You may have “time management” listed as a skill on your resume, but do you know how to manage your time as a Product Manager job hunter? That’s right, the best way to land a new job is to practice effective time management during the search. These top strategies will help you to manage your time while hunting for a Product Manager job.
Treat the Job Hunt Like Your Job
Just as how you would work regular hours in a day job as a Product Manager, it is important to create a schedule when you are searching for a new product management position. Particularly if you are unemployed, you want to treat your job hunt as your full-time job.
Creating a schedule that includes breaks and a prioritization structure laying out what needs to be accomplished each day is important, but not just for improving your time management. Just like with any other job, you can experience burnout after too many job applications and interviews when you aren’t taking the time to relax and refuel your mind. Schedule yourself a one-hour lunch break and a 15-minute walk just as you would in a typical workday. First think through your day and all you need to accomplish, then make a to-do list in an order that makes sense. For example, you will want to update your resume, cover letter, and social profiles before you begin sending in job applications.
Set Realistic Goals
At the end of the day, you cannot control which companies you hear back from and which you don’t. What you can control is how many jobs you apply to in a given time period and how you present yourself in an interview. Set achievable goals that are related to things you can control.
If you are currently employed, set goals based on the time you have outside of work to dedicate to the job hunt. You don’t want to drop the ball at your current position in hopes of landing a job elsewhere. Be sure that you are using personal time for interviews and not juggling your work tasks with your Product Manager job hunter tasks.
Goals are most effective when there is a plan in place to achieve them. Of course, the overarching goal is to land a new job as a Product Manager, but break that down into smaller goals that can be accomplished in an order that makes sense for you. Plan to accomplish hard tasks at the time of day when you are most focused. If writing is not your strong suit and you are not a morning person, don’t make cover letter updates your first goal of the day.
Track Your Communication
No matter what the task, no one likes to do the same work twice. The same goes for job applications. Keep a record of what jobs you have applied to, who you have heard back from, and who you have already interviewed with. When you are researching a company, take notes so that you can remember who they are and what intrigued you to apply.
Not only is tracking your communication important to avoid doing the same task twice, but it is also important for follow-ups. You want to keep a record of which day you interviewed with a company and who you spoke to so that you can reach out to that person afterwards and thank them by name. Following up with a potential employer is an important step in showing your interest in the position.
That’s right — even in the hunt for a Product Manager job you can delegate tasks to others. Ask your friends and family to help you by reading over your resume and cover letter. A fresh set of eyes is more likely to find spelling mistakes you may have glazed over.
The best recommendations come from those who know you well. Let friends and family know that you are currently looking for a product management position and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open within their own company and social groups. A friend of a friend might know someone whose in-law is looking for a Product Manager and that connection can help you land your dream job.
When you are creating your own schedule it can be hard to stay focused. You are the CEO of your own job hunt and it is easy to bend the rules for yourself. That said, it is important to put away distractions when it is time to work on job applications. Every time you look away from your cover letter to check Facebook or Instagram you are using up mental energy that could be put towards landing you your next Product Manager position.
Time blocking can be extremely helpful for focusing on difficult tasks and holding yourself accountable. Tell yourself that, despite your hatred for researching a company, you will spend the next 10 minutes on their site doing that research. You won’t look at your phone or open a new tab for just 10 minutes while you focus on this undesirable task. Breaking your daily to-do list into time blocks like this can help you get more accomplished and make time management an easy habit.
Need Help Job Hunting?
Our goal at Product Gym is to help you land the product management position you’ve been searching for. Take advantage of our resources throughout your job hunt and schedule a free consultation with us today.