What if I told you there was a success “system,” invented by Benjamin Franklin in the 1730s, that helped create millionaires in the 1930s, when unemployment stood at 25%?
Do you think it might help you find a job faster today, with unemployment at less than 9%?
If you’re interested, I’ll describe this system, which can make sure you stay on track and do more of the right things each day, getting you hired faster for the job you want.
You’ll need two items: a small notebook and a pencil. An Excel spreadsheet is a very helpful third component, but don’t let the lack of one stop you from getting started.
What are you going to do?
Track, analyze, and improve how you spend your time every working day.
Because your time is your life. Do the right things with your time, and you’ll get the right results in your life. In your case, the result you seek is a new job.
Here are the 5 simple steps to this ingenious system …
1) Carry a small pocket notebook around from the time you wake up until you stop your job-search efforts in the evening.
2) Record how you spend your time in increments of 5 minutes. Examples:
- 6:00-6:25 Wake, exercise
- 6:25-6:45 Breakfast
- 6:45-7:00 Shower
- 7:00-7:30 Watch TV news
- 7:30-8:10 Answer emails
- 8:10-9:30 Search online for job listings
3) Each evening, add up the minutes you spent on each activity and organize them into three categories: Productive, Personal, and Wasted.
Productive time is anything that produces job leads. Examples: calling friends to network, meeting other job seekers to help each other, interviewing employees of your target employer to learn about the corporate culture, etc.
Personal time is anything spent on yourself and not your job search. Examples: eating, running errands, exercise breaks, etc.
Wasted time is anything that served no useful purpose. Examples: checking sports scores, idle chatter, checking email every 15 minutes, etc.
Add up your time in these three areas on a sheet of paper or use an Excel spreadsheet.
4) At the end of the week, analyze your efforts. Here’s where you’ll get insights that can change your life.
Example: When I first tracked my time, I found I had spent 360 minutes in one week reading and answering email. That works out to 24 hours — one full day of life — every month pecking away at email. Unacceptable.
So I resolved to check email only twice a day. And I easily cut that time down to 240 minutes, saving two hours a week and 8 hours per month. Better.
But I never would have known where I was wasting time had I not tracked each day in detail.
Tip: After speaking to thousands of job seekers over the years, here’s where you’re probably wasting time each day:
• Checking email several times an hour. Twice a day is enough — morning and late afternoon. Anyone who really wants to reach you will call.
• Doing personal errands or chores. Running to the store for milk or mowing the lawn won’t get you hired. Only meeting with hiring authorities will get you hired.
• Failure to network. Networking is like exercise: You have to do it every day to produce results. Block off at least two hours a day for calling people and being useful to them while reminding them of your job search.
5) Finally, commit to taking more productive actions each day, fewer personal ones, and none at all that are wasteful. Will you succeed perfectly? No. Will you improve simply by observing your efforts? Yes.
This system has its roots in “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin,” in which Franklin described tracking his time daily in a notebook, with the goal of adopting 13 virtues as new habits.
You’ll also find a variant of it in chapters 3 and 19 of “The Success System That Never Fails,” by W. Clement Stone, who started amassing a fortune selling life insurance during the Great Depression.
Now. If scribbling in a notebook every few minutes and reviewing your day every evening seems onerous, don’t worry. It gets easier as you go, thanks to this fact of physics: It takes more energy to overcome inertia and get moving from a standstill (your old habits) than to maintain that movement (your new habit of tracking time).
Try this system for 21 days. You will be pleasantly shocked at how much more efficient you become in all that you do, starting with your job search.
Perry Martel have long advocated that individuals develop a personal “brand”. One of the best ways of doing this is through a web presence. What prevents most people from standing up a website is either cost or site quality.
I’m writing to you to tell you about QuickSilk Inc. a company I met recently who have solved these issues through an Indiegogo campaign. QuickSilk is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering which empowers non-technical users to build high quality websites in hours. No coding is required and the results are spectacular.
QuickSilk was designed for medium sized business, but because anyone can use it their Indiegogo campaign is focused on individuals and businesses of less than 5 employees.
I’m using QuickSilk to enable our Guerrilla Boot Camp students. I strongly encourage you to visit their campaign page, make a pledge, and get access to their software at a 90% + discount for 6 years to build your “brand”.
The campaign ends on April 23rd so you’ll need to move on this soon. Should you have any questions please call Allan Place – VP Sales & Marketing at QuickSilk – +1-613-883-4783.
Coauthor Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters
Managing partner, Perry-Martel International Inc.
Think you’re getting everything you could from LinkedIn to help in your job search?
Are you a member of the Guerrilla Job Search LinkedIn Group?
It’s free to job search guerrillas @ LinkedIn Guerrilla Job Search
Click the link to the LinkedIn Guerrilla Job Search Group now. You can even meet other successful Guerrilla Job Hunters and hear what worked best for them.
The average job hunt in America is 37+ weeks and although I know you have no intention of being ‘average’ and loosing that many paychecks, I thought you would appreciate this article by Chenell over at Bright Cents on how to get out of debt like a pro so you can live a little more frugally now and get ahead faster when you land.
It’s also a great reminder for those of you who may not have headed my advice and signed up at HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to be found as an expert for some journalist somewhere AND get published and FOUND. Being FOUND or noticed is more and more part of getting hired or at least called and asked ‘please consider this opportunity please…’ Your digital footprint is important.
The following cover letter template gives you an idea of what most job hunters should do when composing a cover letter. It consists of only a very few paragraphs, and is therefore short and easy to read – which trust me, your targeted reader will appreciate. The reason for this sample being short is simply because hiring managers are extremely busy and will not read long letters – long being more than a page if you’re not a senior executive. They may glance at them, or skim them for statements that jump out at them, but they probably will not have time to read them. Use this sample when composing your own cover letters, and you’ll save time and get more interviews.
Hiring Manager’s name
RE: Job Reference number (if one is available)
Dear Mr. Blank,
I’m writing to introduce myself in hopes of joining your organization, and have enclosed a copy of my resume for your review.
My background, skills and talents are in all aspects of veterinary medicine, with a particular emphasis in embryo collection and transplant. I also have strong skills in general veterinary practice, management and business operations.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and exchange ideas. I will call you over the next several days to make an appointment. If you prefer, you may reach me at the phone number or email address listed above.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
John R. Doe, DVM
This sample was obviously for a veterinarian, but anyone in any profession can use it and customize it to suit their own needs. This is a traditional letter done in paragraph style. Another option that is gaining in popularity is the bulleted letter. A cover letter sample in the bulleted format follows.
City, state, zip code
RE: (reference position applied for)
Dear (ad name)
With over 20 years of experience as a military officer, I can make an immediate contribution to your organization. Highlights of my background include:
• Experienced as a pilot, flight instructor, security officer, and operations officer in charge of millions of dollars in government property and responsible for hundreds of personnel.
• Skilled in staff management, project management, security & safety, executive management briefing, and leadership of highly skilled technicians and professionals.
• Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks concurrently, and lead by example. Utilize sound decision making judgement as evidenced by increased levels of responsibility and professional commendations.
I would like to discuss in greater detail the valuable contributions I would make at your organization. I can be reached at (555) 555-5555. Your time and consideration are most appreciated.
This sample was for a retired military aviation officer, but the basic format would stay the same for a teacher, CEO, salesman, firefighter, accountant or almost any other profession. There are two or three bulleted paragraphs that repeat qualifications, accomplishments or other highlights from the resume. The bulleted format makes them easy to see, and the bold facing on key points draws the attention of the reader to what the writer of the cover letter sample wants the reader to see, and read. Use the sample above, or the first cover letter sample, depending on your own needs, and customize them to your profession. You can also grab a fistful of cover letter examples that have been “guerillaized” here.