Thursday, January 17, 2013

Let the Job Search Begin!

Graduation keeps getting closer and closer (100 days and counting for me). As the end of April creeps toward me, the job search has begun. Job searches are time consuming and can be disastrous if not organized well. So when it came time to choose how I was going to organize mine, there was one obvious choice.

Now you can't read my blog or follow me on Twitter without realizing that I'm a huge fan of Evernote (and that's probably an understatement). So of course I am using this wonderful application to keep my job search organized. In this post I'm going to share my process, as well as some of the tips that I've picked up from my own Career Services Advisors at Pitt.

Let's start with the basics. We all have a resume. In fact, we all probably have multiple variations of our resume. As I've started collecting resumes for different applications, I keep them all in Evernote, so I have them all no matter where I am. I also keep a copy in Dropbox as well, just to be safe.

A lot of the job listings that you find will be online. You might decide to apply for something, and get a call for an interview months later. By that time, the listing may or may not still be on the company's website. Advisors have told me to be sure to print out the description and keep it in paper form. But as we all know, there's a better way. Using the Evernote Web Clipper, I clip the description into my Job Search Notebook. I'll then tag the note with the company. As I start to prepare my application, I add each document to that note.

Another recommendation made to me was to keep a spreadsheet with information pertaining to every application submitted. I am keeping all of this in Evernote as well. Here's a screenshot of my Job Application note. (For privacy, I've blurred out most of the information but I will explain it all)

1. Position: Pretty self explanatory but this is where I put the official position title that I'm applying for.
2. Company: Also self explanatory.
3. Link to Job Description: When I clip the job description into my Evernote account, I create a note link. I then paste that link into my table, so I can quickly reference the right document from anywhere.
4. Contact Person: Rather than listing someone's name and email here, I prefer to simply make their name a link to their email. This way, all I have to do is click on their name and Mail launches, with an email already addressed to them.
5. All Materials Submitted: Here I use check boxes, signifying that I have done everything necessary for the application. This makes it easy to glance at my table and see which applications I still need to work on.
6. Follow Up: It is always recommended to follow up after submitting a job application, whether that be with a phone call, an email, or a thank you note after an interview. No matter what form you choose,it can be a lot to keep track of. Using check boxes again, I've created a simple way to know who I've followed up with, and who I still need to contact.
7. Application Status: This is where I'm keeping my own information on my application. Some examples of statuses I have are: Haven't Submitted, Submitted, Phone Interview, etc. Some companies have a way to check your status online. Others you will have to wait to be contacted. Either way, it's a good idea to pay attention to where you are in terms of each application.
So whether you're looking for internships, grad schools, or jobs like me, the search can be a long and stressful process. Hopefully these tips will help you keep it all organized! And help me find that perfect job!

Have any questions? Want to share how you're organizing your job search? Comment below or find me on Twitter @OtterMC!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looking For Some Help

Hey everyone!

So this is a bit of a different kind of post for me. I do have another post scheduled for Thursday that I'm really excited about. So stay tuned for that!

But anyway, I need some help. You may or may not know this, but I am an English Writing major. As this is my final semester, I'm getting started on my Senior Writing piece. This is an essay of at least 40 pages of creative nonfiction, on pretty much anything that I want. I'll be working on this for the entire semester and this piece will make up basically all of my grade for the class.

So here's where you all come in. I am looking for people who love their job, people who have managed to turn something they love into their career, anyone who keeps doing what they're passionate about. If that sounds like you, I want to talk to you! Or if that sounds like someone you know, I want to talk to them too! I'm looking to conduct some short interviews, which can be done via email, phone call, Skype, Twitter, letter writing, carrier pigeon... Whatever sounds best to you.

So if you want to help me out, and I really hope you do, please comment below, email me (, or send me a message on Twitter (@OtterMC). I'm really looking forward to hearing from all of you! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Joining ScanSnap

I've written a lot of posts about different technology that I love and use. One product I'm a particular fan of is my Fujitsu ScanSnap. To celebrate my love of scanner, I've joined the ScanSnap Squad. My first post for them can be found here. Be sure to check it out! I'm excited to talk more about ScanSnap and how it can be best used for school.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Evernote Structure

I've gotten a lot of questions as to how I set up my notebooks and tags in Evernote for my school work. There are a lot of different ways to go about it, depending on what works best for you. I recently changed up my own structure to better reflect my current needs. I'll go through both setups to give multiple ideas.

I've come to use Evernote for a lot more than just my school work. I'm also using it to organize my job search, my recipes, my workouts, and more. So for different functions, I'll tag differently. This post is only about how I tag for school work.

So as students, we have a lot of different things going on: classes, clubs, internships, etc. For most of my college career, I used a separate notebook for each class and club. All of these notebooks were collected into a notebook stack titled "College." I also had a "High School" stack. This system worked very well for me, making it easy to separate my notes into exactly what I needed to view at that moment.

As I'm heading into my final semester of school, the amount of notebooks I had was getting a little out of hand for my liking. I wanted to streamline things, especially since I knew that I would soon be transitioning from college life to the working world, meaning I wouldn't be accessing my school notes nearly as often. Hence my restructuring.

What I decided to do was rather simple. Instead of having separate notebooks for everything, each class, club, and internship got its own tag. By using the select all function in each notebook, I easily added this tag to every note at once. All of the notes were then moved into one "College" notebook. I did the same thing with my "High School" Stack. Now, instead of having two separate stacks, with well over 50 notebooks, I have one "School" stack with two notebooks.

Besides the tags for each class, I also add tags for the type of note. For example, when I'm taking notes in class, I'll tag the note with the name of the class, as well as "Class Notes." I have several other tags like this, such as "handout," "research," or "assignment."

So, by using this structure, if I had an exam in my literature class, I can view all the notes from that class tag. From there, I can search for a specific topic, or I can limit my view to just notes from that class with the tag "class notes" if that's what I'm using to study.

Now I've also gotten some questions as to whether or not I tag based on the topic of my notes. I personally don't. Evernote has some pretty intense search capabilities so I have always been able to find what I needed with that. If I were doing a much larger project, such as a dissertation, I might choose to tag in this way then, however, for now, I've found my current tagging structure to be more than enough.

Looking for some more ideas on tagging structures? Check out Allan Johnson's post here. He's a fellow Evernote Ambassador!

How do you set up your tags for school? Comment below or let me know @OtterMC on Twitter!