Here is my suggestion. Whether you are an Excel, Google docs, etc. fan, make the following columns at a minimum but apply the KISS principal so you actually utilize it. The beauty of doing this is that you can sort on any column which is great when you need to arrange things alphabetically or chronologically.
- Submission Date
- Company Name
- submission Method (e.g. direct, via job board, via recruiter, via a friend that works at a target employer, etc.)
For a more comprehensive worksheet list the following:
- Submission Date
- Submission Method
- Company Name
- Contact person (when/if applicable)
- Date of last Action (which can work as a sort of to-do list)
Regardless, those who are organized about their job search seem to manage their resume logistics well and, as a result, tend to be more effective in their job search. It is my professional observation that those who tend to not have much control of their resume tend to repeatedly submit resumes to the same place (which can make you look disorganized, desperate, etc.) miss important follow up inquiries (hence possibly missing opportunities to interview) and there is simply no advantage of a haphazard approach.
In regard to working with a recruiter
There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter than finding out after the fact that a candidate has already submitted a resume to a company that the recruiter is representing. That is, a good recruiter will do everything they can to determine whether or not a candidate has already submitted a resume to a specific client, but all too often the candidate just isn’t sure if they sent a resume to a specific company or might even think there is any harm in trying again. Here’s the problem.
This puts the recruiter (and client company) in an awkward position if it turns out that the resume has already been submitted in the past. Why? Because normally the recruiter is not compensated if the candidate has already submitted a resume prior to the recruiter submission. This is simply one of the fastest ways to destroy that relationship so make sure that you are as accurate and honest with any claim that you make on this topic. Taking this situation one step further, many clients upon discovering the double submission don’t want to move forward to avoid a conflict with the staffing agency. In the end it’s just sloppy and benefits nobody.
TIP – It’s critical that you make sure you know where your resume is going if you are working with a staffing specialist. In my opinion, you should initially disclose to any recruiters that you expect to give your permission first for ANY resume submissions they may make so you are never submitted to XYZ company without your knowledge. See Controlling resume distribution – and hence your brand for more on this very important best practice. One exception might be if you are looking for temporary work but I suggest you still apply this rule when looking for ‘consulting work’. In the end the recruiter-candidate relationship has to be completely built upon trust, honor and established protocol so make sure you hold one another accountable at all times.
TAKE AWAY – Be sure to implement resume tracking and control from the moment you consider putting yourself out there. Even if you take the recruiter out of the equation, it will keep you on top of the follow up actions needed for any effective opportunity search.