When you’re in the midst of applying to jobs or internships, especially as a full-time student with countless other responsibilities, it’s easy to lose track of the details needed to be adequately prepared when you receive a call or email from the hiring manager. If you’re sending out as many resumes as you should be - at a rate of 15-20 applications per week - having an organized system is key to interview success.
With the hiring process typically taking up to a month or longer, that means that ideally you will have applied for as many as 100 other positions by the time you actually meet with the final decision makers within a company.
With so many job descriptions, requirements and key contacts to remember, maintaining a detailed and updated spreadsheet for your job search will make the process exceptionally easier.
Here’s what you should be tracking and referring to when you’re asked to move forward in the hiring process:
Always start by noting the date applied as well as the dates of any follow-up interactions to track where you stand with each company. If months have passed and you haven’t heard back from the employer regarding next steps, remove it from your spreadsheet to keep a concise list of current, more promising opportunities.
Following your application date, create a column to track your application process and any feedback or communication you’ve had with the hiring manager so you know when it’s time to follow-up or move on from an opportunity.
Were you referred by a friend or colleague, or did you find the position through a job board? Employers commonly want to know how candidates discovered the company and position, so show them your interest by being prepared with an informative answer.
If the hiring process is especially lengthy, it’s likely that the job description has been removed from the internet by the time final interviews are being conducted. Don’t just include a link to the original online post; be sure to create a personal document with the information you’ll need to avoid asking ill-informed or redundant questions in an interview.
Even before receiving an introduction email or phone call with contact information, do your research on the team, departments, and managers. Review company websites and Linkedin profiles to determine who you should connect with.
Sending a customized resume to each position you apply to is key to capturing the attention of hiring managers who want to know you’re interested in their company specifically, not just any job in the industry. Keep a record of which resume you send out to each company to ensure you arrive to the interview with the same version in hand.
The job search and transition from student to full-time employee often feels like a full-time job in itself, but organization and preparation will minimize stress throughout the process. Want to accelerate your job or internship search? Our team of experts can help. Become a PathMatch client to get an insider's look at what employers look for and the interview prep you need to get a competitive edge over other applicants.
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