A simple system for managing job applications

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This is where you are: you’ve registered for the relevant job boards, brushed-up your CV and know which clients you want to target. Now you need a simple system for managing job applications.

You see, this is the moment where many people give up: they simply feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential job offers coming in. Keeping on top of multiple job boards, application deadlines and perhaps language pairs while sending out high-quality, client-specific applications quickly and easily is not impossible, but requires a bit of planning.

Below I’ve outlined the simple system I use to manage my job applications. What you will learn in this tutorial:

1. Prep work: what you need to set up on your computer before you get started

2. Daily work flow: what you are going to every day when you sit down to work

PREPARATION

Go through this check list and make sure you can anwer yes to every question!

1. Do you have a profile on Proz and TranslatorsCafe?

You don’t need to complete a full profile on either site, but make sure you have added your language pairs, as this will automatically filter the results on the job boards

What I do: Chrome automatically saves and remembers all my passwords.

2. Can you easily access the job boards?

Since you are going to be checking all three job boards every single day, you don’t want to waste time on Google finding the right site, logging in, and then clicking around until you find the right language pairs. Make sure you are automatically logged in to Proz and TranslatorsCafe and add all three job boards to your bookmarks bar. (MANY of my students ignore the rough-and-ready TranslationDirectory – do not make the same mistake)

What I do: I’ve created a folder in my bookmarks bar called “translation” that includes all three job boards (Proz, TranslatorsCafe and TranslationDirectory) as well as anything else relevant to my translation work.

3. Do you have a place to save job offers that interest you?

This is important – you absolutely need a place to save job offers that interest you. Trust me, applying to jobs the moment you see them on the job board is just going to create havoc: you won’t know which jobs you’ve applied to and apply twice to the same one, or you’ll get so into one applciation you won’t have time to check out the better offer further down the page.

What I do: You could use a pen and paper, Word document or Excel but I highly (highly highly) recommend using Evernote for this purpose. You can download the programme for free and I recommend getting the Web Clipper as well as the Desktop version.

WORK FLOW:

Ok, now that you’re ready to get started, here’s what you’re going to do every day (if you don’t work every day, that’s ok, just make sure you do these steps as regularly as possible).

1. Skim the job boards for interesting jobs

Since you want to check the job boards every day, you want this step to be quick. Don’t linger over jobs checking all the details or even start thinking about the application. If a job looks interesting, save it for future reference and move on to the next one.

Do this for all three job boards.

Skimming through the job boards and saving interesting offers should only take you a couple of minutes every day!

2. Filter your list of saved jobs

When you have a bit more time, you’re going to go to your saved list (NOT the job board) and sort through the different offers with more care.

At this point you are looking for THE most interesting job in the bunch. This could be the job with the highest rate, or subject matter most relevant to your experience, or most-desperate sounding call for translators.

3. Apply to your TOP job

Ignore all the other jobs in your saved folder. Focus on your top job and complete the application, no matter how long that takes. When the application is sent, make a note that you have applied (i.e. “applied on 10th of November”).

Only then move on to the next job in your list.

4. Repeat until you have no more jobs in your saved folder!

Since you are checking the job boards every day, you should always have some potential job to apply to in your list. If you don’t, pat yourself on the back and brush up your CV or cover letter.

Any questions? Please comment below or e-mail me.

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