Job hunting can be an overwhelming experience. Whether you’re about to embark on your career, searching for new challenges, or exploring your options, Evernote helps you take control of your job search. Collect job advertisements, organize your applications, and keep résumés/CVs, work samples, letters of recommendation, and contact details in Evernote.
Create a career portfolio
Preparation is often the key to success. Taking the time to prepare in advance will make your job search quicker, easier, and much more painless.
1. Create a notebook dedicated to your career
The first step is to set up a workspace in which you keep your job-related material. You can title your notebook however you like. It might be empty at first, but don’t panic.
After you’ve created your notebook, think of the various ingredients that go into any job application. What pieces of information do you need on hand when applying for a position?
- Curriculum vitæ or résumé
- Cover letter or letter of motivation
- Samples of previous work
- Photo (if including a photo in your application is common practice with where you live)
Chances are, your information will come in a variety of formats: Word docs, PDFs, images, or even multimedia files. But no matter the format, you can keep them all in the same note—which brings us to the next step.
2. Create a note dedicated to your work history
In your “Professional” notebook, create a new note and give it a name. This will be your career portfolio note, where you will keep your CV, résumé, cover letters, and sample work.
Tip: Add “@” before the title of your note to pin it to the top of the note view for easier access as you fill up your notebook with more information.
Your career portfolio note is where you keep all of your application pieces in one place. If you already have previous versions of your CV, résumé, cover letters, sample work, photos, sound files, and videos, add them as attachments or links into this note.
3. Maintain your career portfolio note
Keep your CV or résumé updated, even if you’re happily employed. It’s a good idea to sit down at least once a year to update your CV. Keep older versions of your CVs; it’s nice to revisit them and see your professional development.
If you’re not tied to a specific career path, having variations of your cover letters is also a very good idea. Since every position you apply for is different, it makes sense to keep several versions as templates. You might still need to tweak each letter to the job you’re applying for, but having templates will help cut down time tremendously.
Below the CVs and cover letters, create a section in your note dedicated to your sample work. In it, keep everything you show a potential employer. Whenever you complete a project you’re particularly proud of, drop it into your portfolio along with the date of completion.
Once you’ve set up the essentials in a career portfolio note, add any additional sections you still need like your headshot or digital signature.
An updated career portfolio note ready in Evernote saves you the trouble of revamping your CV, creating new cover letters, and hunting for your previous work information. When you look for a job, you often have to work quickly, so having your job search materials organized and ready will allow you to start the process immediately.
Tip: In addition to your portfolio and résumé, Evernote is a great place to develop and refine your elevator pitch. Preparing a set of talking points can help you keep your interviews grounded.
Collect with Web Clipper
If you don’t have a recruiter to help you scout for jobs, you probably rely on several job search engines or aggregators like LinkedIn. Use the Evernote Web Clipper to clip jobs that interest you. You can also clip articles or advice from career sites that you like.
Web Clipper makes it easy to clip a job ad from any website. Once you’ve downloaded the browser extension, simply click on the Web Clipper (elephant) button to save the page (or parts of the page) to Evernote. You can adjust the size of your clipping to include more or less information by clicking on the “+” or “-“ buttons.
Tip: For a clean-looking web clip, try the “Simplified article” option. Evernote strips extraneous banners and formatting from the webpage, so you’re left with a distraction-free article.
Once you’ve set the size of your clipping, give it a name. The web page will be saved in Evernote as a new note under this name. You may prefer to use a naming system that includes information such as when the job was posted, the name of the company, and the job title.
[Job post date YYYY MM DD] [COMPANY NAME] [Job position]
When you name a note starting with the date and then organize your notes in Evernote by name, your notes will be displayed chronologically and you can easily prioritize which jobs to apply for first.
Finally, before clicking the “Save” button, select the “Professional” notebook you created earlier. You have the option of adding tags or a remark to your clip before saving.
Apply and track your progress
In addition to online job adverts, you might have job leads coming in from other sources such as referrals and recruiter calls. Be sure to create separate notes for these opportunities too, including contact information and a short description of the role.
Once you have all your leads in one place, it’s time to focus on applying for a job. If you have set up your career portfolio by following the steps above, you would have saved yourself a lot of time. Now all you need to do is tweak your cover letter—everything else should already be in your career portfolio note.
After you’ve sent in an application, save a copy of all the documents you used in your application in Evernote. This way, when you get a response from a potential employer, you’ll know exactly what you’ve sent and avoid the potential embarrassment of mixing up your applications. Be sure to update your notes with each new development. Include details such as contact information, the status of your application, company research notes, and questions to ask in an interview. You can also set reminders for upcoming interview appointments.
Tip: If you’ve received positive feedback on a specific piece of your application, keep note of it. You can move a particularly successful cover letter to your career portfolio note. Keep any notes for job applications for which you’ve received interview opportunities. Also, if you get hit with an unexpected question in an interview, note it down too so that you’re better prepared for next time.
Not only will Evernote help you in the job hunting process, you’ll have a collection of documents, notes, and sample work you can reference whenever you want.