This article contains a guide on the spreadsheet template I use to help make the most effective use of my time on a job hunt, prioritizing my search based on desire for the role, compensation, and likelihood of getting the job (and enjoying it). It also helps you keep on top of communication through the hiring process. This google sheet is free for you to make a copy of and utilize in your own job hunt.

If you just want the template Click Here!

2023 is likely going to be known as the year of layoffs, especially in tech, and like many others I found myself unexpectedly without a job. Job loss is the fifth most stressful life event that can happen to a person, which is probably even more true in a recession, with hundreds of others also losing their jobs, making it that much harder to find a job, especially one that can pay the bills.

I created this job search spreadsheet years ago to help me prioritize the companies I wanted to apply at, and help make sure I stayed in contact with the people involved to maximize my chances of getting the job I wanted, and avoid falling in to the trap of blind applying to hundreds of companies via their online forms.

Before I get started, I wanted to highlight a few key things that have helped me secure jobs quickly in the past, with companies I’m most interested in (You can scroll right past this if you want to get to the template).

Tips for Applying for Jobs

1) Prioritize your efforts.

Pick a handful of companies you want to work for (the spreadsheet template can help with this). Be thoughtful in your application, and the conversations you have with the company or it’s representative. Too many people send out hundreds of generic applications – and it shows. It makes far more sense to apply time and effort to get the role you really want, rather than just a job. This is true for you, and the company hiring. Targeting the companies you want to work for, that pay what you want, and where you stand a good chance of getting the role is going to make you much happier in the future.

2) Use you network

Your network of former coworkers and friends can help you skip the automated systems and get to the front of the hiring queue. You’ll still have to prove yourself, but you stand a far better chance of getting hired. According to Mango Connects, you stand a 1 in 16 chance of getting a job via a general referral (never mind an explicit referral), compared to a 1 in 152 chance of getting a job from a general online application.

3) Don’t ignore the recruiters

When you’re employed it’s easy to ignore the recruiters. In some roles it’s common to get around six recruiter outreaches a week on average. This may seem annoying, but say thank you, give them any salary or role expectations for the future, and add them on LinkedIn, when you need a job they will be the first to reach out if they have positions available, help you bi-pass the queue of online applications, and they’ll also be able to help screen you for the position (minimizing lost time if you’re not a good fit).

The Job Search Prioritization Spreadsheet Template!

You can make a copy of the Job Application spreadsheet template Here

How to use the Job Search Prioritization Spreadsheet Template

Using this spreadsheet is incredibly easy, just follow the steps below!

  1. Fill in any relevant company info – company name, application/job description URL/contact. You can also add any additional columns that are important to you, I added company size, since I realized my sweet spot for a company is around 150-300 employees.
  2. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) add an estimated number for desire, certainty, and compensation
    • Desire – How much do you want the job, does it fit what you want to do, does it have your working style (remote, onsite, or hybrid?), is it’s location good, or bad?
    • Certainty – How certain are you that you will get the job, are you up against a lot of applicants? Do you check all the boxes on role requirements?
    • Compensation – How does the expected compensation for this role sit compared to your ideal pay range? Does it offer an equity upside?
  3. Sort in descending order by score. The higher scored roles should be your priority when applying for jobs, and how hard you focus on the jobs in your list.
  4. Utilize the “last contact” and status columns. Make sure you maintain contact with the highest priority roles as you apply. It’s easy to lose track of where you stand on a job application, so make sure to add notes as you progress, and keep in touch with your contacts as you go through the application process.

It’s as simple as that! Hopefully you find the sheet helpful, feel free to use this, share it, or build it in to a website so it’s easier for people to access!