The Hunt: Using Your Filofax As a Job Hunting Tool

In these economic times, many people are in transition through sudden job loss or impending job loss. However a job loss occurs can be stunning but it can be particularly disconcerting if it is a sudden loss as there is no time to prepare. This is a time when you must remain focused on the functionality of your organizer and making it work in your job search. It should be relied upon to keep your finances in check, your daily activities scheduled, motivational tools at hand, and of course, job search tools at the ready.

I’m in the market for a full-time opportunity, whether it is a job or exploring business opportunities for a part-time position that I have. In fact, I have a section in my Filofax devoted entirely to this “project”. If you’ve seen pictures of my Filofax, you’ve probably seen the section called “The Hunt”. It sounds aggressive because you have to be aggressive in this tight market; I wanted to be reminded of that reality. Everyone’s search will be different based upon your field however, some aspects of the job search are pretty universal.

The Hunt

The Hunt

I started out considering the lists that I wanted in my “Hunt” section. These are some of the pages I have in my section:

  • To-do List – I list things to-do that are directly related to the hunt like, “call recruiter”, “check XYZ job board”, “register for CLE”, “edit resume”, “create a resume highlighting X skills”, and so on. I try not to muddle my daily to-dos with my hunt to-dos.
  • CLE Opportunities – Where I can find free or low cost CLE courses.
  • CLE Records – Keeps track of the CLEs I have taken (when, where, number of credits earned, numbers of credits I need), and reports I need to make to the state.
  • Compensation received – Tracking any money that comes in that I must report later.
  • Applications – Some applications will be saved on the job board and others are via email. I keep a list just to keep me on track with those applications that are not captured on the job board. While, I may get a confirmation email, it’s simply easier to see in a list format in my Filofax.
  • Firms and companies – A list of the firms or companies in my target area.
  • Employer List – I use a Filofax address sheet to list my former employers’ addresses. Some online application systems require you to put in so much information. After the initial gathering, it is very easy to complete the forms because I have all of the supervisor names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, etc. It really helps to expedite the process.
  • References – I also use a Filofax address sheet to record their information.
  • Websites – This is a list of job boards and company sites with sign-on and password information.
  • Search terms – You may search for jobs using your former title but you’d be surprised at what comes up in your search as you expand terms. I keep a list of terms to search beyond “lawyer” or “attorney”.
  • Networking opportunities – List of events for networking at association or alumni events, personal relationships, and the like.
  • Business development ideas
  • Skills development – While I have some extra time, I use it to maintain current skills and develop new ones.
  • Contacts – List of contacts specifically for the job hunt like recruiters, human resources departments, and other important numbers.
  • Goals – Establish your goals and what you hope to find in a new position. Be specific regarding salary, benefits, location, work environment, company size, grade/level, etc. This is meant as a guide to help direct your search and to make informed decisions on compensation when you consider things like benefits, commuting times, and the locale of the position.
  • Volunteer opportunities

TIP: You don’t need pre-made inserts to do this. You can create exactly what you need by doing it yourself. It really is simple. All I did was write the name of the list on a blank sheet of paper. I didn’t search the internet high and low for inserts that ultimately wouldn’t fit my needs. As for the Filofax address sheets, I already had those on hand.

I also have a reduced size resume printed on different color paper. I did this because if I am out and about and get a call about a job, I can have my resume in front of me. Of course I know what is on my resume however, I can be sure to emphasize specific skill sets without feeling like I’ve missed an opportunity to really market myself. I printed it on a bright color paper so that it is easy to find (the hot pink stands out among all of the white pages).

The resume on hot pink paper

The resume on hot pink paper

This is what I keep in my “Hunt” section. For the day-to-day to-dos, I keep them in the diary section of my Filofax. Be sure to schedule things like exercise, daily household routines, reading, or whatever helps to keep you sane.

While the results of a job hunt can sometimes be beyond our control, our daily routines can help us stay focused, push through, and give us a sense of control through this transition.

K.Y.S.S.

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