How to: keep track of job applications using Gmail

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Yesterday was a big deadline for job applications (so no time to blog), both for vacation schemes and training contracts. Finding the time to do applications properly whilst during the LPC is challenging enough without them all coming at once. But they are done and dusted, and now its just waiting for the replies.

Awaiting a reply can be quite stressful, particularly in this uncertain time. (LawCareers.net has posted a good article: Recession Reality Check aimed at law students). I’ve had a number of small firms (that only take on 1 trainee) reply saying they had reviewed their intake and would not be hiring. But imagine my shock to get an email from Charles Russell saying they were not considering applications this year (either for Vacation scheme or training contract), particularly 2 months after the deadline – you got to wonder what they had been doing all that time.

Tip: Keeping track of Job Applications

Keeping track of job applications can be a bit of a mess. both in the composing of them, but also of noting replies and stuff. So I have a system for that.

I use my gmail account for job application as follows:

  • All job applications are labelled “job application” to begin with.
  • The Automated reply that you get from firms I use the yellow star to show the application has been received. The yellow star remains until I get either a rejection or interview so I know I’m still awaiting a reply.
  • The yellow star moves to the next email received from that firm if it is an additional email stating when you should hear by.
  • When I have received a rejection from a particular firm I use the red exclamation mark as the star (need to enable superstars) and remove the yellow star from the original email from that firm to show that they have responded.
  • When I get an interview the same thing applies only it is a green tick star.
  • The system means that any yellow stars remaining after a period of time are the ones they you are still awaiting replies on.
  • After interview replies, if they are rejections, but provide feedback, I will blue star these. This is because I will look at the feedback again, to help me progress, if it is a simple rejection with a contact number to phone, or they don’t have time to provide feedback, it gets the usual red exclamation mark treatment.

Whether you use a system like this or have your own method, it is worthwhile keeping on top of your job applications, it helps you know where you stand, and notice patterns between how long it takes for firm to offer an interview/reject – you can learn a lot.

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Link your Windows Live Email Accounts

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Our Provider’s email is powered by Windows Live, therefore I took the opportunity when I got the email address to link it with my regular hotmail account.

I became surprised to learn that few classmates knew how to do this – frequently missing important emails, due to lack of enthusiasm for checking university mail. This was also a great problem at undergrad as there usually becomes a point where the inbox is full and then you don’t receive any mail.

So for the benefit of those who do not know how to use this function, here are the details.

  1. Sign into the Hotmail account that you usually sign into (and wish to access both accounts from)
  2. Click on your name in the top right hand corner where the arrow is to reveal drop down list and click on link other accounts
  3. When next page loads, click link an existing Windows Live ID.
  4. You will then have to enter your current account details and the one you wish to link
  5. click link and volia. done.

You can now sign into both accounts using the one account, yet keep the 2 accounts separate without using mixing up the mail. To change between the accounts simply toggle by clicking name in right hand corner and selecting the relevant account from the drop down list. Easy.

On another note, University email is good to have separate, as it keeps all the junk mail out of your normal account. As an Alumni of my Undergrad University I do receive email from them to my regular account, which is of course optional. And it got me thinking would an opt-in option work with regular university emails – i.e. send uni emails to a specified personal address, particularly  if you were in the habit of  forgetting to check?