Amy Fahey – May 11, 2021

If you’re a fresh graduate or a student soon to be entering the graduate pool, you’ll probably already know about the competitive nature of job applications. Unless you’re organised and have learnt how to hack the ATS algorithm, chances are you’re slacking behind the rest. HOWEVER, IT’S NOT TOO LATE…


I’m about to let you in on a little self-taught system which will help you keep track of all your applications, reflect on your progression, and give you some structure in this lengthy process. All you need is some optimism, a spreadsheet, and a whole lot of determination.


1.)  Begin with a spread sheet – either Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. I prefer Google Sheets as it’s easily accessible as I spend more time on Safari than I do anywhere else (can anyone else relate?). At this point it should look like a blank canvas.


2.) You want to begin with your column titles. If you’re in organised overdrive like myself then you’ll want to be as specific as you can. Hopefully you won’t be job searching for long but if you find yourself looking for weeks/months then it’s good to separate the months. I’d just like to reassure you that finding a job in these times is challenging for everyone, regardless of how qualified someone may be. Remember to not be too hard on yourself, it is out of your control and not a reflection of your ability.



Let me run through the titles…

·  Date applied – keep track of how many per day you’re applying to.

·  Company

·  Job Role

·  Contact details – this can be a recruitment email/personal contact details/address.

·  CV + Cover letter – Make sure to always send a cover letter if possible. Employers will likely disregard applicants who have not attached a cover letter.

·  Applications close – So you are aware of how long you should be expecting to hear after.

·  Acknowledgment email – An email stating they are moving forward with your application or if they are not. Some employers do not send these, but hold out for a couple weeks. It can take time to sort through applications.


·  1st Interview – write the date of your first interview.

·  2nd Interview – write whether you have moved through to the 2nd interview and the date of this.

·  Last stage – write whether you have been shortlisted to the last stage and if you’re successful!


3.)  Now your spreadsheet should look like it’s coming together. Once you input all the information and keep track of the dates, you’ll get a colourful, organised, mini database. Congrats! You’re now adulting.



This is a super helpful system that helped keep me motivated and gave me some sort of structure in the midst of unemployment and uncertainty. You can get so creative with this so choose a format and colour system which reflects you!


Good luck with your job search and if you ever need any other helpful tips then check out our Instagram! We provide lots of free resources to help you break into the market.

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