Last week I asked for reader input about ways to keep track of job applications (as opposed to just job postings). You certainly delivered! Here is a compilation of suggestions for this important process.
- Don’t underestimate the power of paper records. Commenters tanyaroth, our own drnels, and angelahelen all mentioned that they keep manila folders with items for each application, with good success.
- Organization is important. Whether it’s a system of physical file folders or digital ones, deep file structure can be very helpful for keeping track of what item has gone out to what job.
- Retain an exact copy of the job description. Several commenters emphasized the importance of this, because online job postings can be fleeting and be taken down even if the search is still going on. You can keep track of the official job posting by hanging on to a paper copy, scanning a paper copy to digitize it, saving a webpage as a pdf (perhaps using a small program like CutePDF, which adds a printer option that actually prints the page to a pdf, rather than to a physical printer), or using a program such as Evernote or OneNote to capture the information. If you are using an RSS feed reader to watch for job postings, the reader should retain a copy as well.
- Low-tech tools can be helpful. Word processing documents and spreadsheets were mentioned as helpful for keeping track of deadlines and to-do items.
- Über-tools pull it all together. While they require a bit of investment, several commenters declared that programs such as Interfolio and OmniFocus were invaluable for managing the job application process.
We thank you for your input on this very important topic! Comment below if you have any other pointers to add.