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How to Create a Table to Track Job Applications

by Ruth Mayhew

An organized job search can lead to a productive and fruitful process. If you've embarked upon a guerrilla search for employment, keeping track of your sign-on information for online application processes and interview times can be confusing. Using a spreadsheet or table simplifies matters, making it easier to stay on top of your search to leave more time for important tasks, such as researching company history and rehearsing your interview responses.

Use a word processing or spreadsheet application to create your table. For an extensive job search, make a separate table for each month of your search, or separate your job search efforts according to other categories, such as public sector and private sector job applications, or in-town applications and long-distance applications.

Title the left-hand column "Company." Type the names and website addresses of companies you apply to on the vertical axis of your table. List these from top to bottom in the left column of your table, followed by each company's URL.

Label the next column "User Name/Password." List your log-in credentials for each company's careers page. If the company doesn't have an online application process, type "N/A" in the column.

Type "Application Date" in the next column over, which will be your third column from the left margin. The next column should be labeled "Position," though you can put position before application date if you prefer. If applying for more than one position at a company, leave enough spaces between company names. This way, you can put each position and application date on a separate row for easier reference.

Create at least two columns for "Status." Some employers enable applicants to check their application status online. In this case, it's helpful to list whether the job order was canceled, filled or if you withdrew your candidacy. These two columns are separate from the following columns, which indicate your interview activity.

Type column headers for three successive columns for "Phone Interview," "In-Person Interview" and "Final Interview." All employers don't conduct three interviews, but this gives you enough space for those who do. In each column, put the interview date. After the interview, type "TY" to indicate that you've sent a thank-you note.

Make two final columns: one for "Decision" and another for "Notes." In the "Notes" section, include advice you received from a recruiter or hiring manager, a referral's name or future openings at the company.

Tips

  • Maintain your cover letters and resumes in a separate word processing application. Name your word processing files with the company names and application month to make it consistent with your spreadsheet.
  • Don't make your spreadsheet so wide that you can't see where you stand without having to scroll several columns over to see your status. If your spreadsheet is too wide, it won't be fully useful. Therefore, list contact information for the company's recruiter or hiring manager below the company name.

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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