Learn How to Utilize Spreadsheets to Organize Your Job Search

by Rich DeMatteo on January 6, 2012 · 27 comments

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Emily Hankinson is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh where she majors in Communications and is working toward a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. She also served as the PR and Social Media Coordinator for her service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma. Emily Tweets regularly and blogs at emilyhankinson.tumblr.com.

 

 

2012 is finally here and like many people, I’ve made a few resolutions for myself. First and foremost, my main goal is to find a job and get my professional career started. This is a daunting task, but even more stressful when I think to add my internship, full course load and extracurricular activities into the mix.

How on Earth will I be able to manage all of this in the next few months?

If you’re a job seeker like me, I’m sure you’re feeling overwhelmed as well. Luckily, your job hunt can be made a little easier if you stick to one main organizational tactic this year. Not only will this help you to keep everything pertaining to your job search together, but it will help you to feel a little more on top of your personal life as well.

The best way to stay organized is to create a job search spreadsheet. Save this document on your desktop because I can guarantee you will be using it a lot! Programs like Microsoft Excel make staying organized super easy, especially for job seekers. I will use this program as an example.

At the bottom of the screen you will see that the program is broken up into “sheets.” I recommend designating one sheet to networking contacts and one to resumes and interviews, just to get started.

Networking Sheet:  Decide which method of organization will work best for you. If you only have a few contacts, alphabetical might be the best way to go, but if you have several connections at the same city or company, you might consider organizing it that way. Don’t forget, the spreadsheet can always be modified in the future.

After you’ve decided what your main way of organizing will be, break each contact down as much as you can. For example, create blocks containing their Name, Company, Position, Email, Phone Number, Twitter Handle, City, State and Notes. The notes block is where you can write details to help you remember each contact such as how you got connected with them, a personal connection (ex: you both attended the same university), or any other details. This will not only help you to remember them, but will give you a quick and easy reference point to bring to future conversations to help your contact remember you as well.

Resume and Interviews Sheet:  This sheet is key to staying organized.  If you plan on applying for several jobs this year, you can easily lose track of key details which can really hurt your chances of getting hired. To avoid this, Rich DeMatteo from Corn on the Job gives examples of details to add to your resume and interviews sheet such as:               

Update both of these sheets as often as you can so that your information is always the most recent. Even if you don’t get a job offer, don’t delete the contact information name. You never know when you will need that person in the future! Remember, the job search is difficult for everyone, but if you stay organized you will have a better handle on the hunt, and will easily find time for your personal life as well!

Have you used a job search spreadsheet before? What sort of information did you add to yours? I’d love to read your comments below!

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20 comments
ancaserbanm
ancaserbanm

What about an online tool to do that?

Try this organizing site for work or home - easy to use agenda organizer to manage and share contents - work, recipes, photos, articles, projects, links, anything:

www.seeagenda.com

It allows organizing contents in categories, share them with other users or publish them to all visitors.

Cezary Pietrzak
Cezary Pietrzak

Emily – a spreadsheet is great if you’re a Type A personality, but most people don’t have the time or the discipline to fill one out. We created Huntsy (http://www.huntsy.com) to automate the job search process into a single dashboard, so that job applicants can focus on high-value tasks like finding the right opportunity or preparing for interviews. And we’re doing it using modern technologies, including 1) a bookmark tool to pull job information from around the web, 2) game mechanics and email reminders to keep track of your progress, 2) email client + calendar integration, and 4) social network integration that uncovers hidden connections and opens the doors for warm introductions. Best of all, the app is free. Have a look and let us know what you think!

Cezary Pietrzak
Cezary Pietrzak

Emily - a spreadsheet is great if you're a Type A personality, but most people don't have the time or the discipline to fill one out. We created Huntsy (www.huntsy.com) to automate the job search process into a single dashboard, so that job applicants can focus on high-value tasks like finding the right opportunity or preparing for interviews. And we're doing it using modern technologies, including 1) a bookmark tool to pull job information from around the web, 2) game mechanics and email reminders to keep track of your progress, 2) email client + calendar integration, and 4) social network integration that uncovers hidden connections and opens the doors for warm introductions. Best of all, the app is free. Have a look and let us know what you think!

Coleman Foley
Coleman Foley

Another great tool for organizing your job search is Workflowy(https://workflowy.com/), an outlining app. It has really helped me in my job search. It's a place to dump everything you want to note--bookmarks, to-dos, everything. The idea of Workflowy is to put your whole life into a list. It is great for things that are not very structured, like job hunting.

Kelly
Kelly

I would also track where you found the job. Like maybe you get great response to jobs you apply to in LinkedIn or via referral or a job board or directly through a company's website.

Dennis
Dennis

Some great ideas and links. I've checked out all the tools, but do some of them provide a place to track job search related expenses? If not, that is something you might choose to track on a sheet or in Quicken or other finance tool. They can be deducted on your taxes.

Jobpad geek
Jobpad geek

try JobPad tool at www.jobpadhq.com. In addition to organizing job search, it helps job seekers to land in a job quickly with lot of automation utilities and actionable data/ intelligence.

Nancy
Nancy

I take advantage of google docs. It's great because I can make spread sheets to keep track of the jobs I've applied to and it is all linked to my professional email account.

Jeff Dibble
Jeff Dibble

I love the enthusiasm, but I'd ditch the spreadsheet. Why not use an actual CRM tool for your own network and job search ? Check out what Jason Alba put together back in 2006 - plus it's FREE. www.JibberJobber.com If you'd like, I'm happy to give you an intro to him for other ideas... Best wishes with the job search!

David Sickmiller
David Sickmiller

Sounds like a great idea! I definitely recommend keeping tracking of both networking -- lots of good-intentioned people need a reminder to get back to you -- as well as job applications, because when the recruiting calls back 4 weeks after you applied, it's awkward to ask them to remind you what the job was again -- and it might not be posted any more. If you don't like doing so much data entry, using http://www.44score.com/ can automatically save your information from employer websites and job boards. Disclaimer: I work for 44score.

Jobdiagnosis
Jobdiagnosis

Yes, I always advise my friends to manage the job search related data. Using spreadsheets during a job search doesn't only organize things, but it can also help to keep track of the progress. Thanks for sharing the idea!

Mac McClain
Mac McClain

An alternative to a spreadsheet is http://www.jobmango.com. It is an online tool that acts kind of like a website, but also reminds you to followup and logs all your activity so that you can report to the unemployment office.

Kim
Kim

I actually decided to start using a spread sheet a couple of months ago to track the jobs I applied to. I never thought of using one for networking purposes! I think I like your method instead. Great post!

Emily Hankinson
Emily Hankinson

Awesome suggestion, Kelly. That seems like a really great way to stay even more organized! Thanks for reading!

Dennis
Dennis

Sorry should have said I haven't checked out all the sites.

koanhead
koanhead

Jobmango looks good, but there's no Privacy Policy nor Terms of Service documented on the site where one can look them over prior to divulging personal information. In other words, I have no way of knowing this isn't some way of mining (real name, email, IP address) data for scammers, spammers, or botnets.

Emily Hankinson
Emily Hankinson

Wow, what a cool website Mac! Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone!

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  1. [...] • LEARN HOW TO UTILIZE SPREADSHEETS TO ORGANIZE YOUR JOB SEARCH [...]

  2. [...] • LEARN HOW TO UTILIZE SPREADSHEETS TO ORGANIZE YOUR JOB SEARCH [...]

  3. [...] comments section of Emily Hankinson's post on Rich DeMatteo's blog, Corn on the Job. http://www.cornonthejob.com/care… I'd like to hear from people who have tried out some of the online tools the readers [...]

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