Nobody likes looking for a new job, especially if you’re involuntarily without one. Having bungled more than my fair share of job opportunities during my career, I know I could’ve gotten more offers if I took a more data-driven approach.
When I was looking for a change earlier this year, I leveraged Google Sheets and Google Data Studio to visualize my search. I wound up getting two offers within three weeks of starting my search in earnest. I’m now in a great role at Aras, a growing PLM software company.
I know a lot of digital marketers have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns. If you’re one of them, hopefully this helps you get into a rewarding position soon.
If you’re already sick of reading this post and just want the dashboard: Here you go.
Why data matters
Applying for jobs no longer requires applicants to spend all night writing cover letters and tailoring resumes. Resumes can be submitted in rapid fire. Cover letters are rarely required because no one reads them. Resume formatting isn’t that important anymore since the talent acquisition software will jumble it anyway.
This makes it easy to stay on top of your job search no matter where you are. You can apply for a job on LinkedIn walking into the office and have a phone interview by lunchtime. That also means you’re competing with everyone from interns to senior citizens who are desperate for a new gig.
If you’re qualified for the positions you’re applying for and you use the right keywords in your resume, you’ll get through all that noise. But if you’re getting interviews and no offers, you may need to adjust your strategy. The more data you have, the easier that is.
The first thing I did was create a simple spreadsheet in Google Sheets. As you can see from the example, it’s complete nonsense. I’ve never applied for any of the jobs in the sheet, and I’m not remotely qualified for any of them.
- Date applied
- Job title
- Location (City, State)
- Site (where I applied)
- Interest level
- Phone screen date
- Phone interview date
- Onsite interview date
- Rejection date
- Outcome (Offer or Rejection)
I set the fields with dates to only allow valid dates by clicking Data > Data Validation > Criteria: Date is valid date.
Interest level is a scale of 1-10. You may want to omit this. I found it useful to honestly assess my interest in a position while applying. It saved my time chasing opportunities that weren’t the right match for my career progression.
Google Data Studio
Now that the Google Sheet is set up, you can connect it to Google Data Studio. If you’re unfamiliar with how to use Data Studio, I recommend this great post by David Krevitt at Coding is for Losers.
Add data source
Connect Google Sheets to your new report by clicking the Add data link in main navigation.
The connection details should match the following:
- Company: Text
- Date applied: Date (YYYYMMDD)
- Interest level: Number
- Job Title: Text
- Location: Text
- Offer Date: Date (YYYYMMDD)
- Onsite Interview Date: Date (YYYYMMDD)
- Outcome: Text
- Phone Interview: Date (YYYYMMDD)
- Phone Screen: Date (YYYYMMDD)
- Rejection Date: Date (YYYYMMDD)
- Site: Text
- Record Count: Number
This is the fun part. For this dashboard, I’ve included a time series chart to track application dates, interest level, phone screens, phone interviews, onsite interviews, offers and rejections.
Over time (which hopefully isn’t long), you’ll notice patterns that you can use to adjust your job search. Maybe you’re more successful the higher your interest level because your enthusiasm is evident.
It’s also a good reality check. The opportunities you’ve lost aren’t coming back. Focus on what’s ahead.
I also included a simple, color-coded chart to break down progress by company.
If you have your own site (and if you’re in digital marketing, you definitely should), you can include Google Analytics data in your dashboard as well. I wouldn’t think much of a lack of apparent activity related to your job search.
CTRs on resumes are extremely low in my experience. If you see a bunch of visits from the same city where you recently interviews, that could be an encouraging sign.
The final dashboard
The final result should look something like the screenshot below. The dashboard can be modified as you see fit here.