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Get Organized And Get Hired

As Published In Smead Organomics
Get Organized And Get Hired

Publicity -- Smead Organomics

Organizing a job hunt is especially important in this economy — there are more people than ever looking for work, which means greater competition for each available spot. While you may be the most qualified applicant, credentials alone won’t get you hired if you don’t have your professional ducks in a row. Here are some tips for maximizing your chances of finding the best possible position during your search.

Start With Your Expectations

Even in tough times, vocational interviewing doesn’t mean taking just ANYTHING that comes along. You have certain skills — and the goal of your job search should be to find a position that allows you to make use of those talents. Start by asking not only what you’re qualified to do, but what you enjoy doing — rather than thinking just in terms of those positions you’ve held in the past, try to see the bigger picture.

You might have been responsible for putting together the annual company meeting and summer picnic every year (and really loved that part of your job, even though you were officially in the marketing department) — why not consider work in the event planning industry? If your job title was “interior designer” (but you built the firm’s website) — that’s still a relevant piece of experience for your resume.  Make a list of your strengths, skills, and favorite work activities. Then keep this in front of you as you consider possible job opportunities — you never know when a perfect match will come along, perhaps under a different professional moniker than you were expecting.

Look At Your Options

Modern job-searching isn’t like the old days (when you sat down at the kitchen table with the “help wanted” ads) — these days, the internet is an employment-seeker’s best friend. While your local paper is still a great starting point, don’t forget about all the online job boards, web-based headhunters, and placement firms out there. These helpful professionals will sweat and toil on your behalf, to get you hired in an appropriate position (for a small fee) — especially useful if you work in a niche market or are having trouble connecting with companies on your own.

Get Your Paperwork In Order

Job-hunting is a highly paper-and-information-intensive process — so it helps to have both electronic and hard-copy organizational systems in place from the very beginning. (Rather than a series of hanging folders, try an expandable accordion wallet with divided sections — or a set of press-board files with built-in mounting clips. That way, your papers can go with you to each interview and orientation session.) Early in your search, you probably want to set up sections for several general categories of information:

  • resume (different versions focused on relevant areas of expertise, depending on position)
  • letters of reference (multiple copies of each, so you can hand them as needed)
  • documentation of any awards, certifications, degrees (copies only — don’t give your originals)
  • job postings (printout or copy of the job description on each position for which you’re applying)
  • other supporting documentation (copies of press clippings, mention in the company newsletter, etc.)

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few hot prospects, you may want to set up a file for copies of all correspondence related to that position — then when you cross a company off your list, you can easily re-purpose that file for the next job listing.

While conducting a well-ordered job search can’t guarantee that you’ll be hired by the first company with whom you interview, you’ll definitely be better prepared to make a more favorable first impression. Just remember — any boss will value an organized employee!

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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