Tracking Your Contacts (organize your job search)

I was cleaning up the Yahoo Groups I’m on (leaving all the dead ones, or the ones that are broadcast only) and out of curiousity I checked the website for Atlanta Job Seekers.  I’ve been on that group for probably 6.5 years.

The website is defunct… it hasn’t been updated since June 26, 2009.  Check out the last post: Tracking your contacts.

Sadly, this post suggests you get a 3 ring binder, 50 copies of their “contact sheet,” 3 copies of their “tracking log,” etc.

This works great in your first week of networking.  After that it becomes an absolute mess.

I know because I tried it (with my own version).

It makes me sad that the Atlanta Job Seekers was saying to do this even three years after I joined their group, and participated.  They should have been promoting JibberJobber back then.

Here’s the saddest part: I still see this horrible advice coming from career “professionals” (even a handful of the ones I network with), career centers at universities and military bases, and faith-based career groups.

Folks, it is 2013!  The world didn’t end last year, and it’s time to move on from paper and Excel to track and manage this very complex thing!

Aside from the functionality differences between web-based vs. paper, there is the longevity of the information you are collecting.

Think about this: let’s say you use a spreadsheet (or paper-based system or something like that) to organize and track your job search.  You land a job.  What happens to the spreadsheet?

Five years later you are intransition, you need the information from your last job search, but it’s gone.  You moved, gave away your computer, had it crash multiple times, etc.  It’s wiped out.  Your backup system is gone.

Best case scenario is that you can still access it.  Great!  But you open it and the notes make NO sense.  The columns… the lack of information, the half-notes… it makes no sense.

Throw it away and start over, from scratch.  Spend a week tweaking columns and rows and sheets.  Waste that time.



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