartphones and desktop computers — to help you succeed here.) Flawlessly managing all the related details and tasks is the challenge you face — one that can’t be left to memory alone.
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