Looking for a job is a full time occupation

Just like with any project, looking for a job requires a pinch of organization and a touch of reflection. Give yourself one week to set everything straight.

On Monday I tidy up my desk

How about starting with your desk and trying to create a neat work space? As we all know, tidying up the space allows to tidy up the mind and to get organized. So begin by cleaning up, sorting out, throwing away, making a clean sweep to start afresh.
Regarding papers, the best way is to divide them in different stacks according to the degree of urgency: "urgent", "to be taken care of during the week", "important" (for example for documents that need to be filed) and "other" (for less important documents that you still wish to keep). Set aside all the business cards that you might find during the process so that you can add them to your address book later (see Wednesday).

On Tuesday I get my computer ready

Your computer is your best ally for your job search. Start by archiving the files and folders on the desktop.

Create a "Job search" folder as well as sub-folders in order to efficiently follow-up on your job searches, your cover letters, the employers' replies, etc. Save your CV in an easily accessible location.

You can then personalize your browser's homepage and update your favorites. Delete the ones that are not useful or that are obsolete. Briefly search for websites that can come in handy in your job search and add them to your favorites. For instance, take a look at our list of useful links. Finally, arrange your favorites in various categories, for example "job sites", "job search tips", “company websites”, etc.

On Wednesday I organize my address book and my agenda

Using a computer has the advantage of bringing together two vital tools for your job search: your address book and your agenda.

Your agenda (often integrated into Microsoft Outlook) allows you to efficiently manage your time, to organize meetings and to write down the tasks that you will have to perform during your job search. Write down all of your appointments (phone conversations, interviews, job fairs, forums, etc.) and synchronize your smartphone calendar to make sure that you have all the info you need whenever you go to an interview.
When managing your application process and following up on your job search use your chart to get a quick overview of your progress.

Your address book is the second key element of your job search and can also be found in Microsoft Outlook. Just as you did on Monday and Tuesday, you have to tidy it up a bit first.

  1. Sort out your contacts by level of interest in terms of professional networking. Organize your contacts into groups such as "companies", "former colleagues", "friends working in the target field", "friends and family", etc

  2. Update your address book. Make sure that you have at least a phone number and an email address for each of your contacts.

  3. Take the business cards that you set aside on Monday and enter these contacts into you computer's address book.

  4. Synchronize it with your smartphone

On Thursday I treat myself to something nice

In order to stay positive and reward yourself for your newly acquired organization, get a little something to add a personal and welcoming touch to your office space. You can opt for a plant (some are known to have a air-purifying properties), a lamp, a painting, a picture or a nice object, the purpose being that this decorative touch makes you feel like sitting at your desk and making progress on your job search.

On Friday I review my CV and update my profile on social networks

Everything is ready for you to get your job search off to a good start. Last detail to check: your CV. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and take an honest look at your CV. What do you think of your CV? Do you like the layout? Which elements stand out? Would you want to meet this person, to hire them? Does the picture look professional / up-to-date? Does this CV reflect who you are? If the answer to any of these questions is no, dedicate this day to remodeling your CV as to give a true image of who you are. Your CV is your professional identity card so it should reflect your personality.

Last but not least: Social networks. Whether you have a LinkedIn, Xing or Facebook account, make sure to keep it up-to-date, just like your CV. Use this opportunity to organize your contacts into groups (this allows you to choose who can access which information) and to update your profile picture (preferably a sober and flattering picture). Read our advice on how to maintain your profile and make it look attractive to recruiters.

Well done! You can now take advantage of the weekend to relax or exercise, so you can start again fresh with your job search on Monday.