Everything you Need to Know to Organize your Job or Internship Search

If organizing your job or internship search has you feeling like this:


This post is going to help you feel like this:


Conducting a job or internship search takes time. The most effective way to land a job or internship necessitates regular time and dedication; it requires you to build a network of contacts before you even start applying. Today, I’m not going to be writing about how to conduct your search, but how to ORGANIZE it. You can read these other posts for tips on search strategies:

When I was in graduate school I approached my job search very methodically. I’m a type A person, who worked in career services for two years and was applying for career services jobs, so it’s really not that surprising that I took job search organization to a whole different level. That being said, even if you are not the “planning” type, these strategies can be extremely helpful in conducting a successful search. I can’t offer a guarantee, as there are certainly numerous factors influencing success, but in my experience, using this system helped me land my full time position three months before graduation.

Strategy 1: Develop a Master Excel Document

  • Use this document to track both networking contacts and applications
  • I recommend using Google Drive, as it makes it easy to link to other relevant documents
  • You can save a copy of this template spreadsheet in Google Drive, then edit it

blog excel 1 screenshot

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Strategy 2: Save Everything

  • When positions are posted they can often be removed without any notice. Always save the job descriptions of the positions you applied to so that you can easily reference them if you get asked for an interview.
  • Save tailored materials. If you are following the best practices of job and internship searching you should be tailoring your résumé and cover letter for each position. Always save these tailored documents so that you know which version you sent to which organization.

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Strategy 3: Properly Label All Documents

  • Use a labeling system that makes it easy for both you and the employer to easily identify the document. I’d recommend saving the Word and PDF versions of all documents. For example:
    • Cover Letter: Emily.Merritt.UConnCL.doc
    • Résumé: Emily.Merritt.UConnResume.doc
    • Master Résumé: Merritt.MasterResume.Jan16.doc

Strategy 4: Link to Documents in Excel

  • This is where I’d say my strategies go from common sense to organizational enthusiast. If you are using a program like Google Drive or DropBox, your documents will be saved with URLS that you can hyperlink into your master excel document. This way if a company calls you, you can look up all the documents related to that application quickly and efficiently
By Emily Merritt
Emily Merritt Career Consultant, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences