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How to Keep a Good Record of Your Job Search Activities for Unemployment Benefits Purposes

Ms. Clark has managed the administrative duties of several small businesses and has collected unemployment on occasion herself.

Learn how to keep a good record of your job search activities.

Learn how to keep a good record of your job search activities.

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 you will be prepared to provide the required proof when 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 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 to 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 prospective 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.

This template may be more useful to your actual job search because it includes more information.

This template may be more useful to your actual job search because it includes more information.

iMentor's Job Application Log.  This job search form is simpler, but may not include all the information you would like easily available when actually conducting a job search.

iMentor's Job Application Log. This job search form is simpler, but may not include all the information you would like easily available when actually conducting a job search.

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 the 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 searches and make sure to spend some time every day 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 every day rather than all of your job search one day or two days a week. Doing a 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 your interviewer's mind, 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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: How long should I save the proof of my job searches for Unemployment purposes?

Answer: 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


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 19, 2020:

Peggy Woods, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I read just a day or so ago that around 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently as a result of this pandemic. And I have read in the last week or two that many of the lost jobs will not be coming back.

With technology and automation taking away so many jobs even before considering the Coronavirus, it would probably be a good idea for people to start thinking about jobs they can create for themselves. I know, easier said than done, but that's likely what it's going to come down to as time goes on, virus or no virus.

It is the permanent disappearance of jobs do to progress that is the reason why some people are seriously suggesting a government monthly payment for everyone. Some jobs will never come back and there simply won't be enough jobs for everyone no matter how much they might want a job.

The virus seems to be getting more and more prevalent here. We had 37 official Coronavirus deaths in this county for weeks and weeks, and then about 3 weeks or so ago they started increasing and we're now at 90 deaths and climbing. So please take care to stay safe . . .

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 13, 2020:

Because of all the job losses due to the pandemic, more people than ever might need this kind of information. Unemployment offices are having a hard time keeping up with all the new people applying for benefits. I fear that many businesses will be shutting their doors for good. Some jobs will not come back. We are going to need strong leadership (like the type Franklin D. Roosevelt offered with the New Deal) to dig our way out of these tragic circumstances.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2016:

Christie, thank you for your inquiry. I have found the most efficient way to keep a job record is with a program like MS Office Excel (included in Microsoft Word). Since it is on computer it takes up hardly any space and could be kept indefinitely without inconvenience.

I should think 3 years would be long enough to keep employment search records for unemployment benefits purposes, and very possibly even less. I think sometimes these records can be useful to the job seeker him or herself in months and years to come because they have a record of possible employers for the future. It might pay to go back and apply with those same prospective employers as new openings occur in order to find a better job.

It doesn't make sense to just stay in a particular job until that job ends for some reason. Always be looking to move up the ladder so to speak. Finding a job with better pay and better conditions and benefits should always be on a person's agenda. Looking back at records that will give you information on certain employers that only an interviewee might have could be very helpful in searching for an even better job and in preparing for an interview for a different job in future.

Christie on August 20, 2016:

I returned to work full time a year ago. How long do I need to keep my job search records. (State of Washington)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 18, 2015:

Ezzly, thank you for commenting on this article. Yes, keeping a good record of job search activity is imperative not only so you know what you've done, but so you have records for the unemployment office that verify your job search activities. Thanks for the votes and Tweet, too!

ezzly on April 17, 2015:

Fantastic piece of work, no wonder this is editors choice! Looking for work really is a full time job and should be documented as such. Voted up, useful and sharing on twitter.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 30, 2015:

Patricia (Pstraubie48), thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and for the angels. I hope they will visit and bless you too. Lots of people fail to collect benefits they qualify for because they don't know where to start. I hope my articles on unemployment will be helpful to them.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 29, 2015:

Peggy W, thank you for commenting, and for G+ing and sharing this article! There still aren't enough jobs for all the people who want and need one.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 26, 2015:

Au Fait Thinking back to a time when I was on unemployment for a very brief time (many years ago) I know how helpful this would have been

I am sure those that read will benefit greatly as you have done so much work to make this process less painful.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 26, 2015:

Because of lowered gasoline prices, many oil companies and those related to the oil industry are now laying off many of their employees. Information like this will come in handy for them and others who are in the position of seeking jobs while drawing unemployment insurance. Giving this another share and will G+ this as well.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 20, 2014:

Thank you CraftytotheCore for checking out this article. I hope it will be helpful to people who need to keep good records, especially for unemployment and job search purposes because it is essential to avoiding problems with unemployment and in not missing opportunities for that great job.

CraftytotheCore on April 16, 2014:

Thankfully, I've never had to collect unemployment. But this is a very useful tutorial for anyone who needs to keep good records! I bet a lot of people will find this very helpful.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 01, 2013:

Thank you Shyron, for commenting, voting on and sharing this hub!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 29, 2013:

Au fait, I am so glad I no longer have to keep records of job searches. That is one of the best perks about being retired.

Voted up, UAI and shared.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 20, 2013:

Thank you DDE for reading and voting on this hub, and especially for your high praise and comments!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 19, 2013:

An interesting and useful hub on How To Keep a Good Record of Your Job Search Activities for Unemployment Benefits Purposes so helpful, and well- pointed out to all readers in such a position. You always provide us with worthy hubs. Voted up and useful.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 17, 2013:

Thank you Deborah-Diane, for sharing again, and for your high praise! This is currently an Editor's Choice hub for which I am greatly honored and I appreciate very much that you consider it useful.

I hope that my articles will provoke people to question and learn instead of accepting the status quo, which may be wrong.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on September 14, 2013:

I'm sharing this again. So many people are still unemployed and looking for jobs. Many of them need this information so they can maintain their unemployment insurance until they can find a job. Au fait, I just want to say how much I appreciate your detailed and well-researched articles. They have become reliable research sources, as far as I'm concerned! I often refer people to them when a question comes up on a wide variety of topics. You should be proud of your library of articles!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 07, 2013:

Thank you moonlake, for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub! I hope it will be helpful to people collecting unemployment benefits and to people who just want to keep track of their job search activities

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 07, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W for pinning and tweeting this hub!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 03, 2013:

Am going to pin this to my Useful tips and ideas board. Am sure that it will be helpful to many people. Also giving this a tweet.

moonlake from America on June 01, 2013:

Very useful information, first or last appointment good idea. Voted up and shared.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 26, 2013:

Thank you Deborah-Diane for commenting on this hub. Thank you also for noting that keeping good job records is beneficial when collecting unemployment so that one is prepared to respond to verification requests from their unemployment office, but also for their own convenience to help remember important information when an interview comes around and for other reasons.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on March 18, 2013:

This hub should be required reading for anyone who applies for unemployment compensation. Fabulous information!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 12, 2013:

Thank you girishpuri for reading and commenting on this hub! May God bless you also.

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on March 11, 2013:

Au fait, this is really informative and useful hub for many, thanks and God bless.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 24, 2013:

Thank you for leaving a comment Shryon, and for sharing you observation. Keeping a good record of one's job search is essential when collecting unemployment benefits, and helpful beyond measure even if one is just looking for a better job.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 17, 2013:

Thank you Kathryn Stratford for reading, commenting, and especially for sharing this hub. I would never be able to keep all the important info straight if I didn't keep a record when searching for a job, but it's especially important when it comes to filling out the verification forms the unemployment office will request every few weeks.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 16, 2013:

This is a must read for anyone who has lost a job, and applying for unemployment.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on February 16, 2013:

This is a great article! I am not on unemployment, but I like keeping detailed records of my job hunt for my own benefit. This is a very valuable resource for the unemployed! Thanks for sharing. I am going to share this with others.

I also really like the form!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 16, 2013:

CASE1WORKER, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. You are so right! It's good to keep detailed notes because you never know what info will be important and will make the difference between landing a good job and not.

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on February 16, 2013:

This is a really good idea- also with the amount of jobs that people apply for it could be easy to forget in the future - I found that sometimes you didn't hear from a job and then six months later- it was remember us- we didn't hire then but we are now, are you interested? It does not look good if you can't remember the name of the company!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 09, 2013:

Thank you for referencing this hub, Shyron!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 07, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W, for reading, commenting, voting, and sharing this hub! Hope others will see the value of thank you notes, etc., too.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 03, 2013:

Thank you prasetio30 for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! I try to make all my hubs educational. Hope this one is helpful to people.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on February 02, 2013:

There you go again, you always teaching us new and interesting things. Great hub my friend and good advice. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 02, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

This is excellent advice for job seekers to keep accurate and up to date records of their job searches. That tip at the end of seeking the first or last appointment of the day was interesting as well. Writing thank you notes will also make one stand out from the crowd. UUI votes and happy to share.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 01, 2013:

Thank you Shyron for leaving a comment on this hub. Keeping good records when searching for a job is imperative to succeeding.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 01, 2013:

I had to come back to this hub for more information.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 27, 2013:

alifeofdesign, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Agree with you completely and I hope it will be useful to those people who need it.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 27, 2013:

Awesome hub for job hunters and anyone who could possible have thir job at risk.

Graham Gifford from New Hamphire on January 27, 2013:

Au fait, I think this is very helpful information for those looking for work and for those who consider their careers as a life-long pursuit.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 26, 2013:

rajan jolly, thank you for reading, commenting, voting, and especially for sharing this hub with your followers! I hope it will be useful to lots of people who are either unemployed or looking for a better job.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 26, 2013:

Au fait you have provided some very useful info here along with good tips. Voting up and sharing for benefit.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 05, 2013:

Thank you for stopping by Shyron! Keeping good records during a job search are always a good idea even if you already have a job and are just hoping to get a better one.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 04, 2013:

This is the best information for anyone who is without a job and is active in searching for one.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 02, 2013:

Thank you vespawoolf, for checking out this hub. I hope it will make your job search easier when the time comes . . . Happy New Year!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 01, 2013:

Thank you for checking this hub out Shyron. My most successful and most popular hub (among Googlers, not necessarily hubbers) is about unemployment; how it works for employers AND employees, since I've been on both sides of it. This is just an addition to that main hub that I hope people will find helpful.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 31, 2012:

Although I'm not looking for a job right now, these are great tips for self organization. I'm not always the most organized person, so these are good reminders. Thanks!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 30, 2012:

This is really informative and information that should benefit anyone who has lost a job.