The Importance of Tracking in Your Job Search

Posted May 22, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

In a job search, if you’re pouring the right amount of time into your search, you may apply for countless jobs each week. The difficulty then becomes, how do you keep track of everything you’re applying for? You may think you have a memory of steel, but trust me, eventually you’ll be asking yourself – did I call that person? Or email? Did I apply for that online? Or via email? Which individuals in my network did I connect with on which jobs? So many moving parts can be incredibly difficult to keep straight. That’s exactly why consistent tracking is phenomenally important in your job search process.

Corn on the Job recently published the article “5 Awesome Steps to Track, Measure, and Optimize Your Job Search Efforts.” Their five steps are incredibly valuable. Most valuable, though, are numbesrs 3 and 4, highlighted below.

  1. Write Out EVERYTHING You Want and Need From A Job
  2. Use The List You Create in Step 1 to Build Your Resume & Cover Letter
  3. Set Weekly Application Submission
  4. Create Spreadsheet For Resume Submission Information Goals
  5. Review, Revise, and Repeat

In addition to Corn on the Job’s recommendations, the following are also integral in your tracking:

  • Track both applications and outreach. You should be setting goals for the number of applications you submit, but also for the number of networking outreaches you complete. In addition to those with open jobs, you should be connecting regularly with individuals in your network who might be able to help you get ahead and get connected to potential openings.
  • No doesn’t always mean no. During one period of job searching in my own career, I had received two “form letters” via email from two different companies that said I was no longer in the running for the job. I was surprised later when both of these companies called me for interviews? Why? Because in addition to applying online, I had also engaged my network which worked for me long after the monster of an HR computer program had counted me out. So don’t delete a company or a job from your tracking list for at least 60-90 days.
  • Save, save, save, save, save, save, save. Did I say that enough? I literally can’t say that enough. For every job you apply for, create a folder on your computer, save a PDF of the cover letter and resume you sent them, save a PDF of the job description, and save a PDF of any emails you sent regarding the job to your network or the powers-that-be at that company. It could be that a company moves slowly, and months later calls you for an interview. What would you do at that point if you didn’t remember exactly which job or which package you submitted?

Tracking means everything in your job search. And trust me, the level of organizational skills you display throughout your search will directly match the level or organizational skills prospective employers will see in you when they review your application and ultimately choose you for an interview. Track away, ladies!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."