5 Folders You Should Create to De-Stress Your Job Search

KrisDamico-best-whtbkgrd-tuMany thanks to my friend Kurt Kirton for this week’s column! Kurt regularly writes about best practices for a job search. Job searches are a natural corollary for any company’s HR program. After all, a company is only as good as the employees it hires. But job applicants need successful strategies to become employees. Here are Kurt’s tips on de-stressing your job search.

file_folderNow you may be looking at the title of this post and thinking, “How can something as piddly and insignificant as folders on my computer merit a blog post or do anything for my job search?” Allow me to explain: I’m a very organized guy. Ever since I was about 13 and starting high school, ways of organizing things started to come to me. It was just logic.

As an adult, I was able to enjoy the fruits of my already established organized habits. And after my first layoff from a record label (my dream job in moving to Nashville) in 2000, I’ve been applying my organization skills to perfecting the job hunt. Making and regularly using the following five folders can help you find what you need quickly and take the tendency toward procrastination out of your daily job search activities.

  1. Job Search—This is your top-level master folder and should contain the folders below plus any other files, such as aptitude tests, letters of recommendation, articles, references page, business card print files, etc.
  2. Company-Specific Information—This is where you’ll store information on any company for which you prepared for an interview or put in an application and can include documents you’ve created or information you’ve downloaded. You can make sub-folders by company name here and use those to file applications, directions, background check documentation, etc.
  3. Core Items—This folder should contain the files you use most frequently such as your most current Action Plan, elevator speech/exit statement, versions of your résumé, and job application and networking tracking spreadsheets.
  4. Letters (cover, follow up, future position, and thank you)—Keep all these letters in this folder. You can save a lot of time using them as templates, modifying them when applying for similar jobs. I suggest this format for naming the files: Account Exec–Aug 15ABC Enterprises.doc (i.e., job title, month/year you applied, company). Then you can add “–fu” for follow-up, etc. to indicate what type of letter it is. This will keep the files sorted by job title, which is best when using these letters as templates.
  5. Résumés: Old—Store older versions of your résumé here. It’s good to keep these, since at some point you may need to reference one to refresh your memory about some of your experiences or use the information when applying for a position that’s a bit of a stretch.

Looking for a new job? Want to get what you want faster? Check out Kurt’s new book, Here Today, Hired Tomorrow

HTHTcover-72res_final12-6-14In Here Today, Hired Tomorrow, Kurt Kirton, a successful veteran job hunter, provides actionable advice and teaches his proven systematic approach to getting hired. He draws upon his years of recruiting for Brantley Services, his marketing consulting experience, personal job searches, and invaluable guidance from career professionals. When Kirton is not sharing his job search experience and advice on KurtKirton.com, he is a speaker, blogger, marketing consultant, graphic designer and the Secretary for the Nashville chapter of the American Marketing Association.

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Improving Morale While Lowering Costs.

 Another update from the Jungle…
image031Doug is the plant manager of a factory that makes car parts. His boss transferred him from a nearby facility with instructions to improve operations and lower costs at the factory. It didn’t take Doug long to figure out that the high costs were due to low employee morale and a high incidence of on-the-job injuries.

Some of the worker compensation claims defy common sense. One worker wrenched his ankle after ignoring warning signs and walking across newly laid floor tiles before the glue had set. Another employee lost a finger in a machine because he ignored the safety protocols for using the machine.

Doug hopes to simultaneously increase safety, reduce worker comp claims and improve employee morale. First, he wants to create a new safety training program. Then he wants to implement a drug-free workplace program. This program will have the added benefit of lowering premiums on the worker comp policy through the mandatory discount offered to companies with drug-free workplace programs.

Doug knows that safety training and a zero tolerance for drugs are only the beginning. He believes morale will improve when employees realize they can get bonuses and wage rises by improving safety. But he must also revise the factory’s HR policies to reflect a more enlightened approach of rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. All the changes will contribute to a rise in productivity. Doug knows he needs help to accomplish all these ambitious goals.

What should Doug do next?

  1. He should ask his insurance agent what steps he needs to take to implement the new drug-free workplace program. One of those steps must include identifying a company certified to administer the drug-testing.
  2. He should hire an OSHA-certified trainer to teach the new safety classes.
  3. He should outsource the task of revising the HR policies since he lacks the on-site HR staff to handle this responsibility.

The above scenario is based on actual worker comp claims. If your company is struggling with similar issues consider the following resources. USA Mobile Drug Testing of Nashville can help administer a drug-free workplace program. Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help create HR policies and procedures appropriate for your company’s size.

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Happy New Year!

Another update from the HR jungle….
image031Sue, our trusted HR director, is back from her cruise with a nice tan and a bit of a hangover from the rum. She’ll put in a couple of days at the office during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day after blowing all her paid leave on the cruise.

At her company, not much happens between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The only people working are the ones who blew all their paid leave earlier in the year or those who want to impress the bosses with their dedication to the job.

Sue plans to spend her time working on her goals for next year. She thought about these goals while on her cruise. First, she’ll start compiling the list of proposed updates to the company’s HR policies. This will take some time since she needs to estimate the cost to complete each project.

Then she’ll research the admittance requirements at the local college where she hopes to enroll in the spring. Getting a formal degree to confirm what she’s learned on the job is a big step in her career.

Whatever your work situation, have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Happy New Year!

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