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Between searching for jobs, sending in applications, doing phone screens, and going on interviews, there is a lot to keep track of when your job hunting. Add that to the sheer number of positions you will likely be applying to, and it is easy to lose track of things along the way.

A spreadsheet puts all of the information you need in one place for quick and easy access. It allows you to keep track of everything you are doing to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

Having your information organized will make it easier to prepare when you are called in for an interview or get an email from the hiring manager. It serves as a reference document that you can refer to any time you need it. As an added bonus, being organized can help lower stress levels.

The spreadsheet should include the following:

Position applied to and name of the company. The two most crucial pieces of information to track. Write the job title exactly as it is written on the job description so that you use the right terminology when you are speaking with the hiring manager.

A link to the job application and job description. You will want to refer back to the job description before you have your interview. Saving the link to the application will ensure you do not waste any time going back and searching for the information you need. Or a screenshot.

Date applied. Keep track of the dates you send applications in so that you know when to follow up, and also when to consider it a no if you have not heard back.

How you applied. Write down how you sent in your application. Was it through on online system, referral, by email, LinkedIn, or in person?

Name of the person who referred you. You might be asked how you heard about the job, and this ensures that you will not forget who referred you. Also, you can write them a thank you note if you get the job.

A status column. This column should have three options – yes, no, or never heard back. It is especially important to have a ‘never heard back’ option, otherwise it can look and feel like an overwhelming number of rejections. Only mark no for applications that have been directly rejected.

A column to track application progress. This helps you keep track of where you are in the hiring process. The basic steps are applied, phone screen, and interview. Companies can have hugely different hiring processes, so this column should be customized to each job.

Interview details. Include the time, location, name of interviewer, and any other details you need to remember for the interview.

A communication tracker. Use this column to keep track of your communications such as follow ups and thank you notes.

There is no right or wrong way to use the spreadsheet – customize it in the ways that work best for you. You can use colours to help you quickly visualize things or choose to have jobs sorted by application date or status. If you are not sure how to set those things up, a quick google search of ‘conditional formatting’ will answer all of your questions. It also works great in a bullet journal if you prefer to do things on pen and paper or a word document.


Heidi Saunders

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