10

From the heart of the endlessly unemployed:

Are there any benefits to keeping any records of job applications?

Not the application form or what information you put on the application, but the just the record (email/print out) that you've applied for this position at that company.

The only exception, that I can think of, is if you've not heard back from company X after Y weeks and it may serve as a reminder to contact said company. Otherwise it's albatross, is it not?

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    Depending in where you live and if you are receiving unemployment benefits they may ask for documentation for where you have applied. – JasonJ May 23 '17 at 19:14
  • I found so much benefit in keeping track of where I've applied, I actually made an app for it. It sits idly while I'm gainfully employed, but as soon as I start looking for a job, it's still there and I'm able to see where I've applied, how I felt about a place, etc. – silencedmessage May 24 '17 at 13:50
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    In Germany you can claim a fixed amount of money for every application you send from the job agency in addition to your regular unemployment benefits. Usually this is a fixed sum of 5 Euros per application and is limited to about 270 Euros per year. It's something they have to do, but that they do not usually tell people about, so you would have to ask to get the form to apply for this benefit. In German it's called Bewerbungskostenrückerstattung. – simbabque May 24 '17 at 15:48
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There are numerous benefits

  1. If there are any queries from government agencies about your job hunting activities, you have the evidence easily accessible
  2. You won't put in duplicate applications
  3. If you go for a different position with the same company, you may be able to use contacts you made the last time
  4. If you are using recruiters, they may ask you where you've applied so they don't replicate your efforts
  5. You are creating a database of contacts if you include contacts and numbers
  6. You can forward this list to any of your personal connections to see if anyone knows anyone at these companies
  7. You can use the list for motivation. It shows the effort you've put in, and every "no" get you closer to that YES! (This is a mindset in sales. your average salesman makes two to five sales for every 100 times he tries. The mindset is that every "NO" gets you closer to that "yes" that you need)
  8. the list can help you analyze how you are doing and if you are going about something wrong, and gives you something concrete to talk with someone else about if you need serious career advice. If you've applied to hundreds of jobs in the last few months and haven't even gotten a single callback, the records can help you figure out what's wrong. (per @BrianHall)
  9. You can also make sure that agencies don't crash your resume into the same job. If an employer gets a candidate from two different recruiters, the resume goes in the trash. Agencies charge fees, if an employer hires someone submitted by two agencies, they are at risk of fighting an expensive legal battle. To avoid this, they will simply throw out your application. Protect yourself with your list. You can explicitly tell agencies to NOT submit you for job orders. "I applied for a senior widget cleaner at 'Widgets are us', please do not submit me for that job .
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    +1 Good answer, I also made a note of where I saw the advert and if I got an interview. That can help you judge if a website/agency is a good lead or just agents getting your CV on their books. – Dustybin80 May 24 '17 at 11:59
  • +1 When a person is working hard at applying for jobs, they all start to sound a like and can blend together - really easy to forget what you applied to last week, etc. I'd add one other little one - the list can help you analyze how you are doing and if you are going about something wrong, and gives you something concrete to talk with someone else about if you need serious career advice. If you've applied to hundreds of jobs in the last few months and haven't even gotten a single callback, the records can help you figure out what's wrong. – BrianH May 24 '17 at 20:06
  • @BrianHall. Thanks, and that gives me another idea. Will edit to add – Richard U May 24 '17 at 20:20
  • +1 nice, comprehensive list. #9 in particular can be much more important than you think, I will often get 2-3 different agencies contacting me about the same job. In the longer term it can help you triage as well, if you previously applied at a company a few years ago and didn't like them you can decline to be put forward if they come up again. – motosubatsu May 25 '17 at 13:16
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    If you also track how far you got into the interview process, it could be useful (if) when you change jobs again. "I never heard back from Company A but Company B seemed to like me and I got pretty far in the process. I should try B again." – BSMP May 25 '17 at 17:09
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In addition to the things Richard mentioned, if you are doing a lot of applications, it's handy to know where you sent what, when, so that when companies get back to you, you can easily pull up the info, and know what position they're referring to, etc. As some companies' hiring timelines can be rather long from initial ad to interview contact, if you're sending out many cvs/resumes/applications, some will slip your mind as time goes on. Keeping track of what, where, why, to whom, and when can help refresh your memory.

As a long-time job seeker who finally gave up and started her own company, I would somewhat disagree with #7 in Richard's list (as a personal aside, this only applies to me). Looking over my records got a bit depressing in the end, so I quit unless I received a response. There's only so many 'Nos' one can look at and still draw motivation from. But, YMMV of course, so if it works for you, great. I guess one could say that the 'Nos' motivated me to strike out on my own, so they were helpful enough in their own way. Not optimal, but whatever works, I guess. :D

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    I think it can motivate in the short term. I'd applied for approximately 150 jobs and contracts over three months... and, in the end, I couldn't bear to look at the amount of companies that either declined my application or just didn't get back to me (which was about 90% of them!) – trashpanda May 24 '17 at 12:07
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    #7 is used in a sales environment. The logic is that you get the "no"s out of the way and get to that "yes". I'll edit mine. – Richard U May 24 '17 at 12:09
  • I agree that, for some, a No can just be a stepping stone to a Yes. Thus the YMMV - what does or doesn't work for me, only applies to me. :) I've adjusted my answer slightly to highlight that. – Wren May 30 '17 at 8:03
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Absolutely. That way, if someone calls you up and is referencing an application they're reading, you can be looking at the same document from your side.

You could scan stuff like that and keep it someplace easy to reach.

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