A problem that frequently arises during a job search is having to keep track of the incidental pieces of information about the job leads that come your way. You get job leads from different sources and different places—from want ads, from the telephone directory, from people on the phone, from friends and friends of friends, and in response to letters you have written. Unless you write down this information so that you can refer to it easily, you may lose track of it and have to spend time trying to regain it. It's all to easy for the following examples to happen:
You call a company and obtain an interview—but later you can't remember the address.
Over the phone you ask a company for a call-back date — but you write that date down on a scrap of paper, which you then lose; and since you didn't write down the person's name or telephone number you can't call to check the date; and even if you had the number, you wouldn't know whom to ask for.
You call a lead you see in the want ads, but the line is busy so you call another ad—but after half an hour you can't remember which listing was busy.
A place you call suggests that you call another company—but you forget to find out whom to ask for; or you remember to ask but you write the name down somewhere and then forget where.
You are at a picnic, and a friend mentions that "Keystone is hiring like crazy because of a new government contract. Jonesy over there is the guy to talk to"—but you're busy cooking hot dogs and don't have any paper with you, and by the next day you can't remember whom you were supposed to contact; in fact you may have forgotten about the entire incident.
You dial a number you find in a help-wanted ad or the Yellow Pages, and glance away from the page to look at the telephone dial—but when you look back again at the crowded page, you can't find the name of the place you're calling, and you don't know what to say when someone picks up the phone on the other end.
The solution: Build a job leads form
Since, in your adherence to the Job-Club approach, you will be making many calls and contacts, you need to keep easy-to-fill-out and easy-to-use records of these contacts. The solution is the Job-Leads Form. Use it to record the information you need so you can refer back to it easily. The next page shows a sample filled-in Job Leads Form. The form has ten columns.
In the first column—"Date"—put the date when you made the call or contact.
In the second column—"Company"—write the name of the com¬pany. If you are answering an ad that gives only a telephone number, call the number. When you are told the company's name, write it down in this column.
In the third column—"Person's Name"—write the name of the person you should ask for. If you don't know the name, just the tele¬phone number, then call. As soon as you find out whom to talk to, write that name down.
In the fourth column—"Phone"—write the phone number from the ad, Yellow Pages, or wherever, before you start dialing.
In the fifth column—"Address"—write the address as soon as you learn it, whether you get it from the want ads, the Yellow Pages, the person on the phone who's arranging the interview, friend, or some other source.
In the sixth column—"Result of Call"—write down any notes you take about the contact that you will need later, such as salary, time of interview, when to call back, other helpful leads, and so on.
In the seventh column—"Second Call"—write down the date to call back, if the employer has agreed that you may. After you've made this call-back, write down the information you obtained.
In the eighth column—"Third Call"—do the same thing as in the seventh.
Keep the Job-Leads Form with you at all times or maintain it online in an always accessible format—you cannot know in advance when you might hear of a job lead. Carry it in your wallet, purse or pocket, your online drive, or inside a draft email. When you are at your desk, keep it in front of you as you make calls, look at want ads, write letters to employers, and so on. After an interview, use it to record information you will need, such as details about job possibilities, when to call back, and suggestions about other places to call.
Each day, before you make any calls or write any letters, look over all your Job-Leads Forms to see which places you wish to call that day. Since you have recorded the company, the person's name, the telephone number, and any noteworthy information, you'll have all the information you need right at your fingertips for making the call and following up on previous contacts.