Are there things you can do to actually speed up your job search? You have more control than you might think!
Every minute that goes by is money you aren’t earning. You need to develop a sense of urgency to drive your actions. These are six ways you can increase your odds of landing your next job faster!
1. Invest time upfront in finding your focus
By understanding your strengths, you will be much more likely to find the appropriate opportunities, as opposed to randomly applying for just anything. Finding your focus means learning about you and learning about companies. I have seen job seekers waste precious time searching without really knowing where they are going. Make a list!
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What skills do you enjoy using?
- What kinds of tasks and projects get you excited?
2. Know your values.
- What do you know about the company?
- Is it’s mission aligned with your values?
- What are the people like who work there?
- What is your purpose and can you do it there?
Discover as much as you can about the company’s mission, culture and people as possible.
3. Manage your time well
Without structure, it is just too easy to get distracted. You will want a strategy first and then you can design your tactical approach. Don’t get lured into surfing the internet. It is too easy. Be purposeful and proactive in how you spend your time. Don’t just respond to jobs online.
- Are you following up with networking leads in a timely manner?
- Are you spending too much time customizing your resume and cover letter?
- What haven’t you made enough time to do?
Remember, finding a job is a full-time job! Here’s how to manage your job search time. And by all means, get a calendar!
4. Invest in activities with the greatest return on investment
Companies consistently report that the majority of their external new hires come from referrals. And don’t forget to watch the careers page on target companies. This is also a more direct route to a job (versus the major job boards).
- How much time are you spending staying connected to past colleagues?
- Are you using your contacts inside companies to get a referral?
- Do you have a target list of companies you would like to work for?
The idea here is to invest your time networking. If the rumor is true and over 70% of jobs are secured through networking, imagine spending about 70% of your time invested in reaching out to people you know instead of chasing posted jobs! If you think networking is a waste of time, read this Networking is a Waste of Time- Or Is It?
5. Never stop looking
Do not stop looking (applying, networking and interviewing) until you walk into the office. And even then, you should probably keep looking for a new job- just in case this isn’t what you had hoped it would be. That means NOT letting recruiters know you are close to accepting a job. Don’t opt out of interview opportunities. And do not stop networking, ever!
6. Assess what is working and what is not
- Are you getting interviews?
- Look back over your activities for the past 14-30 days or so. What breakthroughs have you had?
- How did those come to be?
You want to do more of what’s working!
Make the most of your job search and take steps to speed up your job search!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.