Professional networking alternatives to LinkedIn – what they are and where to find them

Professional networking alternatives to LinkedIn – what they are and where to find them

When it comes to using social media for professional networking, there’s little doubt that LinkedIn is a force to be reckoned with. Data from Hubspot would suggest that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating professional leads than Facebook or Twitter. It is also estimated that 2.74% of traffic that comes into a website from LinkedIn converts to bookings or sales compared to 0.98% of traffic from other social media platforms. This would suggest that when people search for leads through LinkedIn, they’re serious about making connections.

But there’s also no doubt that, like all social media platforms, LinkedIn has its downsides. Although the latest stats suggest that there are 347 million registered users worldwide, many of these may not be active profiles, while other important contacts may not yet be on LinkedIn. There are times when building your network can feel like a slow and time consuming process. Another criticism sometimes levelled at LinkedIn is that you can find your message folder full of spam messages and random requests to join the networks of people who haven’t had the courtesy to introduce themselves.

LinkedIn has some fabulous features but to stop it draining too much of your time – again, like other social media platforms – it’s important to be strategic to make the most of your presence.

But what if LinkedIn doesn’t feel like a good fit? Are there alternatives for anyone who wants to build their professional network, or sites that you could be using as well as LinkedIn? Would you benefit from being more actively involved in an industry-specific network?

We’ve been doing some research and put together a guide to alternatives to LinkedIn below:

Non-industry specific alternatives to LinkedIn


If you are interested in working for a start-up business or you run a start-up business and you’re looking for staff, investors, or support from within the business community, then you may find AngelList a better starting point than LinkedIn.


BranchOut is apparently the world’s largest professional network with over 800 million searchable profiles. BranchOut users utilise their social network from Facebook to discover inside connections for jobs, recruiting, and sales. If you want to tap into the power of your Facebook contacts, BranchOut may be the tool to do it.

College and University Alumni Associations

If you attended college or university, then you may find that its alumni association is a fantastic resource for professional networking. Many alumni associations advertise jobs, provide mentoring, funding opportunities, and much more. You never know who might know someone who knows someone else who’s looking for a person with your skills and experience.


Google+ is potentially an incredible tool for professional networking, combining brevity, communities, and content sharing through a platform that, for professionals, bridges the gap between Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you add your profile to Google+, you can be found in Google searches, show off a full public profile with information about what you do, share your content and links to your blog, and much more. You can categorise your contacts into Circles, use live Hangouts to chat with other professionals, and join some thriving networking and industry-specific communities.


According to the latest stats, 890 million people log on to Facebook every single day. Younger adults in the 25-34-year-old demographic have grown up with Facebook in many ways and are much more likely to blur the lines between work and pleasure than their older counterparts. As a result, more and more people are using Facebook to grow their professional network.

It’s a move you should think about carefully. Some people argue that using your Facebook profile to connect with potential employers is a way of showing you’re a fully rounded human being, while others argue that using your Facebook profile exposes you to criticism about your personal life.

If you do decide to use Facebook as an alternative to LinkedIn for professional networking, it’s important to take a close look at your profile and decide whether you would be happy for business contacts and potential employers to see everything you’ve posted. If not, you will need to delete posts you don’t want seen or adapt your privacy settings.

Experts advise that you create a simple profile or clean up your existing one, keeping graphics, widgets, and photos to a minimum. Post content that’s relevant to your job search or career and use the platform for relationship building.


Mahara is an open source web application to build an online portfolio. You can use it to create journals, upload files, embed social media resources from the web, and collaborate with other users in groups. According to the Mahara website, it is “the perfect personal learning environment mixed with social networking, allowing you to collect, reflect on, and share your achievements and development online in a space you control”. If you need an online platform to showcase your portfolio, you might want to check out Mahara.


Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups; its aim being to revitalise local communities and help bring people together to meet with others who share their interests, passions, and purpose in life. There are a large number of professional networking groups that organise events through Meetup, so this is a great tool if you would like to become involved in face-to-face networking.


Netparty is the ‘worldwide young professionals’ network’. The aim of Netparty is to help young professionals in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s connect and network. Most Netparty events begin with an extended cocktail hour which focuses on business networking and making new connections. The latter half of each event takes on a more social atmosphere. This may not be an alternative to LinkedIn but it could be a good addition to your networking arsenal.


Opprtunity is aimed at individuals looking for sales leads, employment, or job candidates. The site promises ‘a matching algorithm that finds you people who need what you offer’ and says that users only receive alerts when there is a genuine opportunity to do business based on that algorithm. The simple design and registration process (using your email or Facebook account) makes Opprtunity a pleasure to use.

PartnerUp Google+ Community

PartnerUp is a Google+ community ‘focused on the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs’. The community aims to provide a fantastic networking experience for small businesses and people regularly post opportunities, leads, referrals, or requests to make a connection with other small businesses.


When thinking about professional networking, Pinterest may not be an obvious platform to use. However, there are a growing number of tools on Pinterest designed to help businesses grow their audience, build their reputation, and share content. If you’re an individual jobseeker, Pinterest may not be the right platform for you but if you run a business and are looking to connect with people in your industry, potential employees, or customers, you could use Pinterest to create industry-relevant boards, news boards, portfolio boards, and content that has a professional focus.


As we mentioned at the start of this article, one of the criticisms levelled against LinkedIn is that many of the profiles are out of date or inactive. Plaxo is the world’s largest online address book, storing over 3.7 billion contacts in 50 million address books. The platform works by consolidating the contact information you hold about your network into one synced address book that automatically cleans and updates contact information so that you can keep in touch with your contacts.


Quora is not directly a professional networking website. The aim of Quora is to open questions on any topic to a vast network of people, from experts and authorities to regular people with relevant knowledge. An upside of this is that many people find they are able to make some excellent professional contacts by asking industry- and career-related questions on Quora and starting a conversation with people.


Although it can take a while to wrap your head around Twitter, many experts rate it as their favourite platform for professional networking. Stats would suggest that 12% of people use Twitter to aid their job search, while 90% of companies are engaging with social media activity, especially on Twitter. Although job interviews aren’t going to be conducted in Tweets or 140 characters or less, Twitter is a valuable tool for keeping on top of industry news, networking (look out for Twitter hours dedicated to networking or your industry), and creating a credible online presence. The latter is particularly important as, in July 2014, a survey from CareerBuilder found that 51% of employers check applicants’ social media pages before inviting them for interview.

Visual CV

Visual CV is a free tool that lets you create an online portfolio or personal landing page, which you can publish online or as a PDF. The analytics feature lets you track your CV views, opens and downloads, providing insights into your CV’s performance.

Industry specific alternatives to LinkedIn

For people in specialised industries, it makes sense to build a presence on industry-specific professional networking sites as these sites are focused on connecting people within the same niche or field and can yield more suitable job vacancies and opportunities. Although it’s impossible to cover every industry-specific alternative to LinkedIn here, we’ve put together a list of some of the big hitters:


GitHub is the world’s largest open source community. If you are a software development professional, you can use GitHub to share your projects with the world, get feedback, contribute to projects, and connect with potential collaborators.


If you’re a mechanical engineer, you can become part of the GrabCAD community, create your CAD portfolio and show off your expertise. This is an excellent platform for collaboration and building your reputation within your field.


If you’re a data scientist looking for the next step in your career or you represent an organisation seeking data scientists, then Kaggle is the place to look. Kaggle is the world’s largest community of data scientists, statisticians, and machine learning engineers.

Muck Rack

As well as tracking what journalists are saying about top news stories on social media, Muck Rack is a place for journalists to build an online profile and portfolio to raise their reputation, and track the impact and reach of their articles.


If you are an oil or gas professional, then Oilpro could be the ideal website for you to connect with colleagues, advance your skills, build credibility around your expertise, and explore new career opportunities. Approximately 11,500 industry-specific jobs are featured on the site at any one time and there is a wealth of resources and content on the site aimed at helping you develop your career.

Professional Copywriters’ Network

The Professional Copywriters’ Network is a fantastic tool for copywriters, ghost writers, content writers, and copyeditors to promote themselves and find new clients, or for clients to find the ideal writer for their project.


ResearchGate’s mission is to connect researchers and make it easy to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise. You can publish your research, connect and collaborate, and find jobs within the research community.


Sortfolio is a website specific to web designers and clients who might be looking to hire web designers. Sortfolio promotes its content to thousands of businesses each month, driving traffic through to web designers’ websites and portfolios.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It also features a busy ‘Stack Overflow Careers’ section, which aims to help programmers showcase, not only their professional experience, but also their reputation on Stack Overflow and other programming achievements. The company profiles on Stack Overflow aim to give you a better understanding of the ethos of potential employers, while many companies turn to Stack Overflow when they need skilled programmers.

Stage 32

Stage 32 is the world’s largest social network and educational hub for people in film, television and theatre. This is a platform for jobs, collaboration, connections, networking, education, and meetups throughout the world.


Zerply is an online network for the world’s leading production talent in films, games, and TV. If you’re a concept artist, animator, art director, VFX supervisor, or any role connected to bringing films, television and games to life, then this is a fantastic platform to advertise your skills and experience, and find out about projects worldwide.

Do you have a favourite platform for professional networking? Do you use an industry-specific site or an alternative to LinkedIn? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the Comments below.

Advice for jobseekers, inspired by the eternal city

Advice for jobseekers, inspired by the eternal city

Although I have been back a few weeks now, my Italian adventure is still on my mind. We had such a fabulous time, enjoying everything the country has to offer. The warm welcome, the food, and the sights. Did I mention the food?

In Rome, my family enjoyed referencing some of the famous proverbs and idioms inspired by the eternal city. Even on holiday, the job search is never far from my thoughts. I started thinking about how these famous words can provide inspiration for jobseekers.

all roads lead to rome

This renowned phrase is reported to reference the Milliarium Aureum, a monument which may still be present in the Roman Forum. It was the milestone from which all roads within the Roman Empire were measured, and to which all Roman roads were said to lead.

In the job search, all activities should take you closer to your identified career goals. Getting really clear on your destination will help you to recognise if you are moving closer, and to tell when you have arrived.

If you are unsure about your career direction, why not tune in to this recent podcast on how to determine your career path? It outlines some practical tools which will help you get clear on your career goals and define your next move, BEFORE you start writing your CV.


when in rome



We loved bandying this phrase about when we were in Rome, using it as an excuse for all sorts of mischief including excessive consumption of pizza and pasta. The phrase in full: ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, refers to following the crowd and accepted best practice.

For jobseekers, the phrase might be translated as ‘When seeking a job, do what jobseekers are doing.’ By this, I mean, when seeking a new role, it’s important to use the tools and approaches that gets results in today’s recruitment market.

Using social media in your job search is one such approach. Towards the close of 2014, I was delighted to participate in a Guardian Careers’ debate on how to use social media to get a job. The top tips shared by the panel of experts are outlined here, and should give you some useful pointers on your online profile.

Quantifying your achievements is now a must to stand out in a competitive job market. It’s no longer enough to state veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered), as Julius Caesar supposedly did. Recruiters cannot be appeased by bread and circuses. You need to state where you have been, what exactly you saw, and by what degree you conquered it. Check out this recent blog on how to quantify achievements on your CV, even when you think your input isn’t measurable.

Another aspect of the changing job search landscape is the advent of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), used by recruiters to manage CVs, access applicant data, and identify the best candidates for each position. Find out here why you need to beat the ATS to land an interview.


rome wasn't built in a day

This phrase originated as a French proverb, and was taken on by the English in the 16th century. It is now used to remind the listener that good work takes time, and to encourage patience in return for longer-term gain.

As a jobseeker, it’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s rare to get overnight results, so try to remain patient and accept that an important change takes time to achieve. Build your case brick by brick and remember a solid foundation will serve you better in the long term.

Tracking progress against written goals can hearten the despondent job seeker. Find out here why your job search needs to start with written goals to be successful.

If your job search is taking longer than anticipated, remember to track your job search. Check out this blog to find out how.


I hope this week’s blog has given you the inspiration you need to improve your CV and job search tactics.

The main thing is to be proactive. Don’t rest on your laurels. Carpe Diem!

Is it time to CTRL ALT DEL your career?

Is it time to CTRL ALT DEL your career?

When you CTRL ALT DEL your computer, it’s usually because something just isn’t working and you need to shut down the offending task so that you can get back to business as usual.

Do you ever wish you could CTRL ALT DEL your career? You’re not alone. Sometimes we hit a point where we feel frozen – the human equivalent of ‘Not responding’ – or a particular aspect of our job stops running smoothly. If your career is suddenly at a standstill or you want to find a direction that’s a better fit, then it’s time to press CTRL ALT DEL and reboot your professional operating system.

Reboot or reset

If you’ve ever called a PC helpline or spoken to someone techy about your computer problems, the first question they’ll ask is ‘Have you rebooted your PC?’ It’s amazing how many idiosyncrasies and niggling problems can be sorted out just by switching a computer off and then turning it back on again.

In many ways, we humans are the same. We get overloaded with information and data, processing everything until we feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, we need to switch off and reset too.

Before you begin your job search, it’s important to take a step back. Book some time off work if you can, switch off from the stress of projects and deadlines for a while. Then, away from the hustle and bustle of the office, earmark some time to think about your current job.

How do you feel about it when you’ve had some downtime? Are there aspects of your job that you could change or improve without needing to leave? Is there someone at work that you can talk to about how you feel? Do you have a sinking heart feeling about going back to work or does it still make you feel challenged and excited once you’ve had the opportunity to reboot?

Identify the problem

If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you feel the time has come to move on to pastures new. Before you start your job search, it’s important to identify what isn’t working for you in your current role, as well as what’s working well, because that will help to define the deal breakers when applying for any future position.

What do you like about your current job and what gets you down? What are you looking for in your next job? Do you want a similar role, more responsibility, or do you want to move into a different role or industry, capitalising on your transferable skills?

By assessing what works for you and what doesn’t – a bit like running a scan to pinpoint the problems – you can come up with a plan of action for your job search.

Defrag your CV

Your next step is to dig out your CV. When was the last time you refreshed it? Does it include your latest skills, experience, and achievements?

As well as updating the information included in your CV, it’s also important to check it over for flabby bits that need trimming. Are there sections that would flow more smoothly if they were pulled together? Is there duplicate information? Are you wasting valuable space with unnecessary information such as ‘References available on request’ or too much detail about irrelevant hobbies? Now is the time to make sure all your information is in the right place.

Although you can create a generic CV as a starting point, it’s important to adapt it to complement the job for which you’re applying. Reflect the language used in the job description and show how you fulfil the essential and desirable attributes of the ideal candidate.


Is there anything blocking you from the next step in your career? Perhaps not having a particular skillset or a lack of experience in a specific area is making you feel like there’s a firewall preventing you from accessing your dream job?

If so, now might be the time for an upgrade. Is there training you can take to improve your management skills? Would working with a mentor help you tackle the challenges of a leadership role? Do you need to learn new computer skills or get more hands-on experience?

If you don’t have the time or resources to upgrade, don’t panic! There may be a workaround. You can still be a successful applicant by demonstrating how you’ve been able to learn a similar computer program quickly, or that you have the transferable skills that will enable you to succeed in your new role. You can use your CV to show how you’ve risen to challenges in the past, or how you’ve grabbed every opportunity to learn and grow in your career.

Call an expert

Sometimes pressing CTRL ALT DEL is just the start and even after a reboot, refresh, or defrag, you need to call in a professional.

Having an expert review your CV may make all the difference to getting your career and job search unfrozen and back on track. A professional CV writer will be able to look at your career history objectively, highlighting your achievements and reframing skills you take for granted so that they leap off the page to prospective employers.

A professional eye can be a great time saver too. Instead of you spending hours trying to make your CV work, an expert CV writer knows what works and what doesn’t and can give your CV that all-important refresh in half the time.

If you think your CV would benefit from an expert eye, why not try our free CV review service for starters?

Building a successful job seeking campaign

Building a successful job seeking campaign

This week, I’m pleased to introduce a guest blog by Ashleigh Harman at Portfolio Payroll, a recruitment agency who specialise in recruiting qualified professionals into the payroll industry.

Portfolio Payroll have put together some tips on how to build a successful job seeking campaign around your CV, in order to help you land your dream role.

Building a successful job seeking campaign

It is important to approach your job seeking efforts in the same way you would a marketing campaign for a brand. Here you should think of yourself as the product and your CV is the vital document explaining the qualities and benefits of the product or service. Like any marketing campaign, content which is influenced by the product should then be created and used to leverage existing contacts as well as attract new ones.

Follow the below tips to building a job seeking campaign that allows you to portray your personal brand using stand-out content.

How important is my digital persona?

A survey by ExecuNet recently revealed that over 77% of recruiters use search engines to research candidates. Whilst this can seem daunting it actually provides job seekers with a perfect opportunity to tell potential employers a little more about themselves.

Whilst you are putting efforts into building a positive and professional online profile, it is vital to ensure that existing online content baring your name is appropriate to be seen by prospective employers. Ensure that you have set the appropriate social profiles to private and any content including blog posts, pictures and videos that may not be appropriate have been removed.

Creating an online profile

Creating an online profile does not have to be difficult; you could start by creating a simple website that enhances the information on your CV. Let recruiters and potential employers find out more about you as an employee by providing references and examples of your work alongside details of your qualifications and past experience.

Although job advertisements highlight the required skills and experience a role requires, employers are also looking for a personality that is the right fit for their company.

Starting a blog is a brilliant way to give your online profile a personal voice. Getting your blog started on a dedicated blogging platform can be a simple half an hour task. Professional bloggers recommend writing and sharing at least one high quality post a week, choosing topics and news stories specific to your industry. Blogging allows you to take an active role in commenting on the industry thus proving your knowledge of working practises and your dedication to your career.

Approaching employers

When you have your heart set on working for a particular company, applying for a vacancy can be incredibly nerve wracking. However, by taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that particular employers already know your name.

Build a working knowledge of the way different companies operate – this will help you formulate an appropriate approach for contacting individual businesses when looking for an available position.

Send a hard copy of your CV to the company you wish to work for – include a cover letter explaining what it is you admire about their company and why you wish to work for them. Remember, companies enjoy flattery as much as people do.

Follow the company on social media- this will allow you to keep up to date with what they are doing.

Occasionally like, comment or share their posts – this will help your name to be remembered around the office, so when you make your application to a vacancy they can see that you already have an active interest in the company.

Utilising social media

LinkedIn should by now play a vital role in your job seeking campaign. This tool is used prolifically by recruiters and is a popular option for employers looking to find out more about candidates. To ensure you are fully utilising your LinkedIn profile follow the below steps.

Fill in all vital information in your profile, this is a perfect opportunity to expand on the information on your CV.

Upload examples of your work to complement your experience and prove your skills.

Ask past employers and people that you have worked with to leave recommendations and endorsements on your profile.

The importance of building a professional profile

Creating an engaging and informative CV will always be the most important part of any job seeking campaign, as it is not only a standard format across industries but it is but is also the best way for you to quickly communicate your skills and experience. However, with such high competition for job vacancies, building a professional public profile online has become an increasingly important component to the job hunt.

Building a profile and feeding it into your job seeking campaign will not only demonstrate to prospective employers that you are capable of completing a range of the tasks detailed on your CV, but it will also provide the employer with a better understanding of your personality and how you would fit into and benefit their business.


Ashleigh Harman is a Digital Content Writer for Portfolio Payroll, a recruitment agency who specialise in recruiting qualified professionals into the payroll industry. 

Read all about it! Newspapers and their role in your job search

Read all about it! Newspapers and their role in your job search

Back in July, house renovators and sometimes archaeologists, Moltus Investments, unearthed a copy of The Daily Telegraph dated Wednesday 10th August 1960 from a property in which they were working. When they posted the pictures on Facebook, it was the job advertisements that caught my eye. Talk about how life, and the job search, has changed!

What immediately grabbed my attention was how many of the job advertisements specify the gender and age of desired applicants. The Lockheed Hydraulic Brake Company invites applications from ‘men aged 28 to 35’ for the role of Employment Officer; Richard Thomas & Baldwins Limited wants to hear from candidates, aged 30 to 45, while the Technical Librarian role with the Plessey Company Limited is specifically open to a ‘lady with considerable technical experience….’ as ‘the post calls for a lady of mature years’.

Interestingly, it was during the 1960s that the winds of change began to blow, focusing on discrimination on the grounds of age and gender, particularly in the workplace. Women were fighting for their reproductive and employment rights; the pill became widely available, enabling them to delay starting a family, and more and more women took up the cause, arguing that jobs targeted at male candidates should be open to them too. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act was passed later in 1975.

What I also notice when reading these 1960s job ads is how vague the descriptions are. Check out the Underwood Business Machines Limited ad as a perfect example: “Men with evidence of will and ability to succeed are invited to apply”. In many cases, the description focuses on the company and its services, rather than the attributes of the ideal candidate.

In most of the advertisements, the selection criteria is exceptionally broad. This is perhaps because many people applied for jobs based on their proximity to home, salary and hours. Back in the 1960s, the concept of ‘a job for life’ was commonplace. If someone was educated and experienced in a particular field, they were unlikely to look at sideways moves into related fields or how they could take their transferable skills into a completely new career.

Newspapers and job hunting before the internet

After seeing these ads, I had a chat with my lovely dad about what he remembers from his early job hunting days. He tells me that job hunters’ first port of call would be the local library to read the daily newspapers. Apparently, people would tear out job descriptions that caught their attention to cut the chances of other job seekers seeing the ad and improve their own chances of getting hired.

Job hunting pre-Internet was all about scouring the newspapers, knocking on doors, enquiring about ‘Help wanted’ signs, and weekly perusal of the local unemployment office listings.

As the digital internet as we know it didn’t become widely used until the mid-1990s, most people over the age of 35 will have found their first job in the local paper, on an index card in a shop window, or through word of mouth recommendations.

Once we found a suitable role in the newspaper, we would send off a postcard for an application form or painstakingly type out our CV and covering letter on good quality paper, possibly back at the public library if we didn’t have a typewriter at home.

These days, the tactics have changed but the strategy hasn’t. Getting hired is still about standing out from the crowd and making a good first impression.

The role of newspapers in today’s job search

Newspapers are still an integral part of the job search process, although, like the rest of us, they’ve had to step up their game because of the internet. Job listings through newspapers now exist in the competitive online job board market but may well still be your first port of call.

Have you looked at the following sites recently?

Guardian Jobs – a great place to look for careers in the Arts, public sector, third sector, education, and for graduate positions

The Telegraph Jobs – as in the 1960s, this is still largely populated by engineering, construction, technology, sales, and executive roles

The Times Jobs – includes roles in Education, Finance, IT, Legal, Marketing, Public Sector, and Secretarial, as well as graduate positions

TES Connect – for educational and teaching jobs

The Independent Jobs – features jobs in the Technology, Finance, and Hospitality, as well as graduate positions and London-based vacancies

For many people, these are a mainstay of their job hunting experience.

If you’re looking for local opportunities, it’s a good idea to head to your local paper’s website where they are likely to have a jobs board. Check out Kent Messenger’s Kent Jobs website or the Nottingham Evening Post jobs page for examples of local newspaper online job ads – there’s bound to be a similar local site in your area; just search for your favourite local newspaper.

No, you can’t tear the job ad out of the paper anymore to stop other library-bound jobseekers from applying too but newspaper job sites do what they can to take the stress out of the application process. Like other job boards, they generally enable you to apply for the job there and then, email it to an interested friend, connect with the company on social media, and even give you some basic CV advice.

Do you use newspaper sites when you’re job hunting? How did you find your first job? If you were old enough to be job hunting pre-internet, do you remember scouring ads in your local paper? I’d love to hear your experiences.


Why you ABSOLUTELY need to track your job search

Why you ABSOLUTELY need to track your job search

Imagine the scenario.  A few weeks into your job search, your mobile rings when you are not expecting a call.

track your job search

At this point you are likely to feel very excited that your application has actually been seen and enticed a real person to call you up.  However, you’ve applied for so many similar roles that you are not actually sure which job they are referring to.  Caught off guard, you are suddenly very much on the back foot.

You haven’t tracked your applications in a clear way, and are flummoxed as to which opportunity this exciting call actually relates to.  Although you are determined to blag it, you are painfully aware that being caught on the hop means that you are not presenting the calm and professional image that you had aspired to deliver.

This is why using a job search tracking system is essential to manage your job search, enabling you to keep a handle on pending applications and ensure a professional response each and every time.

Here are four key benefits of tracking your job search:

It allows you to keep a firm grasp on which jobs you have applied for (so you know the status of each application and are well-prepared for the recruiter’s call)

It gives you a clear oversight of which version of your CV you have presented for each job opportunity (handy for the interview if you are offered one!)

It enables you to track what is working versus what is NOT working in terms of your job search activities (allowing you to refocus and refine your efforts)

It ensures that you don’t apply for a job more than once (saving your blushes, your precious time and that of the recruiter)

What elements of your job search should you track?

Job site details:

Name and website address of the job sites you are using

Your registration details including user name and password (keep these secure either by password-protecting your document or keeping physical files under lock and key)

Details of services signed up for on each site

Jobs applications:

Position title, employer name and reference number of any jobs applied for

Through which job site or other medium (employer website, careers fair, referral from an existing employee, recruitment agency etc.)

Date the application was submitted

Copies of the job advert, job description, person specification and application forms or guidance, if available

Which version of your CV and cover letter you applied with – keep copies on file for each application

Contact details for the recruiter and the employer in question

Any responses in terms of acknowledgements of receipt, information on the recruitment process – referencing the name, title and organisation of each and every contact you engage with in relation to a particular application, along with the date and time of any contact

Details of any follow up activities you undertake in relation to the application and your scheduled next steps

Interview details (think positive – build it and they will come!)

What tools can you use to track your job search?

Low-tech ideas

Tracking your job search doesn’t need to be a high-tech activity.  It can be as simple as manually recording details of jobs applied for in a notepad, or using an A4 file to keep printouts of all job application details, with a divider to separate each one.

Or, you could use a Microsoft Word document or Excel spreadsheet.  You can develop your own chart, selecting headers to meet your own needs, or request a free one from us via

You can print the chart as a blank template to fill in as you make progress in your job search, or keep it on your PC or laptop if you are likely to be at your computer to access the information when the recruiter calls.

If you are likely to receive a call from a recruiter whilst out and about, it would be worth familiarising yourself with your current applications, however it is perfectly acceptable to politely thank the recruiter for calling you, ask for details of the client company, specific role details and where they found you, then ask to set up the call at a better time.

Online job search tracking tools

Some online job sites offer candidates the facility to create a profile which will track the jobs they have applied for on that site, keeping all the relevant data in one place so you can easily call it to hand as needed.  This works fine when you are concentrating your job search activities on one specific site, but if you are using a number of sites, this could be complex to manage.

Another option is using an online job search management tool, which have been developed to help candidates to track their job search activities.  Free examples include:


JibberJobber describes itself as ‘a personal relationship manager that allows you to do everything you need to do to manage a job search and optimize your network relationships – for the duration of your career!’  The site’s features allow jobseekers to manage and organise their job search by keeping track of applications, managing relationships with professional contacts and targeting companies which may support their career goals.


Jobspeaker helps candidates to stay organised in their job search.  The site enables jobseekers to proactively manage all of the details of their job search, making sure that they are always ready for a recruiter’s call.

Jobseekers can search for jobs across their favourite job boards, rank jobs and track progress of applications, manage events and interviews, store job search documents, research and track potential employers and manage their contacts.


Have you been tracking your job search?  If so, are you using a high-tech or low-tech approach?  If not, it’s never too late to start!  Request your free copy of the MS Word chart we have developed to help you track your job search at