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Create a Tracking Sheet and Job-Hunt File

If you're like me, if you don't write it down or print it out and file it, you can't keep track of what you did from one day to the next. When it comes to your job search, imagine the embarrassment of sending multiple résumés to the same company. You'll come across as disorganized and dimwitted, not to mention wasting your time. And that's what organization is all about: saving time.

Call it a job journal if you will. In fact, you could and should get a planner and jot down what you do from day to day (or week to week) in addition to the tracking sheet and job-hunt file you're going to set up.

First things first: the tracking sheet (see Figure 3.2). You can create a computer file (such as an Excel or a Word table) to track your efforts or make it by hand. Either way, your tracking sheet should have these column headers and look roughly like the one in the figure.

Figure 3.2 The job search tracking sheet will help you stay on top of your efforts, as well as follow-up activities.

In addition to the tracking sheet, print out all jobs postings you reply to and attach a copy of the cover letter and résumé you sent. Then, start a file or binder to store all your materials, including networking contact information and activity, as well as printouts of company research findings.

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