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The first thing to learn about applying for a job is that it’s a full time job.

But it’s easy to do if you follow three easy steps

  1. Target your resume to the job you want to get.
  2. Write a targeted cover letter expressing not just what you can do for them but how the culture fit is a match.
  3. Keep track of when and where you applied so you can follow up later.
See “Before You Send That Cover Letter” for step 2. Step 2.5 (power pimping) is covered there.
Here’s the great thing about the job of job hunting though: Parkinson’s law: work expands to fill the time available. So if you say you’re going to get that thang (your application) out to 10 companies in one hour, you can do it.
Parameters for Pimping:
  1. Set your time limit daily for how long you will spend job hunting.
  2. If this is your first gig and you have all day to apply, don’t take all day. You’ll be kicking yourself when you dilly dally applying for the job of your dreams and then get the bounce back that they filled the position. . . yesterday.
  3. If you are looking to change jobs, don’t search at work. It’s unprofessional and demonstrates a lack of respect for your current employer.
  4. Have your stock letter ready and be prepared to edit the mess out of it for each job and then read each draft thoroughly before you send it. One way to guaranty that you do not get the job at XYZ Corp is to express your love for the culture at ABC Inc.
  5. Spell check and grammar check. You should write like the college grad you are!!
  6. Stick to the time limit.
  7. Never say you are detail oriented because it guarantees that the recruiter or hiring manager will find a mistake just to prove you wrong.
Seth Godin illustrates Parkinson law in in a recent blog post . If you say 10 in an hour, do your prep work, have your cover letters ready to go, and prep your job apps tracker (a simple Excel listing what you applied for when so you know when to follow up).
Try it one day this week and tell me how it goes. Are you currently job searching? How do you present your best self on paper? What system do you use to stay on top of follow ups? Leave a note in the comments below.

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