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It’s a good idea to keep a thorough record of all jobs you apply for. If you are on unemployment, your state unemployment division will likely require you to keep a record of your job contacts. Even if you aren’t collecting unemployment, it’s still a good idea to keep a detailed record of your applications.
For example, Colorado Unemployment requires you to keep a record of:
• What action you took
• How you applied for the position
• The type of work you were looking for
• The person you contacted, a telephone number,
email address or other reliable contact information
• The outcome of the contact
I keep the information in an Excel spread sheet. Excel is very useful for keeping a list of all my applications. Its search feature makes it especially useful. Years ago, I kept a paper list. I discovered paper lists aren’t handy if I want to search through the companies and jobs I applied to in the past.
Click here for sample spreadsheet
I also added the date, the employer, the website, and a few other fields. If I have an email or phone number, I will specify under employer. If the employer is a recruiting firm, I also include the name of the company they are submitting me to. That way I have a record of the actual company I applied to. That will come in handy if I need to search for companies I applied to. Also, some employers will not accept resumes from recruiting firms if you already applied with them.
Most of the jobs I apply to are on-line. The jobs are listed on job boards or employer websites. Often the job board will contain a job desription with a link to apply for the job. Sometimes the link is to an employer’s website, sometimes the job board will send your resume and cover letter to directly to the employer. I keep a copy of the link under the column “Job Website”.
“How contacted” will contain information such as if I applied via a job board, via a company website, or via email etc. I also specify if I submitted a Resume or both a Resume and Cover letter.
Most jobs will display a message and/or email you that you successfully applied. I keep a copy of the message under the “Confirmation” column.
Some employers will ask where you saw the job posting, so I put that information that under the “Job Board” column.
Most company career sites will ask you to set up an account. I keep the account information under the column “Logon to Employer Site”. I don’t put the actual password I used, instead I put hints to help me remember the login and password.
Job Board Hints
I review the job boards and keep a record of every job I apply for
Here are some of the job boards I visit:
The job boards enable you to limit the number of days back to search. This is useful if you search the boards every day.
They’re all a little different, but generally you can limit your search to 1 day back, sometimes 3 days, most will allow you to limit your search to a week back.
Look for links such as “advanced search”, “date posted”, “filter”, or similar. I do not see a similar feature on Dice, but Dice does have a “sort by relevance/date” link so you can put the newest postings at the top.
Other Record Keeping and Job Application Hints.
I use an email address dedicated for my job search. This helps me keep my job search emails separate from my regular emails. This makes it less likely I will miss an important job notification. Since I use Microsoft Outlook, I have my Outlook configured to flag incoming job search emails with a special color and musical tone.
In addition to my log, I keep a “Jobs” folder with several subfolders.
It should be fairly intuitive what most of the folders are used for.
Resumes go in the “001-Resume” folder. I have several different versions of my resume, depending on what I’m applying for.
Cover Letters go in the “002-Cover Letters” folder. Again, I have several different versions of my cover letter, depending on what I’m applying for.
I keep PDF copies reference letters and reference contact information in my “004-References” folder.
My “003-Applications” folders may not be as intuitive at first glance, but it’s a very important folder.
Under “003-Applications, I create an employer sub-folder when I apply for a job. If I apply more than once with an employer, I add the new job info to the folder. Sometimes I may need to create sub-sub folders.
I copy a resume from my 001-Resume folder and I copy a cover letter from my “002-Cover Letter” folder into the employer folder.
I then customize my resume and cover letter to match the job. I may change the order of the items in my resume or cover letter. I may add skills not listed in my original resume to match the job description, and I may change the words and terms in my resume and cover to match the job description. This can be useful for a technical role when a non-technical screener may not understand two different words may mean the same thing.
I keep application-customized resumes and covers in the employer folder while keeping the original versions of my resume and cover in their respective 001 and 002 folders.
I also keep a copy of the job description I am applying for. Be advised, saving a website into the Employer folder doesn’t always work. Neither does printing a PDF copy. If you do save a copy or print a pdf, be sure to check it. An alternative is to copy the text from the job description and save it in a MS Word document.