How to Track Your Job Applications

Keeping track of job applications is essential for every job seeker. Job search can be frustrating and discouraging, and it takes a lot of patience and perseverance. Yet, most job seekers keep sending applications regardless of how frustrating and discouraging it is. However, because they send a lot of applications, they tend to forget the one that they have applied to. Which might not be good for their job search process. In this article, we will discuss how to track your job applications. But before we get into that, let us talk about why job seekers need to track their job applications.

Why You Should Track Your Job Applications

  • Job seekers need to keep track of job applications so that they can avoid confusing jobs with each other. Imagine you receive an interview invite for a job and you are not sure of where the invite came from. This can affect your interview preparation as you will be trying to remember the job rather than preparing for interviews.
  • Tracking job applications can also help you prepare well for your interview. For instance, if you receive an interview invite from a company, you can just go and check the job description and prepare accordingly.
  • It helps you avoid fake jobs: there are lots of fake jobs around now and tracking your job application is one of the ways of Identifying fake jobs. So, once you receive an interview invite or job offer, you can cross-check to know whether you applied for it. To know more about how you can identify fake jobs, you can read about it here.
  • Keeping track of job applications, helps you to set job search goals and helps you to stay focused. It also enables you to build a strong network from the contact list.

How to Track Your Job Applications

The Use of Spreadsheet

One of the ways of tracking your job application is to use a spreadsheet. If you are familiar with Microsoft Office, you can create an excel spreadsheet to keep track of where you applied and your application status. However, to be able to access the spreadsheet anywhere regardless of the device, you can use a google spreadsheet. Here are some columns that should be in a spreadsheet.

· Company name: putting down the company name in the spreadsheet helps you ignore fake interview invites from places you didn’t apply to.

· Job Position

· Date you applied: the date you applied helps you track your daily job search activities. And it also helps you to know when you are supposed to follow up.

· How you heard about the job. Most employers ask this question during the interview to keep track of their job posting channels.

· CV you submitted. You should know the importance of tailoring your CV to the post you are applying to. So you should take note of the one you used for which job. This helps you to avoid taking the wrong CV to a job interview.

· Application status: this helps you to keep track of the status of the job applications you sent out. Knowing your application status helps you know the job application that has been received, rejected, or pending.

· Job description link: this column is especially essential for when you receive a job interview invite. You have to understand what the job requirement is so that you can prepare for the interview accordingly.

· Contact: this is useful for when you want to do a follow-up of your application or interview. You should put the name, email, phone number of the contact in this column.

The Use of Word Document

If you are not conversant with how to use a spreadsheet, don’t panic. You can simply use word software such as Google doc or Microsoft word to keep track of your applications. All you have to do is to insert a table and choose the number of columns depending on the categories you want to keep track of. And the number of rows should be relative to the number of jobs you are applying for. The categories can be the same as those mentioned under the use of spreadsheet. And you can decide to add other categories such as the application deadline, likelihood of getting the job, and so on.

LinkedIn

You can also use LinkedIn to track your job application. However, unlike the other methods of tracking applications, its feature does not give you the option of tracking various categories. But, you can use it to know which job you have applied to so that you can avoid double application. All you have to do is to go under my items icon on your LinkedIn profile and you will see the jobs you have applied to.

Notebook

This might be shocking, but there are still some people that find the use of technology complicated and cumbersome. If you fall into this category, then you can dedicate a notebook for tracking your job applications. You can decide to rule out columns and rows into different categories depending on how many categories you want to track. The interesting thing about using a notebook to track applications is that you can use it to jot down a cover letter draft. Or jot down anything that comes to your mind during the job search or the interview process.

Folders

You should customize the cover letter to the job you are applying to. This means that you will have quite a number of cover letters depending on the number of jobs you applied to. To keep track of your cover letters, you should create a new folder for them on your computer. Then, you can save each cover later with the name of the company and the date of application. So, you can effectively check the cover letter when you receive an invite to interview. This will also help you know the cover letter that received most invites and how you can upgrade others as well.

Conclusion

Whether you are using a spreadsheet, word document or even notebook, the most important thing is to be in the know of how your job search is going. Missing the application deadline or follow-up could make a difference in whether you will get the job or stay unemployed. Let us know the method that you will use in the comment section.

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