Organizing "Job Search 2020"

Organizing "Job Search 2020"

Background

Thankfully, when I was informed that I was being laid off I was given enough notice to be able to process, plan, and prepare. But most importantly, I'm going to be able to finish well and leave my team and colleagues in the best shape I can.

My wife and I decided that for the two weeks following "the news" I would not start the job hunt and instead focus on making slow, deliberate decisions. This was difficult because I wanted to go and try to find something immediately.

Don't get me wrong - we had our share of knee-jerk reactions and raw emotions but not acting on those turned out to be a good approach; it allowed us time to get organized.

The Requirements

I'm sure that for as many people looking for jobs, there the close to the same number of ways to organize the effort. For us, we needed the following:

  • Centralized place where I could post updates on the jobs I like and apply for
  • Keep track of interview and follow-up schedules
  • Discuss and dissect the various copy/content for resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn content, etc.
  • Most importantly - share and communicate asynchronously since we use technology different and varying times.

So what tools did we use?

The Tools

One of my passions and skills is finding new ways to work and tools that genuinely help teams.

There's just this feeling that happens when you're using a tool that is so good at what it does, it dissolves into the background and let's you work.  

A tool  that fits this bill is Basecamp.

Basecamp

The team at Basecamp offers a free, personal version of the product which is superb. It allows you to have three projects and up to 20 member in each of those. Perfect for us .

We setup a "Job Search 2020" project and have been using it daily. There are many good things I could say about it, but this post isn't to gush about its feature set; instead, I want to share what's working for us.  

I can keep track of everything I need to and haven't had to send a single email or txt message to my wife about job-related updates; we both discuss on Basecamp. It's a thing of beauty since I loathe text messages - there's something about not being able to mark them as unread (looking at you Google and Apple).

But....there was one catch. When I started to edit the copy for my resume I felt a bit constricted by the lack of commenting options available. Normally, I would be able to get over this but due to the need for agility and rearranging content, I needed to add another tool to the mix.

Google Docs? Nope. Trello to the rescue.

Trello

Since a resume is really a compilation of small bits of copy that can, and should change, from job application to another, I'm using Trello to house each of those "components."

It's still a work in progress but I setup a "Resume Builder" board and shared it with my wife. She can see the content and help me with the much needed proof reading. Here's my setup

  • A list for my skills, qualifications, info, and education
  • A list for the keywords - technologies in my case - that I want to showcase.
  • A list for each job/role  with cards that act as bullet points for my accomplishments.

These cards can be easily added, edited, and deleted which makes building a resume easier. Sorry it doesn't do away with the hard part of trying to write about yourself :(

Before we wrap this up, here a couple of tips

  1. Just write - this is not the place to worry about the length of the resume or how many bullet points you have. Focus on getting down what you want to share about yourself and your experience and organize later.
  2. Use the "separator card" to help organize content. This can be done by typing three dashes "- - -"  in the card content. (Search for "separator" on the linked page).
  3. Add labels that describe the nature of the skill, experience, qualification. You can see below I'm using Technical, Management, and Info. (Attn and Review are for admin purposed as I build out my resume).I'm sure you could also label by desired role/job,  

This will allow for a customized resume to be generated from the filtered cards. Press 'f' key, select the labels you want, and viola all the content is filtered for that context.

Onward!

My search is just beginning and as I learn things along the way, I'll be sure to share them here.

Hope this helps all those who are hunting along side of me!

If you have any questions, suggestions, or if this has been helpful to you, hit me up on LinkedIn to chat.


Talk soon,

Josh


hero image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/afW1hht0NSs

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