How to Track Job Applications Effectively in 5 Simple Steps
Remote Job Hunting
Want your remote job search to be more organized in 2022? Learn how to track job applications and why this matters to your success in this quick guide now!
What’s the best way to track job applications and stay organized on your remote job search?
We’re glad you asked!
Our remote work community says they’re sometimes overwhelmed with the process of looking for their dream role. But if you break down the process into smaller tasks, it’s much easier to stay focused and prevent details from slipping through the cracks.
After all, how many times have you missed out on a role you were interested in because you forgot to apply in time?
We’re not going to let that happen in 2022. New year, new you, right?
So even if you’re not the most organized person on the planet, the five simple steps in this guide will help you effectively track job applications until you score The One.
Grab a notebook, and let’s get to it!
How To Track Job Applications: A Step-by-Step Guide for Remote Workers
We know you’re excited to start browsing open remote roles -- and we’re jazzed for you to do that! But let’s pump the brakes a bit until you understand why taking the time to track job applications is so important for your job search.
See, many remote workers mistakenly skip this crucial step in an effort to save time. However, this blunder will actually cost you more time and may lead to lost opportunities.
Keeping a record of your job hunt movements provides valuable data you can use to fine-tune and optimize your job search moving forward.
Instead of wasting precious time on the same approach without getting any results, you can make necessary adjustments in real-time based on how your previous applications are trending.
For example, your data might reveal that you get more interview requests when you add a specific keyword to your resume. Or you might learn that a cover letter with your picture may be preventing applicant tracking systems (ATS) from moving your application to the next round.
But you may never learn this intel if you’re not keeping track and paying attention.
And since most candidates won’t bother taking this vital step, you’ll improve your success rate and find yourself in a better position to land that coveted remote role you’ve been eying.
So follow these five steps (in order!) to get your job search on track and land your perfect remote role ASAP:
Step 1: Create a Place for Organization To Thrive
Your first task is to create a designated space where you’ll track your entire remote job application process. You’ll want to record everything from start to finish here.
To do that, consider using a notebook, spreadsheet, or Kanban board (like Trello or another project manager).
You’ll want to include places to track:
- Every company’s name
- Where you found them
- How you applied (directly on their website, on a third-party site, etc.)
- The date you applied
- Which cover letter and resume you used
- The hiring manager’s name and contact details
- Any other relevant details or notes
If you really want to take your job search to the next level, check out an awesome tool like Coda, which has this all set up and ready to go for you. Take a look to see how it’s done:
You’ll notice that Coda already made space for the following job tracking categories:
- Need to Apply
- Interview Process
- Offer Extended (not pictured)
These key pieces of information will help you when the time comes to follow up. They’ll also show you which tactics are panning out best, such as which job board has the most open positions in your field or the cover letter that seems to get callbacks more often than not.
As long as you build out this structure before moving on to your next step, you’ll be in good shape.
Once you lay this foundation, you’ll be primed to tackle:
Step 2: Find Remote Jobs That Align With Your Values
Now it’s time for the fun part: start browsing open remote positions and jot down anything from the job ad that jumps out at you or sounds interesting.
Using the organizational tracker you set up in step one, add the companies and positions you’d like to apply to in the first column. Add your notes about why they stand out to you right underneath or on the card itself, depending on which route you chose to take.
You can then use that information in your cover letter and resume to show why this isn’t just another job you’re applying to (hiring teams love this). You can use a tool like CVStep to help you create your resume easily and quickly.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of browsing for remote roles first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, and right before dinner, so you don’t miss out on any new opportunities that pop up.
Or you could set this task on autopilot by using our Curated Jobs feature, which helps you find roles faster as they’re delivered right to your inbox.
If you’re working full-time -- which, by the way, is a much better strategy than quitting without something else lined up -- simply track all the positions that sound good to you throughout the day and apply at night when you have time.
That also happens to be our next step:
Step 3: Apply to Your Top Choices and Keep Track of Everything
As you build your list of jobs to apply to, prioritize your top choices so you can apply to them first and foremost.
Remote roles are in such demand right now that time really is of the essence. You don’t want to let a good role slip through your fingers. Trust us, the best ones are quickly snatched up and filled.
So focus your efforts on your top choices. Then if you have more time, tackle the other jobs you’re looking at later.
Pro Tip: Try to use unique cover letters and resumes for each job you apply to.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you start over each time you apply to a role. But it’s a smart idea to tailor your resume and cover letter to each job.
For example, you may be applying to remote software engineer ads and notice that each company has a different set of needs. One may be looking for someone to build processes from the ground up, while another organization needs someone to consistently make updates and fix problems.
Though each role may advertise the same job title, the day-to-day responsibilities are different.
So you’ll need to carefully decode the secret language of each job description to make the connection between what that remote employer is looking for and how you can help do just that.
As you apply to your top choices, make a special note of the cover letter and resume you used. This is the best way to see which ones get the most traction. Then you can use those cover letters and resumes as a template for the rest of your applications.
Once you get that exciting callback, be ready to:
Step 4: Nail Your Interviews (and Keep Track of Them Too)
While remote interviews aren’t tricky to ace, you definitely shouldn’t wing them and show up unprepared.
- Clean up your interview space. Make sure it’s distraction-free and your background gives off professional vibes. Check for a strong WiFi connection, test your equipment (like your camera and microphone), and pick a classy outfit that reads well on-screen.
- Practice logging into Zoom (or another video conferencing tool). You might need to sign up for a different video conferencing platform and learn where the volume and mute buttons are before your interview. Make sure there aren’t any filters turned on or permissions/access you must grant. Don’t leave these details to the last minute.
- Prepare to answer the most common interview questions -- and don’t forget to come up with a list of questions to ask your interviewer. Set up a solo room in your video platform to practice answering/asking these by yourself to get all the kinks out before the big day. You could also practice with a friend.
Psst! Check out this guide for more virtual interview strategies when you’re done here.
Once you nail your interview, promptly follow up within 24 hours with a personalized note. Thank your interviewer for their time, include any additional questions you may have thought of since your meeting, and add any other notes you want to share.
Record all this in your job tracking tool so you know exactly where things stand on your end. Go over this information every few days, so you can make those crucial adjustments to your process.
Step 5: Repeat Until You Land Your Dream Remote Role
Fine-tune and repeat this process until you land that remote role you’ve been hoping for.
If you follow all the steps outlined in this guide, that shouldn’t be hard to do and, hopefully, won’t take too long.
The good news is that new remote jobs pop up all the time, so you can keep chugging along until the right remote company for you realizes you’re the perfect fit.
Don’t get discouraged if the process seems to be taking more time than you’d like. Job hunting depression is real, but you can take steps to help minimize the frustration.
Remember: Every “no” helps you fine-tune your approach, which gets you closer to hearing that “Yes, we’d love to hire you! You’re exactly who we’re looking for!”
And that will certainly be worth the wait and all your job-tracking effort.
Now that You Know How To Keep Track Of Job Applications, Let’s Put Your Strategy In Place
You now have a winning game plan to effectively track your remote job applications.
Simply follow the steps in order -- and resist the urge to skip any. You’ll find that your remote job search becomes much more streamlined, effective, and organized. And all those perks will get you one step closer to landing your perfect match.
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