Early on in my technical career, I worked for a medium-sized company that was enjoying a period of brisk revenue growth. Almost immediately, the company began spending recklessly on lavish office perks, designer furniture, equipment, spendy retreats at resorts, and never-ending catered meals. (Sounds almost like the current banking crisis, doesn’t it?) A colleague of mine who worked in the company’s finance department at the time would later admit that the monthly expenses seemed very irresponsible to her, even by the standards of the affluent 90s. When reality ultimately came crashing in, sweeping layoffs were the only solution. Like so many of my colleagues, I found myself out of work from one day to the next.

My own experience with unemployment happened at a time when jobs in every industry were plentiful. You know, when you would get an actual phone call or a polite letter informing you of the fate of your application. Friends of mine who for the past few years have been engaged in what they call “professional job hunting” all confirm that those days are pretty much over. Traditional wisdom no longer applies, and if you don’t sharpen the tools in your arsenal to keep up with the times, you may lose out. By all accounts, you may even need to resort to spam techniques to make sure that your résumé lands somewhere where it might actually be seen.

With so many people losing their jobs recently, the Office Online team has gotten to work on a brand-new Career Center site to help Microsoft Office users with every step of their career or job search. As part of this effort, we’ve partnered with the experts over at Monster.com to make the whole process a snap. Like all of the resources on Office Online, the new job hunting tools are completely free, so be sure to see what’s available!
 

Click to view our free video!

Watch now: Four steps to your next job!
 

Once you begin mailing out dozens of job applications, your résumé, and your cover letters, keeping track of it all can be a daunting task. Fortunately, our new Career Center also offers the OneNote job application tracker. This template-based OneNote form can be added to any section in your OneNote notebook. It makes it much easier to keep track of the various job leads in your sight.

Using the template, you can keep track of the companies to which you’ve sent an application, résumé, and cover letter. You can also jot down which version of your résumé and references that you’ve sent out for specific jobs, and what the names and phone numbers of any company reps and head hunters are with whom you’ve been in contact. You can then use the job application tracker to follow up with each employer, follow up with thank-you notes, and remind yourself of upcoming interviews and phone calls.
 


 

Download and install the OneNote 2007 Job Tracker template

  1. If you don’t yet have OneNote 2007, download and install the free trial version.
    You can use and test-drive it for a full 60 days without any restriction or obligation.
     
  2. Launch OneNote 2007 and then open the notebook section where you want to install the template.
     
  3. Go to the download page and then click the Download button.
    If prompted, follow any additional steps and instructions on your screen.
     
  4. The template will automatically open on a new page in your current notebook section.
    If that’s not where you want it, you can easily move the page to another notebook section.

Tip  Don’t like the template exactly as we’ve designed it? Watch a free video to learn how to customize templates in OneNote.
 

Remember to check out all of the other free tools that our new Office Online Career Center has to offer!

Let me know if you find the OneNote job application tracker useful. I’d also be interested in how you’ve used OneNote (and other Office programs) in your own job search — recently or in the past. Which program has been the most valuable to you and which tools and features have helped to make your job searches easier?