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Job Application Tracker: Tips on How to Organise Your Job Search

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Job Application Tracker: Tips on How to Organise Your Job Search

by Karien de Villiers

  • Career
  • · April 10 2024
  • · 5 min read
Job Application Tracker

Table of contents

Looking for a job can feel like navigating through a maze of applications, deadlines, and uncertainties. Amidst this whirlwind, maintaining organisation becomes essential. Without a structured approach, the job hunt can become chaotic, causing missed opportunities, and unnecessary stress. 

It's a scenario many can relate to: submitting countless applications, only to struggle to recall the specifics when potential employers come calling. This lack of organisation risks opportunities slipping through the cracks and undermines confidence and clarity in the job application process. 

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However, by recognising the significance of organisation and implementing effective strategies to streamline your job search, individuals can significantly enhance their prospects of job success. From tracking job applications to establishing clear follow-up protocols, taking proactive steps towards being organised empowers you to navigate the complexities of the job market confidently and efficiently.

Tips on how to track job applications

1. Create a centralised system

Start by establishing a centralised system to track your job applications. This could be a spreadsheet, a dedicated notebook, or a digital task management tool. Include columns or sections for essential details such as job title, company, application deadline, status, and any follow-up actions required. If you are using a table layout, keep it as simple as the following.

Job

Applied

Not yet applied

CV

Cover letter

Link

Yes

-

CS CV

CS CL

Link

Yes

-

AM CV

AM CL

Link

-

In progress

Sales CV

To be created

The secret to writing a good CV is tailoring it to the job so that both humans and applicant tracking systems can read it. For your job application tracker, we suggest tailoring it to suit your goals, perhaps incorporating additional details such as the following:

  1. Position: Ensure to include the job title with a hyperlink for easy access.

  2. Location: Specify the geographical location of the job and indicate if it's remote or hybrid. Alternatively, consider a separate column dedicated to this information.

  3. Contact information: Provide the name of the recruiter or hiring manager along with their precise title.

  4. Application status: Track whether you have applied or not yet applied. This allows for better organisation of your job search efforts.

  5. Date of application: Adding this field provides insight into when to follow up and analyse application responses.

  6. Interview details: Extend this into multiple columns for different interview phases (e.g., interview 1, 2, 3) and specify the type (phone call, in-person) along with the respective dates.

  7. CV: Ensure tailored CVs to optimise your job search effectiveness for each role.

  8. Cover letter: Customise cover letters accordingly to enhance your application's impact.

  9. Additional notes: Provide space for any extra details or reminders related to the application process.

If any of the mentioned positions catch your eye, feel free to delve into the matching CV and cover letter samples provided below.

2. Set clear goals

Define your career goals and objectives to guide your job search efforts. Identify the types of roles and industries you're targeting, as well as any specific companies of interest. Clear goals will help you narrow your search and focus your efforts on relevant opportunities.

For example, if you are targeting jobs within the hospitality sector, make sure your hospitality CV and hospitality cover letter match.

matching CV and cover letter

3. Research thoroughly

Take the time to research potential employers and job openings thoroughly. Evaluate company culture, mission statements, and job descriptions to determine if they align with your values and skills. Keep notes on each company and role to reference during the application process.

While some individuals may be content with any job opportunity, for others, the company's culture holds significant importance. If you are driven by a passion for sustainability or aiding others, ensure that the positions you apply for align with your values.

Explore our guides tailored for these roles to enhance your job search experience. Examples of such positions include:

4. Customise your applications

Tailor your CV and cover letter to each job application to highlight your qualifications and fit for the role. Referencing specific job requirements and incorporating relevant keywords can increase your chances of catching the employer's attention.

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Pro Tip

Create a good filing system using straightforward naming conventions for easy tracking. This ensures seamless retrieval and monitoring of your CV and cover letter versions.

5. Follow up regularly

After submitting an application, make a note to follow up with the employer if you haven't heard back within a reasonable timeframe. Use your job tracking system to schedule follow-up reminders and document any communication with hiring managers or recruiters.

6. Stay organised with networking

Networking is an essential aspect of the job search process. Keep track of your networking activities, including meetings, events attended, and connections made. Cultivate relationships with industry professionals and leverage your network for job referrals and recommendations.

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Pro Tip

Ensure your LinkedIn profile is current and aligns with the information presented in your CV or cover letter.

For more tips, refer to our article on how to improve your LinkedIn profile.

7. Stay persistent and flexible

Job searching can be challenging and unpredictable, so staying persistent and flexible is essential. Keep refining your approach based on feedback and market trends, and don't get discouraged by setbacks. Celebrate small victories along the way and maintain a positive mindset throughout your job search.

Challenges associated with not tracking job applications

One of the challenges of not tracking job applications is the potential for missed opportunities; a system in place to monitor where you've applied and deadlines can help you remember to follow up and not miss out on any promising leads. Additionally, not tracking job applications can result in duplicating efforts, as you may unknowingly apply to the same position multiple times.

Key takeaways

Becoming more organised in your job search can significantly simplify the process and alleviate stress. Similar to creating a master CV when writing your CV, having a structured approach means you'll spend less time searching for job postings and more time focusing on crafting quality applications. With these tips on how to be more organised, you can feel more confident in your job search journey.

  • It facilitates effective time management, allowing you to allocate dedicated periods for research opportunities.

  • It allows you to maintain a clear overview of your progress and the status of each application.

  • It enables you to tailor your CV and cover letter to specific roles and companies, increasing your chances of standing out as a strong candidate.

Next steps?

We offer a range of CV templates and an extensive library of CV examples and cover letter examples that can be tailored to suit your individual preferences. Alternatively, if you are looking for expert advice, our CV Writing Service might be the option for you. 

FAQ

To effectively keep track of your job search, consider using a combination of digital tools and traditional methods. You can utilise calendars or planners to schedule follow-up dates, interviews, and networking events alongside spreadsheets or job search tracking apps.

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Pro Tip

Regularly update your records with any new developments or feedback received, and take the time to review and reflect on your progress to make adjustments as needed in your job search approach.

Does it help to follow up on a job application?

Yes, it demonstrates your proactive approach, genuine interest in the position, and commitment to the opportunity. It also allows you to reiterate your qualifications and enthusiasm for the role, potentially keeping you at the forefront of the employer's mind amidst other applicants.

What is job search tracking?

Job search tracking encompasses systematically monitoring and managing your job search activities. This includes not only submitting applications but also networking efforts, attending career fairs or job interviews, and following up on leads or referrals.

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Updated April 10 2024

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Written by

Karien has established herself as a leading figure in the career services industry, crafting over 800 professional documents and assisting job seekers globally with reviews such as "I'd hire me". Renowned for her expertise, she continues to empower individuals, specialising in creating resources to aid job seekers in securing employment and staying ahead in the ever-evolving job market. Start here today!

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