Tracking your job search progress seems like an obvious thing to do, however few of us take the time to do such a thing.
There are many benefits to be gained from tracking your job search progress, not least the fact it’s a fantastic way to stay organised, but it will also help you to measure your progress and setbacks, to gauge how best to spend your time and resources, and where to make improvements to ensure greater success.
Here Killian O’Leary, Partner with Barden’s IT practice, and expert in cyber security and senior IT careers shares 3 steps to help you track and organise your job search.
Step 1: Organising your job search
As for how to organise your job search, you’ll need to do two things: make time, and find a system that works for you!
Most job applications are done entirely online these days. And whether you’re sending your application via email, or an applicant tracking system (ATS), you’re likely storing each custom cover letter and tailored resume on a computer (or in the cloud) before you submit it.
Consider creating a folder, or system of folders, to help you keep track of your applications. Not only will this give you a record of where and when you applied, you’ll also know exactly what you said in each cover letter and resume to each company. It also means that when you need to write a cover letter or CV you’ll have a bank of these to hand, and won’t have to start from scratch each time.
Step 2: Journaling
The job application process can sometimes be overwhelming and there is always the tendency to apply for lots of roles just to give yourself a chance of securing one role! Whilst it’s certainly a ‘good process’ to have your CV in front of as many audiences as possible, this approach can be fraught with pitfalls.
Applying to lots of different roles can be make it very difficult and complicated when it comes to tracking all the different places your details have been sent, and on top of that it’s harder to find the time to follow up on all the applications.
What will set your job application journey up for real success is having a good journaling tracking system in place!
This could be as simple as writing down on a Monday morning what roles you have applied for, through what medium (i.e. company website, LinkedIn, job site etc), the job title & ref number, the key point of contact for the role, etc… This ensures you have all the key information in one place, and when that important call comes through from the hiring manager you can find the application info’ easily, and are ready to talk and engage.
Step 3: The follow up
When for instance you apply for a role on a Monday, the suggestion is to diarise five working days ahead to follow-up. So, when you come to the next Monday morning you already have a focus that morning i.e. to follow up on your applications from the previous Monday.
This way you will fill your days with proactive activity. It will also spark a real positive energy which should help if you happen to be called for an interview subsequently.
I’d also suggest that where you can you do your follow up by phone. It’s far more personal than an email, and is a better way to build a relationship with the person doing the hiring.
I would also suggest following up by picking up the phone, if at all possible, as its harder to build a relationship over email. This is where having a key point of contact (mentioned above) comes into play.
Your CV is just too important to leave to chance. It’s the most personal document you will ever create. It represents your professional life story and holds the key to your future hopes, dreams and aspirations. It represents you when you are not in the room. It is what makes you stand out from the crowd. Get it right and it will work tirelessly for you. Get it wrong and it will close doors before you even get the chance to open them.
When it comes to sending your CV it’s important to apply a measured approach to job applications. Be in control of where you’re sending it. If you’re dealing with a recruiter ask them to confirm (via email) when and where your CV has been sent. This not only helps you keep track of where your CV is going, but will ensure another recruiter doesn’t also send your CV for the same role!!
Treat the job search & application process as a job in itself and you’ll never know where it might take you.
Ultimately, getting good at tracking and organising your job search can help you identify what strategies work best for you,!
Get In Touch
If you’d like more information about tracking and organising your job search, or would like to speak with someone about the next steps in your professional career get in touch with Killian at firstname.lastname@example.org.