Maintenance Diary Templates And Tips

Keeping your job-hunting activities organized can mean the difference between getting that job or losing it to a more organized applicant. Staying organized means you will be able to easily respond when a potential employer calls.

Creating and Maintaining Your Job Hunt Diary

Getting organized is essential to surviving a job hunt. Take some time before plunging in to assess your strategy and get organized. It is a mistake to wait until you have sent out a dozen or so resumes before you attempt to recall just who you sent them to, when you sent them, and why you wanted to send them in the first place. Follow this simple strategy and you will be well prepared when a potential employer calls for an interview.

Starting the Process

Getting started means deciding how you want to organize your hunt. The format you choose should fit your personal needs, be easily accessible and in some way portable.

First, choose the medium you will record your diary with. This can be a notebook, index cards, file folders, a word processing program or any combination of the above. You can also search the web for templates that provide a format for your job-hunting diary or you can create your own templates.

Know that your job search will probably include responses to newspaper ads, online ads and face-to-face as well as cold call networking. It will also undoubtedly use membership sign-up to several job oriented websites, such as Monster.com. Much of this information will be printable from online web sites and some of it will need to be hand-written or typed into a document. If you choose to keep everything in a word processing format you will need access to a scanner.

If you find yourself mixing formats do not be concerned, this is fine so long as you are able keep track of your job diary easily. Do not make this process overly complicated for yourself. Locating or creating your own templates can keep things uniform and professional looking.

Next, keeping your documentation process in mind, begin your record keeping by creating avenues for storing your job-hunting information like this: folders for each website you sign-up with, folders for each job you apply for, folders for each job-hunting event you attend, and folders for each lead or contact you make.

The Process Looks Like This

1. Keep track of all job-oriented websites you may join.

Create a separate file folder, document, or notebook for each job website that you sign-up for. Keep a copy of your documents created for that site in this file. This will include printing and saving your sign-up information. This information might include your account name and password, and the level of privacy you have indicated as well as the agreements you may have digitally signed. Include a printed copy of the resume you have created for this site and the date it was created. Keep a running list of the companies you responded to on this website.

2. Keep track of every job that you have applied for.

You can do this in several ways either by keeping track of them by company name and then breaking it down by jobs, if you have applied for more than one position with the same company, or track this by job title or even by date and job title. You will want to track the job title, identifying number that may accompany it, the employer name and location information, including a contact name and phone number, and the date you applied for the position. Note the version of the resume you applied with and the cover letter you wrote specifically for that application. Keep a hard copy of these documents so that you can refer to them during a phone or face-to-face conversation.

Using a separate page, record any contact or conversations you had with this potential employer by date, time, contact name and a description of what was said. This will include interviews as well as feedback. Keep track also of the follow-up you may have done. This will include phone calls, faxes and thank you notes you may have sent.



Cross-reference your job application files with the possible websites they may have been found on. Make note on the outside of the folder, or within the document name, where you first found the position posted.

3. Track all of the networking you have done.

Keep files for each event you have attended and each lead someone may have given you directly. Keep track of these in a similar manner to the effort you made with your job website applications.

Keep a folder on each event you attend for networking purposes. Print out any information you have from an online registration or from an in person registration. Note the date of the event, the name of the event and where it was held. Make notes about the outcome of the event and what your experience was in attending the event. Keep a list of all of the people you met at the event in the folder.

4. Finally, track contacts or leads made outside of events.

Create a separate folder for each person you are given as a lead. Often when having a conversation with a peer they will give you several names of contacts to follow up on. Give each of those contacts their own folder and note who it was that gave you the contact name and the date they gave it to you. You might even note how they know this person.

When you contact that person for the first time, create a separate page to record your conversation. Note the date of the conversation and what was said or done as a result of that conversation.

Creating Templates

You are probably seeing a pattern in the type of information you are tracking. Creating a template in a word processing program can shorten the time you need for documentation. You can create your own templates or find pre-made ones to use.

Create a template that gives you space to record the date, time, location, company name, contact name, and job position or topic being discussed. Leave room for hand writing or typing a description of what transpires for that particular position. Leave margins to the left if you have chosen to print and insert your diary pages in to a binder.

If you are not adept at making templates, search the web for one that fits your needs. Check with some of the job websites you have signed up with and you may find that they provide templates for you. Some job websites may provide a means of documenting the job search activities you have conducted through their site. Look around and you may find ways of reducing your job diary tasks.

Final Tips

As your job hunt continues you will see the value of keeping track in a format that is portable for you. There are many times you will want to take part or all of your job-hunting diary with you.

When interviewing, always remember to bring paper and pen with you to record your conversations and observations. Tracking everything related to your job hunt means committing it to paper or document immediately. Treat this process as part of your job and you will be able to keep up with it easily.

Your job-hunting diary will provide information about what is working for you. You will be able to see which websites are providing you the best jobs and which events revealed the most leads. With a well documented process your job search will be much more effective.

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