Telecommuters: Keep Track Of Your Job Searches

By: Nell Taliercio

Chances are your job search will entail much more than applying for just a couple different jobs. It will be vitally important that you have a tracking system in place. Don't rely on memory; you'll need to keep track of which jobs you applied for; if you received a response; and also record all follow up information.

Some people prefer to use a spreadsheet to keep track. Set up the column headings listed above and just be certain to keep it updated. One benefit of using a spreadsheet is that you can easily sort it by different columns. You may want to keep it alphabetized by company name; or by date applied.

Yet others would rather utilize folders within their email program. The only real downside is that you may have to create an email to yourself because some companies have an online form for you use. Send yourself a message that says "I applied to ABC Company today". If you do send any correspondence via email make sure you BCC yourself so you have an electronic paper trail.

One of the simplest tracking techniques is to create a Word document. Take advantage of the strikethrough option under fonts; or color code pending jobs. Entries could look something like this:

1. ABC Company, abcco.com 6/1/06, from Telecommuting Moms, acknowledgment 6/20/06, still pending.

2. Wally's Widgets, wallyswidgets.com, 6/1/06, thanks but no thanks 7/02/06

3. Excellent Enterprises, job@excellentent.com, from local press, 6/4/06

19. Auction Alley, aa.info, found on Craig's list 7/16/06, follow up phone call 8/3/06

20. St. Elmo's Society, no web, Sue told me about it, 7/17/06, follow-up email sent 8/15/06

34. XYZ Company, xyz.com, 9/26/06, from Telecommuting Moms.

The method you choose to track your job searches is not important; it's the actual data that will be most valuable to you. To get the most benefit from your tracking, keep the following data: job name, company name, company link, where you found the job, when you applied, and when you heard back.

Even if you're not typically an organized person, you'll need to be for your job search. By keeping track you have something tangible to see on days when you're feeling discouraged (it'll verify that you've been busy!). You can also reference the dates in your follow-up communication, "On August 12, 2006 I applied for the position of .... I am still very much interested in this position, etc."

Don't give up. Job searching can be a daunting task. However you can't win if you don't play. Your efforts will be rewarded!

Careers and Job Hunting
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