Resume tracking for the job hunter
May 1, 2013 10:46 AM   Subscribe

My oldest cousin is job-seeking and solicited my help to find an app or website that will help her track and manage the versions of resumes and cover letters she sends out to employers. The best advice seems to be that you do a customized resume (and obliviously a custom cover letter) for each job applied for - so how to track those? She tells me that it's important to be able to match the resume version to the job ad when the recruiter does make contact (I guess so you can get the various little white lies straight!). And also to know what version you sent to the same company previously when they have new or a multitude of vacancies. I can't find anything out there. Any advice please? Any apps or websites that do this? What do other job seekers do to manage this problem? (spreadsheet? or something better?) Thanks
posted by Xhris to Work & Money (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I save a doc with the cover, the version of the resume I sent and copy/paste of the job listing and any other info I have and keep it in my JOB folder on my laptop. So at least everthing that was sent is all in the same doc and I don't have to attempt to match weeks later when I get a response. This just takes a minute, any more and I'd probably not do the follow up.
posted by readery at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I use/used Excel, also, when I save my resume/cover letter versions, I save them with the company in the title and the date.

Ruthless Bunny CV-ABC Company 050113

If I was applying for different postions, I'd put that in the title"

Ruthless Bunny CV-ABC Company System Admin 050113

I kept a spreadsheet mostly because I was on unemployment and I might have to show the authorities where I had applied. My spreadsheet had:

Job Title
Date Applied
Response (if Any)

Tick boxes for

Phone Interview
Face to Face Interview
2nd Interview

It worked pretty well for me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2013

I've been sort of thinking about this lately in the abstract and I assumed the way to do it was to make an outrageous number of folders on your computer (one for each company containing one for each job within the company) containing the relevant resume and cover letter, which you then give obvious filenames (company name and date?). Maybe save a copy of the ad you responded to in there as well.

This is approximately what I did when applying to grad school as well.
posted by hoyland at 10:51 AM on May 1, 2013

Any CRM like Salesforce or Highrise is exactly setup for this task, but probably way overkill and pricey.

I'd go with Trello, which is free and very functional. Each 'card' can be a company, and each board will be the status of the card - waiting, interviewing, negotiating, etc. Within each card, you can add attachments and comments, so you could upload resumes, track specific issues or make notes about the names of recruiters, etc. You'd be able to see which companies have responded or not in a single glance, and would also be able to have detailed sub-notes to 'get your story straight'.
posted by suedehead at 10:54 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Have you also seen this question?
posted by Houstonian at 11:13 AM on May 1, 2013

I have the advantage(?) of not having a huge amount of relevant jobs, with the corresponding disadvantage of needing to really tailor everything to each application. If I just had a "resume for jobs of type x" and a "resume for jobs of type y" I might use a spreadsheet, but since each cover letter and resume is either unique or close to, each thing I apply for has a subfolder in my "job search" folder, with a .txt copy of the job ad, the cover letter I wrote, and the resume I used (or sometimes just a note at the bottom of the cover letter 'sent resume same as ___.doc').
posted by aimedwander at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2013

I just use a filename that indicates which job it's for - big_company_resume.doc, st_blabla_hospital_resume.pdf, state_university_resume.txt. If I were applying to multiple jobs at the same company, I would do company_resume_May2013.doc or company_resume_admin_job.doc or whatever. Keep them all in the same folder and it's pretty manageable for the first 50-100 applications.

(OF COURSE when I actually send them in I change the file name to mskyle_resume.doc.)
posted by mskyle at 11:55 AM on May 1, 2013

I found it easier to keep track of this stuff by having separate folders with the company name and date applied in the folder name. Inside the folder was the job description, my resume, and any communication to/fro the company. also notes on what interview questions were asked, etc.
This worked pretty well, because although I sent out a ton of resumes, the response rate was lower than 50%, so it wasn't too hard to track.
I also had a spreadsheet, which I kept for documenting my unemployment job search.
posted by dbmcd at 12:37 PM on May 1, 2013

Your cousin could try any of the notebook software available like Evernote. Evernote lets you attach any kind of file to a note, so you can make a note with information about a single job/company (link to the job posting; info gleaned from a phone interview, web search, etc) and attach the resume and cover letter to the note. That way, you can just open up the Jobs Notebook, and go through all the job applications in an organized fashion. There are lots of notebook programs out there: Evernote, Microsoft OneNote (comes with some versions of MS Office), Notebooks, are a few.
posted by bluefly at 1:26 PM on May 1, 2013

I have used readery's process which works fine if the only purpose is to keep the versions straight. Anything more is over-organizing.
posted by LonnieK at 1:45 PM on May 1, 2013

I assumed the way to do it was to make an outrageous number of folders on your computer (one for each company containing one for each job within the company) containing the relevant resume and cover letter, which you then give obvious filenames (company name and date?). Maybe save a copy of the ad you responded to in there as well.

This is eaxctly what I do. Copies of any correspondence either way gets filed in each job posting/word of mouth contact folder which are sub folders under a business (otfen I found myself applying for several postings at the same company). Also if there was any phone conversations I'd make a text file summerizing what was said. Looks great when you submit a fair approximation of War and Peace to your employment insurance officer when they want documentation of your search.
posted by Mitheral at 2:37 PM on May 1, 2013

Evernote or OneNote. I went a long time trying to use spreadsheets and folders and filenames. A week before I got my last job I started putting everything in Evernote and was kicking myself I didn't start earlier. I work in a Microsoft shop now and see the same potential with OneNote.
posted by birdherder at 5:29 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older Is this a scam? What's the angle here?   |   Now that Ebert is gone, who should be my main... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.