How To Land That First “Professional” Job – Managing The Process

If you have been following this topic (How to land that first “professional” job) and diligently taking the suggested steps you are hopefully in the same position as my son Ian.

He recently commented: “How do I manage all these moving parts? My brain is melting!

That is what I like to hear!!!

More specifically, you’ll be getting calls and emails from numerous interested parties, each of which are at a different stage with you in the recruitment process. You will hear from each the first time during their initial contact to confirm your interest and availability for the job. Others are trying to get time on your calendar to do a phone screen or interview. You may also have “to do’s” resulting from your conversations, etc.

At this (enviable) point, you need to effectively manage the process so there are no missteps. To do so, there are 2 primary tools:

  • Your List of Opportunities
  • Your Calendar of (ALL your) Activities

Let’s cover each.

Your List will consist of each opportunity you are pursuing and/or each opportunity that is pursuing you. For each you’ll want to track the following information for quick and easy reference:

  • Company name and location
  • Key points of contact (name, title, phone number and email address)
  • Job title, requirements, particulars and related notes you’ve captured at each stage of the process (outlined below)
  • The current stage of your evaluation
    • Identified opportunity (not yet contacted)
    • Application and/or your initial contact
    • Their initial contact/response
    • Phone screen
    • Face-to-face interview
    • 2nd round interview, etc.
    • The offer
    • Closed opportunity (no longer in pursuit and why)
    • Etc.
  • Next steps:
    • What is due and/or scheduled next for this specific opportunity, when and with whom
    • When you want to follow-up with them, if they owed you something (a callback, etc.)

Your Calendar

When a prospective employer calls you seeking time on your calendar for a phone or face-to-face interview, you’ll want to quickly and concretely give them the answer and/or the available options. Do NOT try to do this from memory. It will ONLY create an embarrassing situation when (not if) you have to call them back to let them know you forgot you had another commitment, need more travel time, etc.

As outlined in a prior post, place EVERY specific commitment of your time on your electronic calendar (work, school, interviews, dentist, etc. Did I mention EVERY specific commitment of your time?). And, if certain appointments require travel time (to and from) place this on the calendar, separately, as the related travel time (before and after the appointment). That way you can easily determine when you’ll be “en route” (and potentially able to take a call, for example) vs. in a scheduled appointment (completely unavailable).

In closing, trying to manage all this in our head will cause a mind melt. What a waste 🙂

Instead, make it easy! Track it all on a list and in your calendar (electronically, of course, so this crucial information is at your fingertips wherever you may be).

And, finally, by effectively managing this process you will demonstrate to prospective employers that you are a professional vs. a mere amateur…

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