How to Keep a Good Record of Your Job Search Activities for Unemployment Benefits Purposes
It Is Critical That You Keep a Good Record of Your Job Search Efforts
Keeping good records of your job search activities when seeking a new job anytime, but especially if you are receiving unemployment benefits, cannot be overly emphasized. Your unemployment office will request verification of the job search activities that you have undertaken in searching for a job. Keep good records so that you will be prepared to provide the required proof when it is requested.
Be sure you have a clear, easy to read record, to provide to your state unemployment office when they ask you for it. If you cannot provide a record of your activities there is a good chance you may lose your benefits, so take the time and care to keep a good record. Keeping your records current and complete will make it easier to provide that job search record when it is requested.
Be sure to include enough information in your records so that you can read it yourself and understand it. If you cannot make sense of your notes and records, it is unlikely anyone else will be able to either, so make sure they are clear and neat.
Here Is a List Of the Basic Information You Will Want to Record.
For your own purposes and for keeping track of your job search efforts, you may want to note much more information as is shown in the photo examples provided in this article. The list I have provided below will include the basic information required to satisfy your state unemployment office, but for your own records you may want include more details. Feel free to add as much information and detail as you need to conduct a good job search and keep on top of your activities and progress.
Month, day, and year, and in some cases you may want to list the time, when the qualifying job search activity took place.
Type of Activity
Specify what activity you engaged in. Was it a workshop? Did you complete and mail a job application or résumé? Did you do an interview by phone or in person? Did you do a job search on one or more of the online employment sites, and did you submit an online application or email your résumé to a perspective employer? Did you participate in a job networking meeting, a workshop, or a seminar, to improve your job search skills? Specify exactly what your job search activity included on your work search record.
Location of Activity
Where did this job search activity take place? Was it at the State Unemployment Office? If you mailed or emailed a résumé, or if you filled out an online application, list the name and physical address as well as mailing address, if applicable, of the employer that you applied to in the location column.
Contact Person’s Name, Title, and Phone Number
List the name of the person who contacted you by phone or letter, or the person with whom you interviewed, their title and phone number, under “contact person.” Or list the name of the person and their title and phone number that you should contact to find out what stage your application is in – if you know that information.
Job Title of Position You Are Applying For
List the title and number of the job you are inquiring about or applying for if this information is applicable to the activity listed.
Follow Up or Results
What have been the results of the job search activity you engaged in? Did you receive a phone inquiry/interview? An appointment for an in-person interview? A letter letting you know the job has been filled? Have you improved your résumé writing skills as a result of instruction on that subject at a workshop or class? Did you get some new job leads as a result of a networking meeting with other unemployed people? Whatever the results of your activity, keep a clear record of what it was in your follow-up file as verification of your efforts.
Many times you may send a résumé, but you are never informed about what happened to it. Sometimes you are fortunate if you receive even a notice that your résumé or application was received. After that you may get nothing, and often employers do not provide phone numbers because they do not want to be bothered by hundreds of applicants they are not considering.
Sometimes employers will even tell an applicant not to call them with inquiries about their applications and that if they do so, they are warned that their application will be placed at the bottom of the stack. Yes, I have seen this notice many times in job listings, or in notices sent to notify me that my application was received.
Example of a Job Search Record
Another Simpler Example of a Job Search Record
Ways to Keep Job Search Records
I like to keep track of the important information about my job searches in my Excel program, but if you do not have Excel on your computer, a notebook or other record will be fine. The important thing is that it be clear and complete so that you understand it yourself. If you cannot understand it a couple of days or a week after you wrote it, it is unlikely anyone else can make sense of it either.
Be sure your record of your job searches includes all the applicable information listed above for each and every job search effort. Your unemployment office will not likely request such detailed information, but it will be useful to YOU in searching for a job, so keep good notes and records.
Keep a notebook handy during interviews over the phone, or in person, so that you do not forget the name of the person you spoke to and the title of the job you interviewed for. Write down any important information you learn during your interview. Good notes can also be useful when writing a thank you note to your interviewer.
On your way out the door after an interview, check with the receptionist to get the correct name, title, and mailing address of your interviewer so that you can send that person a thank you note for taking time to talk with you. Sending a thank you note shows you are thoughtful and considerate, and it puts your name, your qualifications, and your interview in the mind of the receiver again.
Take notes during your various job search activities and then move that information to your job search record, keeping it neat and easily understandable so that it will be ready when your state unemployment office requests that information as verification that you have made the required number of job searches. This information will be invaluable to you as you search for a job.
It is not a matter of IF your state unemployment office will request verification of your job search activities when you are receiving unemployment benefits, but WHEN that office will request that information. Save yourself a lot of stress and headache and keep good records from day one of your job search and make sure to spend some time everyday searching for a new job.
Your state unemployment office likes to see that you are seriously trying to find another job, so I recommend you do a little everyday rather than all of your job search one day or two days a week. Doing job search just one or two days a week means you will almost certainly miss some job opportunities because you were not looking for them when they were listed.
One more bit of advice to consider When You Are a Job Seeker
Some articles written by employment specialists that I have read say that the first and last interviews an employer or employer’s representative conduct are usually the most memorable to the interviewer. You might want to ask to have the first or the last interview appointment when scheduling your interview for that reason. You are more likely to stay in the mind of your interviewer, especially if there are a lot of contenders for the job you want. Being the first or last person to interview for the job could give you an edge over your competition . . .
Questions & Answers
How long should I save the proof of my job searches for Unemployment purposes?
I have saved the proof of my job searches for Unemployment indefinitely since they don't take up much space on my computer. If you have a printer/copier/scanner just scan any paper copies of your job searches that you provide to your unemployment office and then it won't be necessary to keep paper copies taking up space that often gets lost. They'll be in a file on your computer. Be sure to back up your computer regularly, so that if nothing else, you'll have copies of everything that's on your computer on a flash drive or disc ready to load onto your new computer when you get one.
As far as keeping paper copies, I would think five years should be plenty of time. Next time you talk with one of the agents at the unemployment office, ask him/her this question. I doubt they check back more than a year or so at most unless they suspect fraud. I find keeping all my employment records in a file on my computer solves the problem.
© 2012 C E Clark