One important reason to track job applications as well as who you are networking with so that you can identify patterns or trends. For example, if you are applying for a variety of types of positions and you are getting a lot of responses for one type but not a lot of responses for another type when you are tracking the positions and looking through them you can quickly identify that.
Secondly, tracking allows you to see how quickly you are getting responses back or if you are getting a response back. How quickly you’re getting responses back can also tell you if your resume is successfully getting through their applicant tracking system (ATS) or if it’s not. If you are getting a response back immediately that says thanks but no thanks, your resume is not getting through ATS. If it has been around 24 hours and you got that response then that means that it made it through ATS but was quickly rejected by a human. If it takes longer than that to get a rejection response, that means you got through the ATS and you got through the initial humans but ultimately they decided not to include you in their interview pool. All of those things can give you different ideas on how you might want to customize your resume going forward.
Another reason that it is really good to track these things is that later on in your career journey you might want to go back and establish a connection- so even if you had an interview and it didn’t pan out it might be someone you want to connect with in the future and the only way know who those people were is to keep track of those things.
Similarly for networking, one of the things I tell people to do a lot of are informational interviews and keeping track of which types of people are responding and helping you to make different connections in the industry. This can help you figure out who to target in the future and who is most likely going to want to build a relationship with you. On LinkedIn it’s super easy to be able to identify with people based on certain characteristics- an example is if you are tracking and you identify that people within a certain level are not getting back to you. It’s fairly common for people who are above a VP level to not manage their own LinkedIn profiles- if you are not hearing back from them it’s probably because they’re not actually on LinkedIn. For that reason, it is better to reach out to people who are peers rather than those who are super high up in the C-level range. By keeping track of that you can have a better idea of how to use it for networking in the future and who to target.
One of the easiest ways to track job applications and networking is to use an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet that tracks where you applied, who you talked to, what the date was, what the response was (if there was a response), and if you want to do anything for a follow-up. That way you can go back and look over them even in years to come to see if there is a possibility that you might have some connections if you are trying to pursue a different goal.
If you would like help getting started, I have a specific spreadsheet that I use and recommend people to use that I would be happy to give examples for and walk you through- schedule your free call at www.morleycareersolutions.com/career or by calling/texting 708-730-4694.