By Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa
(Included here with permission)
Are you looking for the best tools for job search? I’m not talking about job boards but tools to help you manage, organize and conduct a proactive job search! Job search coaches, resume writers and even a few job seekers share their favorite tools!
I reached out to my network on LinkedIn and asked what tools they love recommending to their job search clients. Here are their answers. (But it’s sometimes difficult to scroll through them all on LinkedIn, so I’ve organized and highlighted them)
These 35 tools for job search come recommended by resume writers, job search coaches and even some job seekers!
Do you have a system for tracking your job search applications, interviews, conversations? It can quickly become overwhelming. These recommendations are simple tools to organize and track your job search:
- Google Sheet
“I have created a multi-tab Excel spreadsheet that my clients find very useful. It includes their overall campaign strategy, specific goals, a schedule of discrete tasks, their target companies and an action log.” (Trish McGrath, CCTC, Career Coaching, Edge Career Solutions)
“Gotta have some kind of CRM to manage your contacts and the status of your applications. If you don’t want to spring for an actual CRM, you can build something simple in Airtable or Excel. You’d set up these columns to get started:
– Name (of your contact at the target company)
– Last contacted – most recent date you had any interaction with the person
– Status – where you are in the process with this company
– Notes – very important. Just a long text field where you jot down a running list of everything you need to remember after every interaction with the contact. Add a new note at the top of existing ones and don’t forget to date it as reference.
This is very rough and not perfect but it’ll get beginners started. And something is better than nothing if you’re applying to lots of jobs.” (Will Smith, Founder at Polished)
“Using a simple Contact management Excel template for my job search activities, one table is a running list of activities, one tab my networking contacts, another my target organizations, and another tracking applications. This helps focus and keep my notes compact.” (Colleen Trevisani, Professional Educator)
“Don’t underestimate the power of a simple Excel spreadsheet for tracking contacts, applications and networking conversations.” (Meg Applegate, CPRW, Job Search Coach, Personal Branding Strategist, Hinge Resume Collaborative)
“For an actual job hunt tracker, I find the https://huntr.co works well! (Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR, President at MJW Careers, LLC)
These are closely related to tracking, but are slightly different. Keeping all your information organized takes a system or tool.
- kanban board
“For productivity, to do list management, and digital filing in general I use Evernote. I have a notebook in Evernote for Job Search and connect all my notes from networking meetings and webinars here.” (Colleen Trevisani, Professional Educator)
“I set up a kanban board for managing my job search. Each card corresponded to an opportunity; details in each card were the link, any contact points, background information on the position, etc. The columns included [the status such as] “waiting for reply.” I highly recommend this approach. Benefits:
- I was able to get a sense of what’s working and what’s not.
- It represented the status of each application very clearly without a lot of overwhelming details.
- It’s very flexible.”
(Benjamin Collar, Technical Expert)
“I’m a big fan of Trello. We use it to organize a lot of things inside our business but they also have a pretty cool job search template where you can manage your entire job search.” (Jessica Hernandez, CPBS, CSBA, Executive Resume Writer, Great Resumes Fast)
“OneNote to track jobs applied for and responses. Each position gets own tab and each step gets it’s own page” (Timothy Mathews, Training and Curriculum Design, Learning and Development, Project Management)
Whether you need to look up someone’s email address or track whether you’re email has been opened, there are tools for job search that help you do both.
“I often mention or reference hunter.io for looking up email addresses. It is helpful for looking up the emails of hiring managers or people you have on your outreach list.” (Adrienne Tom, LinkedIn Profile Writer & Job Search Coach, Career Impressions)
“Email address search tools like mail scoop: free” (Sonal Bahl, Career Coach, SuperCharge)
“To find email addresses of people: Mailscoop or Hunter.io.
Mailtrack.io to check if your mail has been opened” (Dorothy Dalton, Executive Search | Career Coach)
“I’m a big fan of Mailtrack.io for tracking e-mail opens. I think this is really valuable information when sending cold messages to people on your target company list.” (Sarah Johnston, Interview Coach | Executive Resume Writer + LinkedIn Branding, The Briefcase Coach)
Finding the right information means you have to use the right tool for your job search. These will help you find careers, alumni, company information and relevant jobs!
- LinkedIn Career Explorer
- LinkedIn Alumni function
- LinkedIn Endorsements
- Google Alert on target companies
- Xray search strings/Boolean search
“A new favorite is LinkedIn Career Explorer to identify keywords relevant to specific job titles.” (Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer)
“One of my favorites is the LinkedIn Alumni tool and looking out for who can introduce me (or a student I’m working with) through 1st and 2nd connections.” (Sammie Walker Herrera, CCSP, Reflective Career Coach)
“I like guiding my clients over to the “endorsements” section of LinkedIn profiles to determine some key skills they could weave into their resume (obviously so long as they’re not fibbing). I tell them to find people they aspire to become or like-minded individuals to identify some key skills they may be missing and could possibly open up for an opportunity for continuing education.” (Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR, President at MJW Careers, LLC)
“Subscribe to Google alerts for [companies you target]: free” (Sonal Bahl, Career Coach, SuperCharge)
“Xray search strings to track job ads” (Dorothy Dalton, Executive Search | Career Coach)
“I use customized Boolean job search strings to create one job alert for variety of different keywords (for example, in my world, “remote OR telecommute OR “work from home”). This helps to gather all results instead of only jobs matching one of those words!” (Sadie Glisson BSN, RN, CTR, Founder of The Remote Nurse)
Interview Practice Tools
Until recently, there weren’t many tools available to help with job interview practice. But these tools filled the void!
- LinkedIn’s Interview Prep
- Mock Interviews
LinkedIn’s Interview prep is found in the Jobs the feature. It gives job seekers the opportunity to hear how certain questions are answered and what the “experts” say are the best ways to answers said questions.
“Another tool I found valuable is mock interviews. If recorded, mock interviews [on Zoom] show you how you’ve answered the questions, your body language, and the interviewer/s can provide feedback on the aforementioned. I use this with my Job Club using Zoom recordings. And yes, it helps you prepare for Zoom interviews.” (Bob McIntosh, CPRW, LinkedIn Trainer, Career Coach, Blogger, Online Instructor, Things Career Related)
Home Office Essentials
The majority of employees have had to set up their home office during the pandemic. This means that job seekers aren’t the only ones trying to figure out the best tools to make themselves shine and look professional.
- Halo light
- Ethernet cable
- Laptop stand
- KRISP software
- Business cards
- Post-It notes, fun stickers, pens & notebooks for creativity & productivity
- The telephone
“These days, I’d also recommend that people have a good light for online conversations or video interviews. A small halo light can go a long way and they are not expensive.” (Adrienne Tom, LinkedIn Profile Writer & Job Search Coach, Career Impressions)
- “Ring light for the desk. Winter is here (in the Northern hemisphere) and you don’t want to appear in the dark and poorly visible.
- LAN / Ethernet Cable: to avoid vagaries of WiFi reliability.
- Webcam with decent mic and noise cancellation.
- Laptop stand so that the webcam is at the eye level.
- Zoom: free for 1:1 conversations”
(Sonal Bahl, Career Coach, SuperCharge)
“Touch up your appearance on Zoom!” (Dorothy Dalton, Executive Search | Career Coach)
“I love KRISP software for canceling out Mic noise. It’s super cheap and very helpful given that there’s so much zooming required in job search now and people have houses full of people!” (Virginia Franco, Executive Storyteller, Resume & LinkedIn Writer)
“Vistaprint For business cards, reasonable and you can design. Watch for their sale.” (Sweta Regmi, Career Consultant, Teachndo)
- “Post Its for goals & self talk tips
- Fun stickers, pens & notebooks for creativity and productivity. I love work and love fun. Combining the two decreases stress & increases 🤩”
(Loren Greiff, Founder & President, Portfolio Rocket)
“To add something new I would say, don’t underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned phone call. Reaching out to someone to catch up and tell them what’s happening in your life can lead to very important steps in your job search.” (Jessica Sweet, CPCC, CEIP, LICSW, Career Coach, Wishingwell Coaching)
The tools for job search are wonderful for techies or tech wanna-bes. Job seekers need to pay attention to security, privacy and grammar! Plus, you need a way to save all those helpful articles you read!
- Internet Security
- Browsing Privacy
- Grammar Tool
- Saving Articles
- “Internet Security away from home (or at home) IP Vanish, the app for all devices. Hides your IP address from Internet predators.
- DuckDuckGo as an alternative privacy browser.
- Grammarly for your phone since text and word processing are a part of life.”
(Mark Anthony Dyson, The Voice of Job Seekers podcast host)
“I recommend Feedly and Flipboard so you can easily find career focused content to social share and show others what you are learning for your career.” (Denny McCorkle, Digital & Social Media Marketing Professor)
Home tools just didn’t fit into the categories above, so here we have other tools for job search.
- 3 lists for self-knowledge
- Insight Timer meditation app
- Perfume or cologne
Create a physical document and divide it into 3 lists:
1) Everything you’re overcome
2) Every strength you perceive about yourself, and those others perceive about you
3) An outline of your ideal day in the future.
“When you’re drained, pull up that document and read through it. [Job seekers] need to reflect: what makes me stronger than this current situation, what makes me valuable and then finally how their capabilities, accomplishments and characteristics enable them to achieve this future self.” (Bernadette Pawlik, Soft Landings Job Search Strategist, Coffee and Consult)
“Reminders and resets are my theme:
Insight Timer (meditation app) for mindset” (Loren Greiff, Founder & President, Portfolio Rocket)
“Perfume or cologne right next to laptop. Before the interview starts, a little spray goes a long way. Elevates the mood and overall vibe completely.” (Sonal Bahl, Career Coach, SuperCharge)