Organize Your Job Application Documents

The job search can be a daunting process all on its own. Add the complication of managing the various online submission protocols of a few different websites, and those complications increase. No one wants to experience the nightmare that is attaching a cover letter written for Company A to an application for Company B, or emailing the rough draft of your resume to a potential employer when you meant to send the shiny, new 2.0 version. Luckily for you, these kinds of headaches are preventable.

Creating a simple system to keep track of your application documents early in the process will save you a lot of pain down the road.

Good filing systems include good naming conventions for your resumes, cover letters, and other documents. Naming conventions are simply the consistent way in which you label your files. You will want to title each document so that it is both searchable and predictable.

Try titling your documents (your) first and last name_document type, where document type could be a resume or cover letter. Remember that you should be adjusting the content of these documents so that each job application matches the language of the job posting and includes pertinent or required skills specific to the posting.

As you create optimized versions of your documents, you should create a new folder to hold the customized materials for each job. This may seem like extra work but ignore this step and you can easily end up with 10,000 versions of “YourName_Resume” on your desktop and have no idea which copies you sent to which company. Each folder, in turn, should be saved to a common location of your choice – some people prefer to save to a drive on their computer, others may prefer to save to the Cloud for accessibility on-the-go.

Wherever you choose to save your files, all folders should live in a master folder with a short, descriptive name like “Job Applications” so you can easily search for and find all of your documents. Suggested naming conventions for your individual job application folders include labeling each folder by company name (e.g., “General Electric” as folder title). If you submitted more than one job app for any one company, create subfolders within the parent folder and name them by job title.

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