How to track job applications

Nov 26, 2020

When applying for jobs you want to give yourself the best chance possible by applying for multiple suitable roles at once. During this process, you will want to keep track of your applications and the stages you have reached in each recruitment process.

You will be able to check if you’ve already applied to a certain job and also it will remind you to follow up with employers.

Having the details of your applications to hand will also help you prepare for interviews. You will quickly be able to check what skills are needed for the role and be able to prepare to present yourself accordingly.  

Not tracking your applications can lead to basic errors, such as lost contact details and forgotten deadlines or interviews. To avoid any mistakes, here’s how to track job applications.

#1: Create a Spreadsheet

Creating a simple spreadsheet is always an effective way of keeping track of job applications. This will allow you to keep on top of which roles specifically you have applied for, which companies, and when you applied.

Here are the key columns:

  • Company Name
  • Contact – The person you have contacted at the company, perhaps who you addressed your cover letter to, such as a Manager of Human Resources.
  • Email – The email of your contact
  • Date Applied – When you submitted the application.
  • Application Summary – Things you submitted, such as a cover letter, CV, and any additional materials, like references.
  • Interview – If you have one and when it is scheduled.
  • Follow-Up – If you have sent a follow-up email
  • Status – What stage of the process are you at, e.g. were you rejected or offered an interview?

Alternatively, you could use the job application tracker in Notion.

Notion Official

#2: Make a list of jobs to apply to

Many career searching sites offer the ability to save jobs that you want to apply for later, and allow you to set job alerts. Use this to keep track of jobs you don’t want to miss out on. 

Make sure to note down the application due date so that you apply for it in time. If you are mainly a mobile user, Monster has an app that lets you save positions for later.

#3: Keep a list of applications you have not completed

It’s important to also keep track of job applications you haven’t completed yet. Be sure to note down all the necessary details such as the company, due date, and the sections of the application that you need to finish. 

If you do your work on multiple devices you can use a spreadsheet on the cloud, such as Google sheets, to have everything in one place.

You could also utilise Kanban software such as Trello or Monday.com

#4: Save the different CVs you send out

When applying for a role, you want to send out a CV that has been tailored and optimised to the role. You want to look out for the skills and experience they are looking for in the job specification and try to mention that in your CV and cover letter. 

When you’ve sent off CVs you want to keep track of which types you have sent off and to who. This will help you when you want to optimise a CV for a new job and want to review old CVs for ideas.

  • Create a ‘Master’ CV
  • Each time you apply for a job, make a copy of your Master CV
  • Rename that CV with your First name, Last name and the name of the company
  • Save the file in a folder on your computer

This helps you to track which CVs you have sent out and makes it easy to look back on CVs to see what can be improved based on your feedback.

Braven

#5: Record contact you’ve had with employers

After you’ve sent an application or just had an interview, it is a good idea to follow-up with your employer. You want to contact them to remind them that you are interested, but not too much to irritate them.

 For this reason, it is wise to make a note of all the communications you have had on a certain application. You can add this to the spreadsheet you have recording the roles you’ve applied for. Record who you have spoken to and when, so you know when it is appropriate to follow up again.  

You also might want to write notes about the details mentioned in conversations with employers. This will help you when you come to follow up, as you will have notes on what has already been discussed and what you want to mention. This will show that you have paid attention in past communications.

Track feedback from any unsuccessful applications. Whilst getting rejected, especially after interviews is not nice, it is a good idea to make a note of all feedback so that you can apply it. Remember, as one door closes, several other open – so do not be discouraged. Instead, use feedback to refine your skills.

#6: Set up job alerts

Most job search websites have tools that will give you a notification when there are relevant jobs openings for your skills. Make sure to regularly check your email, this will save you having to trawl through hundreds of roles on various sites

 If you are overwhelmed with too many roles, filter out the ones that most interest you and record them in a spreadsheet so you can apply for them later.

Monster Jobs

#7: Use a specialist website

If you are wondering how to track job applications with help, there are many websites that offer job search management tools for free or for a small subscription fee.

One popular tool, JibberJobber, which is a good idea if you need help keeping on top of your applications.

Another option is Huntr, which helps you track all the relevant details related to your job search such as opportunities, tasks, notes, and contacts. It also offers a chrome extension which allows you to save jobs from any website in one click so you can find them later.

#8: Use an app

If you use your phone or tablet more than a computer to search for jobs, you should try getting an app to keep track of your applications.

There are many apps such as the Indeed mobile app. This will allow you to upload your CV and apply for roles easily. You can also try out the Glassdoor app. This will allow you apply for jobs and also read reviews of companies and their interview process from current and former employees.

#9: Make a schedule

Job searching can be an arduous process and it is easy to get out of the habit after some weeks without success. Try to set aside some time every day to send off and track applications. How long you spend on this depends on your current situation. 

If you are already employed then maybe commit to just a couple of hours a week. If however, you are unemployed, try to keep a strict plan of applying for jobs and tracking them every day. Essentially, make it your job to apply for jobs. Remember to take regular breaks during the day, to keep your job search motivation high.

#10: Create a list of companies you want to work for

It is worth creating a list of companies you want to work for. It is worth keeping track of them for when they have a role available for your skillset. When applying for these companies, make sure to take extra care when tracking their applications.

When you have a list of the companies you want to especially want to work for, research them thoroughly so that you can tailor your CV and cover letter adequately. You can also prepare STAR interview responses for competency-based questions.

Summary: How to track job applications

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to track job applications. The best way to keep on top of your applications is to use a spreadsheet. You can also check out online tools if you would prefer. Tracking applications is key in the job search process and will help you retain a clear head.

Try to focus on the quality of your applications rather than sending out hundreds of rushed ones. Make sure you are qualified and try to tailor each CV and personalise each cover letter. With an organised system for tracking job applications, you will find yourself working more efficiently and not losing track of your progress.

Featured image credit: Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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