As you may know, I’ve been actively job searching for the last month or so. I’m very fortunate that there are several opportunities that match my skill set out there right now! So many, in fact, that I was starting to get overwhelmed with the responses I was getting and trying to keep track of them all.
I recently learned about a free cloud-based CRM tool, Insightly.com . I decided to put it to the test and see how it worked. I’m always interested in checking out new tools (especially free ones!) that could be useful for small business owners too.
Things I like so far…
1. I can use it online, on my phone or on my iPad and because it’s cloud-based, everything gets updated automatically. I have all of my job search information at my fingertips. It’s easy to check on my phone just before an interview so that I end up in the right place, remember names, can review specific requirements and more.
2. I can forward or send emails from recruiters and companies to my Insightly email address and easily create a new opportunity or project from it when I get back to Insightly.
3. I can easily import and export .csv files to update information. As a BA, one of the things I’m a stickler about is clean data. I love that I can bring everything to Excel, make multiple changes and upload it back to Insightly.
4. You can sync the Insightly Calendar with your Google Calendar so that you can manage interviews easily.
5. I can also track projects and create task lists! I haven’t used this too much yet, but I plan to.
6. Another neat thing…..you can see your contact’s Twitter feed on the contact page! The only thing is you can’t tweet from it, you still have to go to Twitter. It used to integrate with LinkedIn as well, but LinkedIn blocked their API unfortunately.
So…. how do you use a CRM to manage your job search?
Setup: I found it helpful to create a Pipeline with the following stages so that I can easily see what stage each opportunity is at:
- Contacted/Found Posting
- Phone Interview Set
- In-Person Interview
- Waiting for Response
- References Sent
- Waiting for Offer/Response
More tips for using Insightly for your job search:
- Create an opportunity for each job you apply to. Or at the very least, the ones you are really serious about wanting.
- Add the Company you are applying to as well as the recruitment company to Organizations.
- Add information for individuals under contacts.
- Link Contacts and Organizations to the Opportunity to easily be able to reference them.
- Be sure to add the job description to the Opportunity (I add it in the Notes Section with the title Job Description. It displays better on my iPhone than adding it as a description to the Opportunity.
- If you’ve customized a Cover Letter or resume, or had to fill out a specific application, upload it under Files.
- Be sure to add any dates for interviews or follow up.
- Use the notes section to keep track of important information.
- Update the pipeline and notes fields as you move through the process
- Forward related emails to your Insightly email address and then link them to the opportunity to keep everything together and your email inbox clean. This alone has been a lifesaver for me!
Of course, I see Insightly as a really useful tool for businesses too! It also has the capability to add multiple users and you can choose who has access to what projects or opportunities. It has the potential to be a great tool for collaboration.
What are you waiting for… go get organized!