Organize your job hunt & avoid overwhelm with Trello

If you’re looking for your next opportunity for a new job, there are a thousand things to worry about at any given moment. The last thing you want to do during that mega-stressful period is waste time and accidentally lose someone’s contact info. Here’s my system to stay on top of your options & communications to avoid getting overwhelmed.

This method uses a kanban board to organize ideas. You can do this for free with Trello or by using post-it notes on a whiteboard.

The last time I went through a major job search, I used a spreadsheet to keep track of the process. It worked well for me, but when my friend Mina suggested Trello, I knew that was the ultimate option. I use this type of system to document leads & existing clients in the Sales Pipeline I learned from Trello for Business. So, why not apply it here? If you’re in school, this method works for internships, grants & scholarships, and post-grad programs, too! Heck, you can even use it to organize your dating life.

Lanes as status checks

Our information is organized by where you are in the interview process with each company. Setting up calls and in-person interviews? Congrats, that’s the “Interviewing with (!!!)” lane! I used the other statuses of “Waiting on”, “Follow up with”, “Rejected”, “Offers” (YES!), and “Ideas” in my list, but you might want to add or remove steps as you see fit.

Card is life


Each company is its own card. In standard Trello fashion, we’re updating the card when something new arises and moving the card to its appropriate lane throughout the process. All the data in the example cards is faked, naturally, but I wanted to use examples that feel closer to real life than “Acme Corp.” But some of the listing links in the cards go to real job openings, so apply away! For easy access of information like an old school little black book, I’ve a templatized description to each card.

Progress indicator

Then, for a better picture of where I’m at with each company, there is a Progress checklist.

Not every position will have that same checklist, of course, but the progress gives you a quick perspective of how far you’ve gotten with one company over another when they’re both in the “Interviewing with” lane.

Criteria sorting

For further organization, I’ve labelled each card with the company’s location. If you’re looking for a local job in NYC, my state labels could be your Brooklyn neighborhoods. Since a card can have multiple labels, you could make your labels important perks (401k match, health/fitness stipend, public transit covered) for an at-a-glance view of what each organization offers or lacks. Remember You can sort all your cards by label! If you need to see every place you’ve talked to that fits a certain criteria, do it via labelling.

Diary entries

Since activity on cards is timestamped on Trello, I choose to use comments as a way to track events. These are notes to yourself. If something went horribly, you can vent here and reflect back on it later on. Scheduled a Google Hangout via email? After you’ve added it to your calendar, you can note it quickly in a comment and have a concise place to see how the whole process has progressed. Speaking of calendars… since you can attach a specific date to a card, you can even put your next interview/meeting/call as the card’s due date.

Go get ‘em!

You can peep the example board here and make a copy of it for yourself (open the Sidebar Menu, click “More”, then “Copy Board”) to help you maintain an organized system for your next job search.

And if you want your own ridiculous dollar bill background, you need Trello Gold. It’s $5 a month, but I think it’s worth it for that visualization alone. If you don’t even have a Trello account, make sure you sign up right meow.

I’d love to hear if this system to organize your job search with Trello helps you over on Twitter — let me know when you land that dream gig!

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