By Ashira Prossack

Forbes, May 30, 209.

Between searching for jobs, sending in applications, doing phone screens, and going on interviews, there’s a lot to keep track of when you’re job hunting. Add that to the sheer number of positions you’ll likely be applying to, and it’s easy to lose track of things along the way.

A spreadsheet puts all of the information you need in one place for quick and easy access. It allows you to keep track of everything you’re doing to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

Having your information organized will make it easier to prepare when you’re called in for an interview or get an email from the hiring manager. It serves as a reference document that you can refer to any time you need it. As an added bonus, being organized can help lower stress levels.

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The spreadsheet should include the following:

Position applied to and name of the company. The two most crucial pieces of information to track. Write the job title exactly as it it’s written on the job description so that you use the right terminology when you’re speaking with the hiring manager.

A link to the job application and job description. You’ll want to refer back to the job description before you have your interview. Saving the link to the application will ensure you don’t waste any time going back and searching for the information you need.

Date applied. Keep track of the dates you send applications in so that you know when to follow up, and also when to consider it a no if you haven’t heard back.

How you applied. Write down how you sent in your application. Was it through on online system, referral, by email, LinkedIn, or in person?

Name of the person who referred you. You might be asked how you heard about the job, and this ensures that you won’t forget who referred you. Also, you can write them a thank you note if you get the job.

A status column. This column should have three options – yes, no, or never heard back. It’s very important to have a ‘never heard back’ option, otherwise it can look and feel like an overwhelming amount of rejections. Only mark no for applications that have been directly rejected.

A column to track application progress. This helps you keep track of where you are in the hiring process. The basic steps are applied, phone screen, and interview. Companies can have very different hiring processes, so this column should be customized to each job.

Interview details. Include the time, location, name of interviewer, and any other details you need to remember for the interview.

A communication tracker. Use this column to keep track of your communications such as follow ups and thank you notes.

Resume version. It’s very helpful to keep track of which version of your resume you sent out. If the interviewer asks you to bring a copy, you want to make sure it’s the correct version. It’s also helpful to know so you can reference it correctly during your interview.

There’s no right or wrong way to use the spreadsheet – customize it in the ways that work best for you. You can use colors to help you quickly visualize things or choose to have jobs sorted by application date or status. If you’re not sure how to set those things up, a quick google search of ‘conditional formatting’ will answer all of your questions. It also works great in a bullet journal if you prefer to do things on pen and paper.