Monday, March 2, 2015

Career Advice: Keeping Track of Your Applications

I am aware that I tend to be at the far right side of the overly organized scale. I have so many lists, spreadsheets, and apps for my chaos that I sometimes I make lists to better manage my organization.  Realizing that I am a bit obnoxious, I don't expect everyone to be at my level and I make an effort to consciously remind myself not to get annoyed with other's lack of organizational ability. That being said, I am still annoyed when candidates do not keep track of their job applications.

For example, I will call a candidate who has applied whether it be through Indeed, Monster, The Ladders, LinkedIn, our site, etc. to ask about their background and follow up on their application. I find myself constantly hearing the annoying questions of "What position was this?" "Where is this position?" "What company?" "Hmm, I don't remember applying to that one. What is the title again?" I am consistently surprised because as a recruiter, this tells me you are being lackadaisical with your search. The role isn't really meaningful to you. You half heartedly applied which means you may be unreliable throughout the application process.

I was recently watching an episode from Season 1 of Friends where they are in Monica's apartment stuffing envelopes with Rachel's resume to send to companies she's interested in. Now, you could potentially apply for a position from your phone through a few simple clicks. Because of this ease, people are submitting resumes without much thought. This also explains why I consistently receive resumes of fork lift operators for Director of Human Resources positions.

To avoid any potential embarrassing "What did I apply for?" faux pas during you job application process, I recommend keeping track of each position you apply for. Two years ago, when I was on the hunt, I made an Excel document. In this document, I kept track of the company, position, location, date I applied, source of application, and any contact and follow up I had made since the initial application.

I also recommend keeping track of responses you receive and eliminating them from your document. Yes, I've had people follow up with me after I've already informed them that they were not a good fit for the position. Rejection is hard enough once, don't put yourself through it twice.

If I have a candidate going through the interview process with a client, I send them a copy of the job description for each stage of the process, but not everyone will have a recruiter doing this for them. Often times, companies will only purchase ads for positions on the job boards for a certain amount of time, so if you rely on on the site to keep the job description, the company may have taken it down. Posting jobs on career sites can become a bit costly for companies.  If you happen to like job descriptions, I recommend saving them to reference throughout the process.

Below, I posted a hypothetical example of a potential job applications spread sheet. I made all of these positions up so please do not go looking for them! :)

If you are in the market for a new career opportunity, I hope this helps you stay more organized. It is important to demonstrate ownership of your application process and not rely on any other individual or job site to do it for you. Good luck!



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