How to Organize Your Job Search

How does an applicant keep track of all the companies he or she applies to? What about the companies that respond to his or her resume? What’s the best way of avoiding an embarrassing application error?

Rather than letting important opportunities slip by, applicants can maintain organization during the job hunt to keep track of their prospects.

There are important tools like a job search tracker or log template that can be used in order for an applicant to stay organized during his or her career search. Job search organization tools are available to prospective employees in order to help them keep track of their interviews, meetings, job offers and more. Staying on top of organization during the job search can help an employee from feeling overwhelmed during a very stressful time. Read the sections below for important tips and tricks to maintaining organization in a job search.

Job Search Tracker

Using a tool such as a job search tracker can be extremely useful when maintaining organization during a job hunt. Many applicants do not realize that there are different job tracker options to choose from that can help keep track of important items. With various job search trackers available, many of which are free of charge, applicants can log important details about a job such as:

  • Date applied – when the application was submitted to the company.
  • Company information – name of the organization, plus important contact details of the office manager of Human Resources manager.
  • Company location – where the company is located and where to go when interviewing.
  • Email or phone number – for the point of contact or hiring manager.
  • Application summary – what was submitted for consideration, for instance a cover letter, resume or additional materials.
  • Interview – when the interview is scheduled.
  • Salaries – what the compensation is for the position.
  • Follow up – if the applicant sent any follow up information such as a portfolio, thank you email or otherwise.
  • Status – current status of the application, whether it was rejected, if an interview was requested or the job was offered.

By using a tracker for job searching that is geared toward job organization, applicants can feel more in control of the direction their search is going. These trackers can be especially useful for online job searches.

Job Search Log Template

Rather than using job search software to stay organized, organization can sometimes be as simple as a template. By creating or finding a job search log template online, an applicant can fill in the important details for each company as necessary. A template for job searches will include basic information about the company, contact information for the recruiter or hiring team, the date in which the applicant sent his or her application, and more. This template can be simple to create with columns, rows, and added information.

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Make sure to avoid overcomplicating the template with unnecessary details and information about the job that will not be helpful. The less filler information there is, the better overall organization. Also, applicants should make sure to include a column detailing the correspondence between a recruiter or hiring manager. This can include a box to check when an applicant hears back, or a box where an applicant can include information about a prospective interview.

An easy way to start a job search template is through a spreadsheet or document program on a computer. Creating an easy spreadsheet or table and saving it to the computer will be helpful for an applicant and easy for him or her to maintain regularly.  It is up to the applicant how much detail is added, but it is often best practice to keep it straightforward.

Job Search Organizer

Another great way for staying organized during a job search involves keeping a planner. Similar to a journal, a job search organizer will be a book that applicants can carry with them during interviews or when submitting a resume to keep all the details of the job hunt in one place. An organizer is like a planner, where there are different tabs for different areas of information. An applicant can create a tab for each company he or she is interested in and add as much information as possible regarding the application process. The best part about keeping a job search planner is that an applicant can tear out pages when a job does not work out and then add new pages when the planner is running low.

Job Application App

For applicants who like to stay organized on their mobile phones, there are job application app options that are also worth considering. For the applicants who spend more time on their phones than on their computers, a job search mobile app will be extremely useful. Applicants who have a smartphone can find a few free job search apps to consider, including:

  • Indeed Job Search
  • CareerBuilder
  • Huntr
  • Switch
  • Glassdoor

The best aspect of using a job application app is that it is often with the applicant wherever he or she goes. This makes it much easier for an applicant to be able to keep track of the job search in real time, rather than having to wait to get back to the computer or back home to log it in the template.

Additional Job Search Organization Tools

There are other job search organization tools to consider that do not include technology or specific apps and mobile sites. For instance, one of the easiest ways to stay organized during a job search is by cutting back on the mental overhead that can be keeping an applicant unorganized in the first place. Focusing on the quality of the jobs in which an applicant is applying to rather than quantity is a great way to remove much of the unnecessary clutter that makes job searching difficult.

Applicants should only apply for positions that he or she is qualified for, making sure that each application being submitted counts. When an applicant avoids submitting applications to every job available, he or she will have the time to personalize every cover letter and make sure the resume is tailored to the position. With fewer job applications, but making sure they are quality jobs, much of the disorganization in the job hunt will be removed immediately.

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