JibberJobber has been called a lot of things, but what we specialize in is how to track jobs in your job search. Since 2006 we have been on a mission to help people who outgrow the job search spreadsheet (which is a great job tracker for about the first two weeks of a serious job search) use an online and more sophisticated job tracker to keep track of all of the stuff that comes your way. Here are the steps to use a job tracker app to manage your job search:
- Track new contacts you make while in your job search
- Track everyone you send a resume to
- Track who who you have interviewed with
- Track every target company
- Track conversations or touchpoints you have with everyone
- Track any follow up you need to do
- Track every job you have applied to, or been interested in
I realize each of these might seem like overkill but let me go back to the “spreadsheet is good for about two weeks” idea. A job search is HARD for many reasons. It can be one of the most emotionally taxing things you go through. You can do everything you should and find that hiring managers and recruiters put you off for months, and networking goes south. There’s nothing linear about a long, hard job search. The last thing you need is to be so disorganized that you can’t communicate well with people, your forget follow up opportunities… you even forget that you have applied to certain jobs at certain companies (I’ve done all three).
Let’s go into each of steps to track a job search listed above:
Use a job tracker app to track new contacts
A job seeker should network. Period. No ifs-ands-or-buts about it. You should talk to people, hopefully getting introductions to more people. Then you talk to them and get more introductions. Supposedly most jobs are found because of networking. This happens when people know and trust you… and when they know about you. Getting known, and sharing what your brand is, should be a significant part of your job search. I started to make traction only when I got out and talked with people, not when I spent hours and hours and hours applying to jobs online.
JibberJobber is a great replacement to the job search spreadsheet to track jobs.
Use a job tracker app to track where you send resumes
Regardless of how much networking you do you will send your resume, or fill in an online application. I’ve gone through the job offer process and been asked, after accepting the job, “will you fill this out so we have you in our HR system?” If you find a job posting that is PERFECT for you, apply for it! I’m not going to tell you to not apply for jobs online. But once you apply for it, figure out how you can network into that job, or the decision maker for that job. Tracking who gets your resume might seem easy but then consider which version of which resume you sent to who? I might give someone two or three different resumes, depending on the job I’m applying to. Fun fact: it was when I had applied to six different jobs at eBay, which was just a few miles from my house, that my spreadsheet blew up. It was too confusing to track so much complexity with a spreadsheet (as opposed to a relational database).
Use a job tracker app to track who you have interviewed with
I know you won’t forget who you interview with… for a day or two. But once you start having a lot of conversations with people, and more and more interviews, and let’s throw in some panel interviews just to multiply the number of interviewers… it gets confusing! If there is anyone you SHOULD NOT forget, and definitely SHOULD foll0w up with, it is the person/people who interviewed you! These are the main influencers and decision makers you need to have conversations with!
In JibberJobber you should keep track of every person you interview with and then try to network with them, when the time is right. Look, there’s so much volatility in our careers that we really need to be open to to expanding our professional networks, even with people who don’t choose us to work with them on a particular job or project. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be on the other side of the table from them!
Use a job tracker app to keep track of your target companies
Target companies… I thought this was such a boring part of the job search. My target company was any company that would actually hire me. The more desperate I got the less targeted I got. I’ve come to realize that having a list of target companies is critical. Knowing your target companies can help you have a more focused job search, better conversations, and make decisions on where to spend your time. Tracking who is at your target company, and what conversations you have with them, is a critical part of networking.
Having a current list of target companies will help you in many more ways than just knowing what your target companies are. I thought this was a data point but soon came to realize your target companies are central to a successful job search strategy. (Speaking of job search strategy, check out the Job Search Program)
Use a job tracker app to log important and relevant conversations
Alright.. we’ve talked about resumes, companies, people… those generally don’t change much. Names and numbers and email addresses generally don’t change. But here’s what does: where you are at with each of them. We track this in JibberJobber with “log entries,” which is basically any touchpoint, even any thought, that is relevant. Did you talk to a recruiter after an interview and get good information? That should go into a log entry. Did you email someone, have a phone call, or talk to someone at a networking event who could help you in your job search? That should go into a log entry. Not just that it happened but any details around the conversation.
Have you learned something about a job or target company that you want to keep track of? Put it into a log entry. It’s easy to think you’ll remember all these details but putting these things in a log entry can give you a peace of mind that you need in your job search. This can help you with interviews, networking, and how you position yourself.
Use a job tracker app to track any and all follow up
Follow up is one of the secret weapons of effective job seekers. Imagine the opposite: you talk to people, you interview, you send your resume… and you wait around for people to get back with you. Look, here’s the deal: people are busy! I’m busy! This morning I made a little to do list to get a bunch of ideas out of my mind and make sure I do certain things by end of day. I probably listed about 20 things on that list! I guarantee the people you are talking with… that friend who said they’d introduce you to their boss, or someone on a panel interview that said they’d get back to you on something… are busy! They want to. They have the best of intentions of helping you! But they are busy. Don’t sit around waiting for them to get to you. Instead, keep a list of your follow-up opportunities, and YOU work your list.
Can you imagine a salesperson just sitting around waiting for everyone to get back to them? Nope. Good salespeople will be proactive and reach out. As a job seeker, you need to get really good at the art of follow up.
Use a job tracker app to track jobs you find and/or apply to
Here’s another thing I didn’t realize was so important to keep track of. Tracking jobs you like, and especially jobs you apply to, is critical. These jobs can show you patterns of hiring at companies an in industries. If you record the job descriptions you’ll have some great information on words and phrases you could use in job interviews. Learning about the trends in a company or industry can help you have the right language when networking or in an interview. Oh yeah… do I even need to mention that you should keep the job description you apply to because by the time you interview you might not be able to find it online? That would be awkward… you want to know the exact title and the points in the description so you have a better interview.
Tracking your job search can feel tedious at first. But the more you track, and the more details you add, the better your job search should go when you have a lot of activity. The alternative is feeling like you are constantly confused, missing things, and wondering if you have follow up you should do.