Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Have you ever wanted a low-cost inexpensive way to track your job search efforts? Look no further than your own personal computer, when it comes to preparing a job search organizing tool/spreadsheet that will help you to keep track of the applications you are submitting for jobs. If your computer does not come with Excel or an Excel starter version, most computers come with an electronic spreadsheet program that works pretty much the same.
1 – Log into your spreadsheet software and create a new document.
2 - Give the file an easily recognizable name so you can find it each time you log in. If you’re sharing a computer, try using your name as the first word in the title. For example, “Susie’s Job Log”. Using your name will ensure that no one will accidently delete your file.
2 – Set up the columns. Keep it simple. Give each column a name for each tracking item. For example: employer and address, form of contact, date of contact, follow-up, interview scheduled (Y/N), and date of interview. You may also want to add a column for company contacts, to keep track of who you talk to. You can have as many columns as you want. Remember; try not to make it too elaborate. If the chart becomes too cumbersome, you won’t use it.
3 – Set up the rows. Each row will be used to identify a particular employer. Using the rows instead of the columns to list employers, allow you to add on the worksheet and make it easily printable.
4 – Save the file. Just like any other electronic document, it can be very frustrating when all of your hard work disappears without warning. Keep a copy of your file either hard copy or on a flash drive. You should also make sure that you do regular backups of your computer files. Saving the document on a flash drive is usually best. Flash drives are small, portable and allow you to work on your information anywhere you can log into a computer.
5 – Update the file regularly. The best way to keep a job search organized is to work on organizing it daily. It may be tempting to “do it tomorrow”, but you may forget to write down key information resulting in being unprepared when the hiring manager calls.