It’s true that there are thousands, even tens of thousands, of job listings online, in the newspaper or posted on real-world bulletin boards. The sheer number of opportunities can be overwhelming, and if you’re regularly submitting resumes and cover letters it’s easy to lose track of where you have applied or when you’re supposed to report for interviews. You don’t want to look or sound lost when a company representative calls regarding your application, though. Making a chart to manage the job search process helps you search more efficiently.
Know Your Potential Employer
Job search charts should have clearly labeled sections for the company name, job posting and contact information. Copy and paste the job description into the job posting section so that you can quickly reference guidelines for the job you’ve applied to, according to Fontbonne University. It’s fine to also include the online link to the job posting, but some employers remove these after the application deadline passes so it shouldn’t be your only source. Include the name and contact information of individuals listed on the job posting, and individuals you come into contact with via subsequent emails or phone calls related to the job.
Each Step Counts
Your chart should also track every step of the process so that you can readily see what documents have been submitted and what actions you have already taken. For example, if you’ve already submitted a resume, cover letter and job application, list these completed steps in your chart. Once you’ve been invited for an interview, note the interview date, time, location and other pertinent details. Since gracious candidates always send follow-up letters or thank-you notes, you’ll also want to document that you’ve completed this important step, too. Note applications that have been rejected, rather than just deleting the company from your chart, according to Corn on the Job, a career advice website. This way, you’ll be able to evaluate whether it’s appropriate to reapply sometime in the future.
Outsource Chart Management
You might decide not to allocate your time corralling data about submitted resumes, cover letters, applications and completed interviews. If you’re not interested in tracking your own progress, you might decide to purchase software or services that help with this process, according to CIO.com. For example, when you submit an email inquiring about a submitted application, the system might ask you if you’d like an automatic reminder to follow up within a certain time frame. Some services are free; others have monthly costs.
The best chart for tracking your job process is going to be the one you’ll actually use. If a fancy spreadsheet or online service sounds unrealistic for your organizational style, opt for an old-fashioned approach and create something you can hold in your hands. Index cards or a binder can also help you track basic information about submitting applications, completing interviews and sending thank-you letters, according to Minnesota Headhunter.