Tracking your job search progress is a fantastic way to stay organized. It will help you measure your progress and setbacks, and will help you gauge how best to spend your time and resources.
How to Organize Your Job Search
As for how to organize your job search, you’ll need to do two things: make time, and find a system that works.
Most applications are done entirely online these days. And whether you’re sending your application via email or an applicant tracking system (ATS), you’re likely storing each custom cover letter and tailored resume on a computer (or in the cloud) before you submit it.
Consider creating a folder or system of folders to help you keep track of your applications. Not only will this give you a record of where and when you applied, you’ll also know exactly what you said in each cover letter and resume to each company.
For job-seekers, the job application process can sometimes be overwhelming and there is always that tendency to apply for many roles just to give yourself a chance of securing one role ultimately. Whilst it is certainly ‘good process’ to have your CV Profile in front of as many audiences as possible, this policy can be fraught with pitfalls.
Applying to many roles can be make it very difficult to track everywhere your details have been sent to and it’s harder then to find the time to follow up on applications etc when you’ve applied to so many.
What will set your job application journey up for real success is having a good journaling, tracking system in place!
This could be as simple as writing down on a Monday morning what roles you have applied for, through what medium (i.e. company website, LinkedIn, job site etc), job title & ref number etc… This is important as if you subsequently receive a call regarding this application then your initial engagement with the Hiring person is succinct and clear. What I mean here is that nothing beats being able to quickly refer to your journal and you instantly know exactly what job opportunity the caller is referring to and have a good start to the engagement.
When for instance you apply for a role on a Monday, the suggestion is to diarise five working days ahead to follow-up. So when you come to the next Monday morning as a job-seeker you already have a focus that morning i.e. to follow up on your applications from the previous Monday. This way you will fill your days with proactive activity and you’ll get a real positive energy from this, which should help if you happen to be called for an interview subsequently.
I would also suggest following up by picking up the phone if at all possible as its harder to build a relationship over email. So therefore having a point of contact to follow up with when applying in the first instance is important.
To summarise, your CV is your document, so it’s important to apply a measured approach to job applications. Control where you are sending it, if dealing with Recruiters, get them to confirm via email when and where your CV has been sent as this will ensure a second Recruiter doesn’t send your CV for the same role – this is vital for your brand.
So take the ownership of your CV Profile, establish a consistent journaling technique and always follow up. Treat the job search & application process as a job in itself and you’ll never know where it might take you.
Ultimately, getting good at tracking and organizing your job search can help you identify what strategies work for you, and enable you to stay on top of your outreach.