When in job search mode, you may find yourself applying to 20+ jobs per week. After a short amount of time, it’s incredibly easy to lose track of who you applied with and when. When I ask students how they’re keeping track of their applications, the most typical response is that they have all of their sent emails saved. But that system can be incredibly unwieldy. It’s difficult to sort through and hard to extract relevant info quickly.

There are plenty of tools that you can use to keep track of your applications. JibberJobber allows you to keep track of network contacts, job applications and target companies all in one handy place. While it’s a nice, comprehensive tool, the downside is that it’s not free.

There are many free apps that will allow you to track your applications as well. Indeed’s app acts as an extension of its desktop platform so if you have already been using Indeed in your job search, it can be easier to navigate. Websites like Monster and CareerBuilder have their own internal tracking systems for all of your applications. DePaul’s own Handshake platform also has an easily managed application-tracking tool.

The problem with all of these systems is that you probably won’t be using just one website or app to apply to all of the available jobs out there. So, rather than having to constantly juggle between three or more application tracking systems, your best bet may be to just create your own.

The simplest way to do this is to make a spreadsheet using a tool like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. You can keep all of your application tracking in one place and modify it however you like. One potential way to set things up can be seen in the image below:

An organized spreadsheet will allow you to easily sort through jobs you’ve applied to and quickly extract whatever relevant info you may need. You can include columns for company name, position applied to, a link to the job post, date applied, contact name/phone/email, and date of follow up. You can include columns for notes, feedback received and status of the opening as well. You can even color code to demarcate things like which jobs you’re currently interviewing for, which jobs are closed, and which you are waiting to hear back from.

You’ll want to have something that’s easily sortable, because you don’t want to be scrambling to find out the details on a job when an employer contacts you. For example, if a company gave you a call to set up an interview two months after you initially applied to their position, you don’t want to have to muddle through old emails looking for your application. A sortable spreadsheet will also help you stay on top of when you need to follow up with a company and ensure that you aren’t applying to the same position or company multiple times. With a spreadsheet, you can quickly scan for the information you’re looking for, and develop a better plan of attack in your job search.


Sources:

Doyle, A. 7 Best Free Apps for Job Searching.

Doyle, A. 10 Easy Ways to Organize Your Job Search.

Hu, J. 7 Tips to Keep Your Job Applications Organized.