10 May 2010

Organize & Track Your Job Hunt

Every Monday is Tip Day. The tips can be general for helping in general with business concepts, job hunting, or anything that seems within the scope of this blog.

Today's tip: use a spreadsheet while job hunting.

I have found out (the hard way) that using Excel is almost a necessity for tracking your job search progress. It helps because:

  • You do not want to duplicate your job applications within the same company. (This can result in your application essentially being disregarded as it will be seen that you are incompetent and do not pay attention to detail.)
  • Often the company's website makes it difficult to keep track of what jobs are of interest (even with the job cart) and actually some firms duplicate their own postings. (See above that you do not want to apply twice to the same posting.) 
  • You are able to see how many jobs you applied for, when you applied, and the results. If you are the analytical, geeky type, you can even graph or make reports to understand your progress. (Again the MBA creed holds true: "You cannot manage what you do not measure.")
Here is a sample spreadsheet:

You may also want to keep track of your contacts in a similar way. I suggest noting who gave you the contact, where the contact works, any of the contact's information (e-mail address, phone number, etc.), notes (detailing your conversations with dates), and when you sent your contact a thank you note. It could look something like this:

Screen shot 2010-05-10 at 2.02.58 PM

I hope that this tip helps you. I have been learning by trial and error, but the spreadsheets really help keep everything organized. I feel more in control and less overwhelmed. 

P.S. Sorry that the spreadsheets are appearing in the article so small. I cannot seem to get them to fit properly after much heart ache. I recommend enlarger your browser's window to see the detail better. Or, I can always e-mail it to you if you let me know. 


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