Speed Up Your Job Search

It is no secret that job searching can be a long and stressful process. Maybe you have already spent countless hours searching and applying for different jobs. But whether you are still employed or just need to find that next paycheck, it is important to plan your job search wisely in order to get the best results for your time. This article will help to conduct an efficient and effective job search - just see Step 1 below to get started.


Focusing on Yourself

  1. Know your qualifications. Before going out to look for a job aimlessly, you need to understand what you are qualified to do. This not only means that you "feel" you can do the job or that it sounds cool, but that the recruiter or hiring manager will know you can do the job based on your skills and experience.
    • Remember, you have to be able to illustrate your abilities before you even get an interview to explain further. The best thing to do is think about your education and past experiences. Then ask yourself the following questions to help you decide what type of job is best for you:
    • What skills do I have?
    • What examples can I provide to back up claims of having these skills?
    • Where was I most successful in my current or previous positions or education?
    • What am I interested in and where do my passions lie?
  2. Identify the kind of position you are seeking. Once you have taken a look at yourself and what you are most qualified for, it is time to pinpoint exactly what kind of a job you should apply to. If you have put a lot of thought into this, you are more likely to get a good response from potential employers.
    • The first step is to define the titles and levels that you are most qualified for. For example, if you are applying for a job straight out of college, you will be more qualified for an entry level financial analyst position than for the position of finance manager.
    • Also determine your ideal work schedule and employment status, such as full time or part time, contract or temp status.
  3. Narrow down the industry you want to work in. Some jobs and qualifications are specific to a particular industry. You may be one of those people who are better off advancing your career within one single industry, or you may be free to diversify a little.
    • For example, a college professor can have a difficult time leaving academia and entering into a corporate setting because companies want people with experience working in other companies and not teaching.
    • However, other positions are more easily transferable between industries. For example, financial analysts working in the hospitality industry can transfer their skills to the software sales industry.
  4. Think about the type of company you want to work for. There are several factors that contribute to the type of company you want to work for.
    • These include private vs. public companies; small, mid or large sized companies; global or non-global companies.
    • You should also consider which companies have the type of culture you would enjoy or fit into. Would you prefer a relaxed start-up environment or a large-scale, well structured office?
  5. Pay attention to location. There is no point in applying for a job if you will not work in the location specified. You must define where you are willing to travel or move to before wasting your time applying for the job.
    • The same goes for in office vs. remote working. If you prefer to work from home, you should not apply to an office based job unless the employer tells you remote work can be an option.
  6. Update your cover letter, resume and any other documents. It is important to update all of your documents to include the most relevant information for each specific job. You cannot just have one general document for all of your job applications.
    • Even though you could be applying to the same job title (such as marketing manager) each company may be looking for something slightly different. It is important to tailor each document to that particular job before submitting.
    • You must read through each job description, pick out what the qualifications are for that job, and express that in your cover letter, resume and any other documents you submit.
  7. Update your social media profile. When you are looking to update your social media profile, you still have to keep it job specific. However, since you do not want to keep changing around the information, you can just add all of the information that is relevant to the vast majority of job applications.
    • For example, all three marketing manager positions you applied to are looking for someone with social media marketing experience and one of them has specified search engine optimization experience.
    • If you have both of these experiences, you must list each in your profiles.
  8. Join professional associations and groups. By joining both non-virtual and virtual professional associations and groups, you will be able to label yourself as someone who is committed to their career path in the field in which you are qualified.
    • Non-virtual groups are those such as the American Marketers Association or Society for Human Resources Management. A virtual group is a group that is formed through social media where people can network and share ideas.
    • Being associated with these groups will help you stand out in the crowd, especially if an employer values these types of memberships. In addition, there may be a members’ only job board and networking opportunities.

Conducting an Effective and Efficient Job Search

  1. Use aggregator job posting sites. Aggregator job posting sites search through the internet to find job postings and list them all in one place for you to view.
    • So instead of going to each individual company website or job board site, you can utilize one site to find what you are looking for by using keywords and other advance search criteria such as location or company name.
    • Using aggregator job positing sites will allow you to save time in your search so you can focus on preparing and submitting your applications.
  2. Research and create a list of target companies. You can further define your job search by researching various companies and creating a target list of companies you want to work for. Once you have this list, you can periodically check their website and other job boards for openings.
    • At first this may seem like it may prolong the job search, but if you are very specific in your choice of employment you may find this step most effective for you.
    • By targeting specific companies, you can use your energy wisely and not waste time with companies you do not want to work for. Remember - quality over quantity!
  3. Search for well-known companies in your area that you would like to work in. Perform research on these companies by conducting a general internet search using the company name as a keyword and reading through their website, articles published about or by them, company reviews and social media profiles.
    • Create a list of all companies that seem to fit what you are looking for, even if there is no job currently available for you.
  4. Use job search management tools to stay organized. When you are applying to multiple jobs in different ways such as websites, email or by hand, it can get very confusing. Sometimes people don’t even remember applying for a particular job until they get an email or phone call back from the company. In order to remain efficient, it is important to stay organized.
    • Thanks to modern technology, there are tools available for job seekers to stay organized called job search management tools.
    • This is a great way to keep track of the entire job search process by helping you determine what you have applied to, who responded back to you, where you are in the process for each job and what tasks you need complete.
  5. Reach out to contacts. As soon as you know you want to start looking for a particular job, you should reach out to your contacts. People hire people and the more people you know the greater the chance of getting an interview.
    • It is best to reach out to your contacts individually, not in a group message, and personally ask for their assistance. You can reach out to your contacts by either sending an email or social media message, calling them on the phone or speaking with them over lunch.
    • Whichever way you do it, just let the person know that you are open to new opportunities and if they hear anything, to please pass the information to you. It is always worth a shot!
  6. Give networking a try. The more connections you make the better. Attending both general networking events and networking events for job seekers will help you make connections that have a potential to assisting you in your career.
    • Talking to people and getting your name and face out there can do a lot more than just submitting a resume. Some jobs don’t even get posted to the public because they become filled by someone who was referred to the company.
    • So. just as you need to reach out to your contacts, it is important to make new contacts that may be of assistance. You may even meet the recruiter to your dream job, so get out there and network!