Spreadsheets are great for analyzing data, making lists, and sorting large amounts of information. But spreadsheets are also a wonderful resource for your job search. Excel -- or even a Google shared spreadsheet -- offers a multi-tabbed document option where you can store all aspects of your job search. Use one tab to gather deadlines and other applications of interest. Mark another tab to track your progress and where you have applied. Brainstorm networking contacts and future informational interviews on another. Save websites and email addresses for employers. Then, use the graphing feature to visually display all the work you have accomplished.
Once everything is stored in the document, put the spreadsheet on Dropbox or in your Google Drive so that you have access to it anywhere you are working. Refer to it when you can’t remember a deadline, or jot ideas or other strategies you want to tackle while your list is at your fingertips. With everything together in one place, the job search won’t seem vague or overwhelming.
The BRET Office of Career Development has an academic job search spreadsheet template that you can use to format your search. Email Kate Stuart if you are interested in a copy. To read more about what should be in your “Job Application Checklist,” check out this recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.