Cancer and Careers hears from patients and survivors daily about the obstacles they face as they look for work. “Chemo brain” can pose a real challenge in terms of one’s ability to keep track of the various aspects of the job-search process. Whether you’re transitioning out of unemployment after taking time off for treatment or recovery, or looking for a change from a current job, there can be a lot of moving parts — and knowing how to manage them is important.
Our friends at Idealist.org highlight three ways to stay organized when looking for work:
- Save everything. Making sure to save all correspondence, modified resumes, cover letters, etc., in one designated place will help ensure that you have everything you may need to reference throughout the process. If you’re applying for a number of different jobs, then it’s particularly important to keep track of things, so that you don’t risk accidentally sending the wrong information to a potential employer.
- Use customizable boilerplate language for your cover letter. It can be helpful to keep one master document that you can pull for each application you submit. Having one accessible document, with language you can (and should!) tailor as needed, will not only save you time, but can also prevent inadvertent typos and grammatical mistakes from being introduced, which can often happen when new text is drafted.
- Use customizable boilerplate language for post-interview thank-yous. Following up after an interview is a critical step in the job-hunting process and can help you remain at the forefront of interviewers’ minds. Having a template can ensure that you hit all the necessary points, while also enabling you to fill in the relevant details of the specific interview, position and company you’re targeting, which should always be included.
While this is not an exhaustive list of ways to remain organized while job-searching, such practices can help mitigate some of the cognitive symptoms associated with chemo brain, including challenges with memory and multi-tasking. CAC’s article on “Working with Chemo Brain” provides additional tips for managing this particular side effect of cancer treatment.
If you’re interested in creating a resume that can be modified according to specific positions and industries, make sure to take advantage of our free Resume Review Service. Additionally, CAC’s Job Search Toolkit is full of advice on the many aspects of job-hunting, including resumes, cover letters, networking and interviewing. It’s available in print or can be downloaded as a PDF — simply click here.