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Cutting the Clutter:
How to Stay Organized and Focused While Searching for a Job

October 2011 (SmartPros) When you're unemployed, you can't afford to make the job-search process more difficult by being disorganized or unfocused.

Following are tips on boosting your efficiency while on the hunt:

Get on a Schedule
View finding a job as your job. Strive to bring the same amount of discipline, diligence and structure to your search as you would an actual 9-to-5 role. Get on a regular schedule, set specific daily objectives and hold yourself accountable.

Write a prioritized and detailed to-do list each morning covering what you hope to achieve and, equally important, by when. Creating this plan of attack will keep you on task. For example, if you set a goal to email five of the human resources representatives you met at yesterday’s job fair by noon today, you’re less likely to fall prey to distractions or procrastination. Plus, your job hunt won’t feel so all-encompassing if you’re in the routine of starting and stopping around the same time each day.

Get Organized
If you’ve ever lost a key new contact’s number, frantically rewritten a missing cover letter or arrived at the wrong time for an interview, you know the advantages that orderliness offers.  Taking the time to get organized can help reduce stress and last-second scrambling.

Rather than relying on a sea of easily misplaced sticky notes, create filing and tracking systems that will enable you to quickly retrieve your job-search-related information. These items might include different versions of your resume, job leads, career advice resources, and notes about prospective employers. As long as the system works for you, it doesn’t matter whether you use electronic tools or a Rolodex, day planner and accordion folder. The bottom line: Getting organized helps you avoid oversights, missed opportunities and unnecessary extra work.

Get Focused
Many candidates make the mistake of taking a scattershot approach to applying for jobs that focuses on quantity instead of quality. But you’re better off submitting highly targeted resumes to a smaller number of employers you’ve researched than sending the same one-size-fits-all document to every random company with an open position.

Make better use of your time — and improve your chances of landing interviews — by customizing your resume to highlight the skills, qualifications and accomplishments most relevant to each opportunity.
Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at 

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2011 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: Accountemps

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