How to Create an Application Tracker

An application tracker will help you manage the first steps to any venture you find yourself on: interviews, publishers, competitions, casting calls, even a housing search (shout out to Toronto). Why? It’ll help you keep track of the details beyond putting your name in the hat, like tracking the feedback you’re receiving, being mindful of the number of applications you’re sending out, or when you’re supposed to be sending a follow up. Below are some ideas to consider and two templates that you can download. Share your tips below too.

Image by Adeolu Eletu @adeolueletu

1. Consider who you can reach out to in your network.

For jobs, do a few quick searches on LinkedIn to see if you know of anyone who’s had a similar job, or worked for a relevant company. For housing, see if you know of friends with nice landlords or neighbourhoods with rental offices. While opportunities may not be available in that moment, it just takes one person to remember your name when things do come up in a few weeks or months.

2. Make note of the dates.

You’ll want to be making sure that you’re 1) pacing yourself and 2) staying up to date on your search. You don’t want to be burning yourself out in the first few days of your search, and you also want to make sure that you’re holding yourself accountable to sending out enough applications. Also use the dates to consider that after a certain amount of time it’s usually safe to assume an application has gone cold if there are no responses.

An example of a tracker used for a housing search

3. Send follow ups and Thank You notes.

Similar to the previous point, you can use dates to make sure that you’re following up and in a timely matter. For job applications it’s usually a good bet to follow up (if you have direct contact with the hiring managers) about a week later. For casting calls and interviews, be sure to send Thank You notes if you enjoyed your time.

4. Review the data and refine your approach.

If you’ve been tracking your applications for a while, you now have free data on yourself. Are there certain areas that you realize you’ve been more interested in? Are there certain applications you’ve sent that haven’t gotten any responses? Use the data to amplify and revamp your strategy.


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