And while some people may argue that keeping a log is really time-consuming, I would have to say that it really doesn’t have to be. You can basically write information down in whatever format you feel comfortable with. Here are the quick and easy steps that I usually follow when I use a work search log:
In the Applications section:
- Write down the date, name of the company, position applied for and an abbreviation for the items submitted: cover letter (cv), resume (r), application (ap), references (ref) and so on.
- Make a note of the basic requirements/qualifications needed for the position.
- Number each job/position if I apply for more than one position on any given day.
In the Calendar section:
- Count two weeks from the date of application and mark the date to follow up on by writing down the date of application and the job number-make a note of how you need to follow-up such as via e-mail, phone or the company website.
In the Contacts section:
- Make a list of topics discussed at each job interview.
- Write down the names of any important contacts, the date(s) they were contacted and mark your calendar for any follow-up dates.
- Number each contact and identify each person by their number instead of having to write down their full name.
It takes just a few minutes of my time to write all of this information down and then I go back and rename the file(s) I have for the resume and cover letter I’ve submitted and save each document according to the job number and date of application. Each day, I can start by looking at my calendar to ensure that I follow-up on any job applications or job leads. At the end of the week or once a month, I can also use the log to review my progress, set new goals and check for new openings with any of the companies I’ve applied to in the previous months.
Keep in mind that you can type all of this information into Outlook or your favorite word processing program-just make sure that you can easily access it throughout the day to keep it updated. Also, don’t try to wait until the end of the week to update it—as you will most likely forget all of these details and it will be pretty difficult to catch up. Keep your work search log well-organized and it will be extremely helpful throughout your job search.