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How to Use a Personal CRM for Job Searching

Is networking necessary to achieve your career objectives?
Fouad Abou-Rizk
In the context of a job search, a personal CRM is worth using if your job search requires you to rely heavily on networking.
When you submit countless job applications, preparing thorough resumes and cover letters for each, it can get frustrating if you don't hear back from many (or any) of them.
Network with Potential Employers
For some types of careers and advanced levels within them, success in searches is more about "Who do you know?" than "What are you capable of?" This feels very unfair for an introverted professional like myself, but thankfully, I'm not job searching.
If rather than applying to countless jobs online, proactively contacting organizations who haven't published a job you would be perfect for is what you need to do to find success, a job tracking CRM is for you.
What is a CRM for?
A customer relationship manager, better known as a CRM, is a system through which businesses connect with and keep track of leads (potential customers). Leads go in stages through the sales funnel: from someone expressing interest to someone becoming a paying customer and even further to advocate for the brand they purchase from. They are most commonly utilized by B2B companies but are also helpful for businesses that sell directly to consumers, especially e-commerce businesses.
How a Personal CRM Connects to Job Searching
A job-searching CRM flips the process in a way. Instead of the business trying to find you as a customer, you are in the shoes of the business trying to find a customer (your next employer).
If networking with potential employers will be the difference-maker in your job search, a personal CRM platform will be an influential asset.
How Personal CRM Apps Work
Most personal CRM apps and programs are tailored toward professionals seeking to network. Some Personal CRM tools advertise as your personal relationship manager, offering a way to maintain relationships with friends and family for super-socializers and people who want to stay close to those they care about.
Personal CRMs are designed to maintain and improve personal relationships with your contacts, whether their target audience is businesspeople or extra-extroverts.
A woman taking notes while talking on the phone.
Advanced Contact Management
Personal CRM programs allow you to fill in numerous data fields for each contact, and most allow you to create custom fields.
More than an Address Book
Like a traditional CRM, a personal one keeps a list of contacts. Unlike your phone's contacts app, it tracks your communications with each person in their profile. It is a database combining your contacts and a record of your communications with each of them.
Proactively Job Searching for Advanced or Technical Workers
It's all about making connections.
If you find yourself in a technical field or an advanced stage in your career, you'll know that sending out dozens of applications daily has limited effect. After a while of doing that, you may end up in the position of having applied to all the relevant jobs you could find.
What do you do next?
Connect with Employers Online
LinkedIn is an incredible tool for connecting with employers online. I'm not just talking about following the company page. Building healthy professional relationships with employees at wish-list workplaces, including those in management or HR roles, is an excellent asset in your job-hunting toolkit.
Meet New People Face-to-Face
Businesspeople talking at an event.
Expand your personal network! Consider attending a networking event or Chamber of Commerce gathering. When you meet people, get their contact info and give them your own. It's not only potential bosses or hiring managers who could help you. A person you meet who is not a potential employer could be the perfect individual to connect you with the right person with that hiring power.
Connecting a CRM to your Proactive Job Search
Most personal CRM tools offer mobile and web apps. When you network, use the app to track who you meet and the information you learn about them.
Figuring Out Who to Follow Up With
Most apps allow you to set goals for how often you want to communicate with each contact. If you find that someone you meet could be a vital asset to shortening your job search, set a goal to speak to them once a week. Among their features, personal CRM’s mobile apps can send you reminders to reach out to specific contacts on a set basis.
Strengthening Relationships with Business Connections
Through regular interpersonal communication, trust builds up over time. A relationship management tool can log interactions with your contacts, including which medium you spoke through, the subject of conversation, and how you think it went, such as on a 1-5 star scale. You can keep notes in their profile to remind you of personal details to bring up that will make them think, "It's so thoughtful that they asked me about my cat and they remembered her name!"
What Apps There are to Choose From
In terms of a job-searching specific CRM, your options are narrowed down from the many personal CRM apps. The two that I found would be useful are Huntr and Teal.
takes its name from your job hunter position and describes itself as a job application tracker and CRM. It allows you to save roles to apply to from multiple job boards into one database. You can set a to-do list for everything you need to prepare your application for a specific role and use a kanban board to track the progress of your applications. In addition, it has an in-app contacts book for you to keep a record of recruiters you've been in touch with.
Pricing: Free or $10 per month to unlock all features.
is much more of a job application tracker than a CRM, but it includes features allowing you to add contacts, such as recruiters, and use the platform to record how you keep in touch with them. It offers an in-app resume builder that offers information and suggestions on optimizing your resume according to each role you apply to. In addition, it allows you to save links to jobs from multiple boards in one place. Essentially, it is designed to be your job search's data hub.
Pricing: Free forever or a $9 weekly plan to unlock all features.
Take Advantage of a Job Hunting CRM
If you are a job seeker, the best personal CRM app for you will likely be a program such as Huntr or Teal. Use them to keep track of the roles you want to apply to, the roles you do apply to, and network with people you meet along the way who can help you land your dream job.
About the Author
Fouad Abou-Rizk is a digital marketing professional who loves organizational systems. He loves getting organized at work and want to help others do the same!

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