5 ways to create an effective system for your job search

Two and a half years ago I was utterly unemployed. After taking time to recharge, sell naturally-dyed baby clothes on Etsy (I did not personally know any babies at the time), and do a few random gigs for friends’ companies, reality set in. I needed a job.

My first instinct was to send my resume out en masse using online job listing platforms. But in job searching — like many things — you get out what you put in. If I was going to find the right fit, I had to make it personal and I had to develop a system.

Enter Streak. I used it at a previous job for email tracking and remembered that they had a pipeline feature to track processes. It took me less than 5 minutes to set up in Gmail and — music to my unemployed ears — it was free.

After developing a system to manage applications and contacts, I began to build momentum and find a rhythm in my job search — ultimately leading me to explore several great opportunities and land a role… at Streak. While not everyone is hoping to literally get a job from Streak, we’re here to help you manage the process so you can focus on finding the right fit.

Throughout my job search, these 5 things helped me manage my process and land a great job.

1. Know what you want

Some people have a crystal-clear picture of their dream job, or at least have a pretty good sense of what their career path should look like. Some people… not so much.

It’s ok if you don’t have a blueprint of your dream job, but you should know your core values. There’s no right answer here, but landing on a few core values will help you focus your search, evaluate opportunities, and eventually find the right fit. For me, this meant finding a job that had:

Clear opportunities to learn and develop new skillsA product or service that I found compelling and could really stand behindCulture and work-life balanceInteresting and diverse co-workersSalary and benefits that supported my needs and lifestyle

Your values could relate to your commute, childcare options, team structure, diversity and inclusion, or anything else that’s important to you.

Talk to friends and family about what made for positive or negative experiences in their jobs and think about your own experiences. If you could change any aspects of your past jobs, what would they be? How can you identify those values in your next job?

2. Treat it like a job: Use a pipeline

Individual companies may have slightly different hiring steps, but each industry generally follows the same process.

When you’re researching and interviewing with several jobs at once, a pipeline helps you organize details so you can engage with multiple opportunities without getting confused or overwhelmed.

Streak has customizable pipeline templates specifically for job searches, so you can start with the important details and adjust the steps in your process or the data that you want to track.

The job search pipeline is structured a bit like a sales funnel — starting with an “Interested” stage to dump any opportunities that look remotely interesting. These are your leads.

As you research and apply for jobs, fill out information in the pipeline columns that will help you evaluate the opportunity and prepare for an interview. Track information about where the job is located, what the position is, the salary, how you learned about it, and more.

The goal is to get several opportunities into the “Offer Received” stage around

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