Keep Calm and Apply On

By: Alli Kelly

There are so many things that can go wrong when you’re looking for a job.  You may spell something wrong in your cover letter.  You accidentally upload an old version of your resume, rather than the most current one (you know, the one with your new internship/job experience on it that will actually help you get that job…). Or you can even screw up so far that you send your resume and cover letter to the wrong email address and the person you were trying to reach STILL doesn’t know you exist…

And even if all of these things were to happen, the one thing you’ve forgotten is to keep your cool.  Because people who are calm, cool, collected, and on top of things get jobs.  Not people who make a mistake and give up the second they realize they’ve made it. If you are that person who tends to freak out over applying for jobs (as am I), there are plenty of things you can do to keep your cool and stay organized. Here are three tips to calm your nerves and keep you focused:

Create a spreadsheet:  Creating a spreadsheet of all of the jobs you are applying for is EXTREMELY important.  This will be an amazing resource for you when browsing the web and seeing the same postings on multiple sites. It will also help if you apply for a bunch of jobs and then take a break for awhile.  When you get back to it, you’ll already know what you have and have not applied for so there are no repeat applications. What should you include in your spreadsheet? The following:

1.  The company and a link to their website
2.  The position you applied for
3.  A link to that specific job posting
4.  The actual job description (small section of the posting is okay)
5. When you sent out the application
6. When you should follow up
7.  If you got an interview
8.  If the position was filled

Example of an application spreadsheet.

Example of an application spreadsheet.

Constantly update your resume:  This is important because we are all involved in so many different things and most of those things will look great on resumes.  If you just got a promotion at your part-time job, don’t forget to update that in your resume.  Employers love to see leadership skills.  Joining a new club, starting a personal blog, volunteer opportunities, etc. are all very important things to include in your resume.  If nothing new is happening, look at your resume at least once a month just to make sure everything is up to date.

Keep Calm and Apply On:  Staying calm and level headed during the entire process is very crucial to successfully getting through the application process.  Going through the motions step by step, while taking deep breathes (and actually remembering to breathe) will help you feel more accomplished and less stressed about the fact that you’re graduating in 3 months and still have no job prospects line up.  It’s okay!! We all take different paths and rest assured, you’ll get to your destination one way or another.

What are your methods to madness when applying for jobs? Do you have any rituals that help you stay calm and organized?  We would love to know!

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