If you are reading this, chances are you recognize the need for a fresh approach in your job search. Or, you are unfamiliar with what a job search dashboard application is and how it will help your cause. Whichever the case may be, considering a dashboard application will serve to simplify the process and turn a positive corner on your search.

Whether you are heading out on your first major job search or you haven’t been on the search for quite some time, it can be all too easy to dive right in without a focused plan of action. A dashboard application can help centralize your search, materials, and information. More importantly, it can help eradicate some common mistakes and behaviors that stand to inhibit a job search before it even starts.

1. You don’t tailor your materials to the position.

As a committee member on many open searches, I’ve witnessed far too many generic resumes and cover letters or, even worse, those which were clearly written for a different position. Many job search engines allow you to upload resumes to be made massively available to employers. Dashboard applications, like the recently released JobHero, allow you to upload materials respective to the position you have created or saved rather than just posting a more generic resume, cover letter, etc. If you are applying to a high volume of positions, the presence of this feature alone can serve as a prompt to take this imperative step. With the Sidekick extension for Chrome, you can also save job listings found online to that same central dashboard.

2. You find yourself missing deadlines or forgetting to follow up.

When your job search lacks focus and organization, you lend yourself to an increased likelihood that a deadline will be missed. Even if organizations will accept late materials, falling into this group already puts you at a disadvantage. More importantly, being the candidate that diligently and politely follows up can make you stand out to hiring managers. By creating an account on Indeed, for example, you are able to save jobs and file them under categories of applied, interviewing, offered, and hired to help keep your search organized. Some dashboard applications let you prescribe yourself due dates and deadlines, keeping you aware and accountable for what you need to do next.

3. You can’t remember where you’ve saved your work.

Was that resume on your flash drive? Your PC? At work? In your email? In a day and age where you may be working on countless different devices, from several locations over the course of the day, it becomes difficult to track down application materials you may have been working on. Regardless of the application used, a central location dedicated specifically to your job search becomes imperative for organizational success.

4. You are behind the curve when it comes to current trends.

Are you still using the phrase “references available upon request”? If you are embarking on your first job search, spending part of each day reading articles related to resume and interview technique may save you from common pitfalls in today’s competitive job market. If you are going through the process for the first time in several years, you should also be mindful of the possibility that the trends that were prominent your last time around are no longer relevant. Blogs on sites like JobHero, TheMuse, CareerBuilder, Monster, and Lifehack feature relevant, fresh, and detailed information on how to navigate the modern job search. Be diligent in your research of what to do and how to do it.

As with anything new, the extra investment of time can seem like a hassle. Employment of applications such as job search dashboards, however, can bring organization and efficiency to a previously chaotic approach, and ultimately lead to employment of your own!

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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