"Vegetable Gardening and the Job Search"

Once again, I am awakened by a dream and inspired, and at 3:15 am I sit here writing this article to you. What woke me was a dream related to my vegetable garden…I know…weird huh? Well, once I woke, I started to think of the relationship between job seeking and gardening. Now, you may ask, how are the two related?

If you are keeping track of what’s happening in the garden, and you stay on top of the issues of soil preparation, seed or transplant planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, insect control, timing of harvesting and finally, putting the garden to bed for the winter, you are bound to have a bountiful harvest!

The following is a list of things you can do as a job seeker, to keep track of what you are doing everyday during your search. With every contact I make, I ask the caller where they heard about a job that they are applying for. All too often I hear “I have no idea. I apply for so many jobs and visit so many job websites that it is just a fuzzy time in my life right now.”

Is this YOU? Are you keeping track of your daily efforts? If not, keep track this way:

1. Write It Down! I’ll list several things that you can keep track of, so when asked, you will be perceived as someone who is organized.

2. On your own excel spreadsheet, or even just a pad of paper, write down the date you applied for the job. This way, you know when you applied, and how long the process is taking for a particular job or type of job, or even a certain employer or recruiter. Sometimes the length of time it takes (especially if it is an extended period of time) can be a red flag indicator that causes you to wonder if this would be a good employer/recruiter to work for/with.

3. Write down the job title. If you are called by a hiring manager/recruiter and told that you are being called about a certain job, you’ll have all of the information about the job on your list and it will refresh your memory, even if it was 3 weeks ago!

4. Write down from where you heard about the job (or applied for the job through). What website was it? What job board was it? What newspaper was it? What job support or networking group did you find out about the job through? This way you can tell what is working best and maybe spend a little more time on this area.

5. Who is your contact? Was it a recruiter? Was it a recruiter working with another recruiter? (this is happening a lot in the recruiting industry, where a recruiter will seek out the help of other recruiters to find qualified candidates). Write it down as soon as you can learn who a good contact is. Was it a hiring manager or an HR staff member at the job site? Find out who they are and what their job title is.

6. Finally, leave room to be able to go back to your list and leave comments like; when you were contacted, when is there a phone interview scheduled, when will you have a face to face interview, when is an offer made, ect…

Keeping track of what you do during your job search is extremely important in regard to time savings, avoiding confusion by not applying for the same job more than once (I see this a LOT!), and knowing where you’ve been looking and if it has been working for you. It also allows you to keep track of contacts. Have any of these contacts been helpful? Have any of these contacts been a waste of your time? You may not remember unless you write it down to refer to later.

This track record is full of great information that will help guide you to a time saving lucrative job search. Just like doing all of the necessary things in my vegetable garden, and keeping track of what I do there, the harvest can be plentiful in your job search as well!

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