How to Create Checklists and Tables for Job Hunting
I was first formally introduced to checklists during my Personal Assistants Diploma course in 1996.
Although I didn’t realise it at the time, it has been one of the most valuable skills I have ever learnt.
Benefits of checklists:
- Allows you to plan ahead
- Helps organise your time
- Makes you more effective
- Increases your efficiency
- Ensures you don’t forget to do something
- De-clutters your mind
- Reduces stress
- Lets you realise your goals
- Is a fantastic motivational tool
- Makes you feel you have achieved something
- Gives you personal satisfaction
Whilst I was redundant, checklists proved to be an invaluable tool in my job hunting.
How to create checklists:
A checklist can be as comprehensive or uncomplicated as you like. If you write a shopping list, that is a checklist in its most basic form:
Nail varnish remover
We usually tick off each one as we get it and although we may deviate from the list, we feel satisfied when we have got all of the items that we wrote on it.
Although the above may be suitable as a manual checklist, many electronic checklists are made using a programme such as Microsoft Word. The idea is, you list what you want to achieve, then create a definite place to put a tick when you have completed it. This is usually referred to as a check or tick box. The place for this box can be consistent and look more professional by setting a simple tab through the format menu.
Tables vs Checklists
Tables are traditionally created for the purpose of more in depth record keeping rather than for creating a checklist. However, with modern technology simplifying tasks, I believe it is often faster to use a quick table template for your checklist and alter the number of columns and rows accordingly.
If we expanded the above shopping list by adding more items to it and varying the places we got these items from, we could end up with something that looks like this:
|Sainsburys||Tick when got|
|Tesco||Tick when got|
|Co-op||Tick when got|
|Lloyds Pharmacy||Tick when got|
|Nail varnish remover|
I think you will agree, it looks professional, is adaptable and easy to see what you have accomplished.
Let’s create a checklist more relevant to your redundancy:
|Task||Tick when completed|
|Look for jobs in the Job Centre|
|Type a CV and cover letter for the management job|
|Post two applications|
|Buy jobs paper|
|Go into charity shop and ask how to apply to work there|
|Go into clothes shop and asked if they have any jobs|
|Look for jobs on the internet|
How to use checklists
Checklists should be used:
- On a daily basis
- On a weekly basis
- In conjunction with a daily diary
- With other forms of record keeping
Appointments you have written in your diary, must be shown, ideally in order of importance, on your checklist.
These should include appointments related to:
- The Job Centre
Other things to include:
- Paying bills
- Going to the bank
- Returning library books and movie rentals
A checklist only records, whether you have done something or not. It is important to keep a separate record, which will give you a more indepth understanding of what it is you did or didn’t do to make that thing happen. This is when a table can be most effective because you should be able to easily identify what works for you and what doesn’t.
Job Application Record
|Where job was advertised||Nothing suitable||How applied||When applied||Outcome|
|Word of mouth|
Using both checklists and tables to create records are excellent ways of keeping yourself motivated, because you can see what progress you are making and how you are achieving it.