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How to Track and Follow up on Your Resume Submissions


Before you send your resume with its impeccably written cover letter, make certain you are as organized in your job search as you promise to be on the job. There are several different parts of the process to keep track of, which makes an excel spreadsheet the perfect organizational tool.

Keep Track of Your Resume

Your resume tracking spreadsheet can be as minimal as these 4 columns:

  • Date Submitted
  • Company Name
  • Job Description
  • Comments

This information will help you keep track of where you sent your resume and the date you sent it. Knowing the date you sent the resume will help you decide when to follow-up and when you can move your focus to the next job opportunity.

More Items to Track

A more involved resume tracking spreadsheet could include the sections: Contact Person, Submission Media and Follow-Up. A column for submission media tells you where you heard about the job or company and if you submitted your resume via snail mail, email or an electronic job board. The column for follow-up action is the place to note if the company does not want applicants to contact them by phone. It is also the place to decide how you will follow up with employers who state no restriction against phone calls. In this section you should also note the date of your follow-up.

Follow-Up Communication

There are varying opinions about whether or not you should follow-up on the resumes you send out to prospective employers. The first thing to note is whether or not the job advertisement forbids phone calls. If they don't specifically say, then the decision is up to you. The arguments against calling present a more modern outlook on job hunting. Common arguments are that human resources employees don't have time for your phone call and that all the information they need to choose an applicant is right in front of them.

A more traditional attitude maintains that if you want the hiring party to remember you, you should call them on the phone to fix your voice and your resume in their mind. If phone-based charming is not your forte, then consider a brief email. If you do decide to call, keep your call short, to the point and upbeat, even if they don't schedule an interview on the spot.

Thank You Note

If you do secure an interview, a follow up thank you note or email is essential. The person who reads the resumes and chooses the job applicants will appreciate a short letter or email thanking them for their time and consideration. It is also another tool for helping them remember you either in the present or in the future.

When you embark on a job hunt, keep track of the resumes you send out to potential employers with an excel spreadsheet. The most basic spreadsheet should tell you the name of the company and the date you submitted your resume. Decide on a case by case basis whether or not to place a follow-up phone call and always remember to say thank you with a written letter or an email.

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