Organizing Chaos; Tracking Job Applications Made Easy

One of the biggest job-search headaches people talk about is the sheer volume of job applications that need to be submitted in order to net just a few interviews. Keeping track of all those applications can feel like a chore. Luckily for you, programs designed to assist you in your application process are just a Google search away.


A top-tier, one-stop-shop for finding jobs and internships, contacting employers, and managing applications is the web and mobile platform Handshake.


As a BU student, you already have an account, it’s free, and there are services on campus to help you make the most of this powerful tool.

Handshake allows you to search jobs and suggests content based on your preferences, facilitating job discovery. The platform empowers you to take action by allowing you to upload your resume, apply online, and contact employers all on one place. Your account has intuitive categories so you can track progress once you have begun your job hunt. On-campus interview scheduling—some employers conduct their interviews here at BU—is conveniently located under “Interviews” for any you are selected to interview for. You can easily track application deadlines, statuses of your submitted applications, and more under “Applications.”

But say you want to use other resources like Monster, Glassdoor, or Indeed to apply for additional positions? The simplest solution to this organizational challenge is to create a workbook in Excel and log your job applications (in the professional world this could be considered your CRM or Customer Relationship Management database). Excel skills will come in handy in your career regardless of your prospective industry and using Excel to manage your job search will be good practice.

Below are some suggested column headers for your workbook:

  • Company/Hiring Entity (your desired future workplace)
  • Role (your desired future position)
  • Primary Contact (e.g., a hiring manager, recruiter, or person in your network that is helping to connect you, etc.)
  • Contact Email (personalized outreach sent directly to the decision maker has a bigger impact than a form email to a group inbox)
  • Application Date (i.e., the date you submitted your application)
  • Documents (include file names or hyperlinks to resumes, cover letters, CV’s, etc.)
  • Follow-up (include a quick blurb about your last outreach to your primary contact)
  • Interview Date (include date and time)
  • Status (where are you in the process?)

As you apply for positions, record the data in this workbook, and you’ll be able to easily track your process and make sure you’re not duplicating efforts.

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