Organizing Your Job Search
Updated: Jul 16
When I first went on the academic job market in 2018, I had just joined Cathy Mazak's I Should Be Writing accountability group in an effort to finish up the dissertation in community. Mazak is a big proponent of the project management platform Trello. As a free-mium service, Trello allows you to create vision boards that you can pin tasks or images to, assign due dates to, and move around with incredible versatility. Many people have found Trello useful for longterm writing pipeline planning. While I've used it in that capacity, I've personally found it most useful for organizing my job search.
During my first year on the market I organized over 100 job opportunities into my board before settling on which ones to apply for. These included tenure-track jobs, fellowships, and lecturerships, as well as a few niche alt-ac jobs (like museum opportunities). Thus, I started to think of my board as a wide-ranging career opportunities board. And, I want to share a pre-populated template version with you all!
The Trello board itself is free to use and make (I maintain six others for various aspects of my personal and professional life). When I was on the market, I also paid for the upgrade service (called a "power boost") from Planyway, which allowed me to add "all day" due dates, view all of my opportunities laid out in month calendar, and create and track specific line items on my check list for each opportunity.
If your mentors use (or are willing to use) Trello, you can add them to specific cards on your boards for input. Say you decide to apply for a position that needs a reference letter. You can add your mentor as a collaborator, upload the job posting, your checklist, and your materials and they'll have everything they need at their finger tips.
Check it out and save your own copy to start using!