How to Manage an Inbox Full of Applicants: The Efficient and Practical Solution

Searching for a qualified candidate means placing your email account at the mercy of a flood of applications and inquiries. To save your day-to-day emails from being swept away by this deluge, set up labels and filters in your Gmail account to direct applicants to a separate (and most important, manageable!) pool.

How to Set up Labels and Filters

1. When logged into your Gmail account, click the gear icon in the top right corner of your inbox and click Settings. 


2. Click the Filters tab along the top menu, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click Create a New Filter to access a pop-up window that helps you set up the filter.

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3. Now it’s time to enter the parameters around what you actually want to filter. If you’re using several tools to source applicants, you’ll want to create a filter for each. For this example, we’ll use the Marketing Manager position on InternMatch (please note that when using InternMatch, we recommend using our built-in ATS and application management system).

In the From field, enter the source of the email (InternMatch). In the Has the words text box, enter the title of the position (Marketing Manager). If you’re using outside sources where students submit applications by email, instruct them to include the title of the position in the email subject line and create a filter with that Subject.

Once you’ve specified your parameters, click Create filter with this search.

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4. From here, we have a lot of great options to make the filter even smarter. For this example, though, we’ll just show you the must haves. Check Apply the label and choose New label from the drop-down menu next to the option.

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5. Give the label a clear name; typically, the position title plus the source tells you everything you need to know (Marketing Manager: InternMatch).

6. Click create.

7. If you already have emails in your inbox that match your set parameters and would like them labeled, check Also apply filter to X matching conversations.

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8. Click the Create filter button.

That’s all there is to it! You’ll see your filter show up on the left hand side of your email dashboard. Click it to edit your label settings (such as the color or name). If you want to edit the filter parameters, access the Filters tab through the Settings page.

Ready to start getting some applicants in your inbox? Click Get Started to create your account and publish a listing.


Have any other tips about how to manage an inbox crammed with applications? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @IMemployers!

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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.