Need tips on how to organize and track your job search?
If you could use some tips on how to organize and track your job search, you are in the right place.
To organize and track your job search, you may need to utilize a spreadsheet like Google sheets or Excel. The great thing about Google sheets is that you can access it from anywhere at any time.
There’s an app for Google Drive and Google Sheets, and more, available to download and access on your iPhone or Android, no matter where you are.
Even though I have a Mac, I also use Google and Microsoft Office. I now keep everything in the cloud (actually two clouds) after losing all my intellectual property on hard drives in a 2005 fire.
As a job seeker, whether unemployed or seeking to make a career change, you have to stay organized. A Google calendar or Outlook, or some other digital calendar is needed to keep your appointments and events organized, especially if you are utilizing Zoom or something similar for interviews.
You have heard the famous paraphrased Lewis Carroll quote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
Also, you have heard Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Both of these quotes are essential to your job search. You have to have a goal and target in mind. You have to be clear about what you want to be when you grow up, so you know:
- WHO you need to network with who will help you move forward
- WHERE you need to network, including on LinkedIn
- WHAT position you are targeting so you can tailor your elevator pitch, positioning statement, and keywords, as well as list and research your target companies
- WHEN you are seeking to make the change
- WHY you left/are leaving your last position and how you are going to explain that in an interview
- HOW you are going to set up your job search plan and strategies
If you have LinkedIn Sales Navigator as your CRM, you can keep details in there. If you don’t have Sales Navigator, you will need to have a different CRM or set up a spreadsheet that will track all of the above information, jobs you applied for, scheduled interviews, and your post-interview follow-up.
Job search is a journey, and organization and attention to detail are essential. Companies have systems, processes, and procedures, and so must you. Here are some categories for your spreadsheet you might consider:
- Company Name
- Company Website
- Company Address
- Company LinkedIn Page that you are following
- Job Title
- Job Posting Number
- Date Posted
- Job Posting Link
- Name of Job Contacts
- Date of Application
- Method of Application
- HR Name
- Hiring Manager
- Date(s) & time(s)\
- Thank you note sent
- Date(s) of Follow Up
- Method of Follow Up
- Result or outcome
- Next Steps
- LinkedIn URL
- Date connected
- Referred by
- Comments or notes
- Press Release Links or Glassdoor Comments
- Sponsor of Event
- Event or Workshop Name
You may want to color code green, yellow, red, or some other system, so you have a visual for your data in rows.
You may also want to have another spreadsheet for an activity tracker to earn daily points for:
- Setting appointments – virtual coffees and informational interviews
- Attending networking events
- Attending workshops
- Making phone calls
- Making LinkedIn connections (you can do a weekly search of up to 100 people)
- Receiving referrals
- Giving referrals
- Applying to jobs
- Scheduling an interview
- Participating in an interview
- Commenting on targeted LinkedIn posts
Although there are many other project management tools and Kanban boards that you can use to track your job search, like Asana, ClickUp, Monday, and Trello, you will probably agree with me that the spreadsheet will be the most useful for tracking.
If you are not a techie or don’t have techie tools to use, some excellent recruiters and staffing agencies can help you do the heavy lifting and find you a job that fits your skill set.
You will find four job search trackers ready for you to make a copy, so you can personalize your job search if you take action #1 below.
- Subscribe to my newsletter on LinkedIn for bright ideas to manage your career.
- Join as a member at https://greatcareers.org/membership of the #1 business networking association on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Book of Lists two years in a row!
- Register on the events page for our upcoming events.
Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. She is also the President of ChemPharma.net and runs a Clubhouse session every Friday at 11 AM ET on the Thought Leadership Branding Club.
Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Lynne is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.
This article is also published on: vista.today, montco.today, delco.today, bucksco.today, and may also be in the author’s LinkedIn newsletter. A list of articles can also be found in a Google doc.