It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for your first job post-graduation or you already have a job but are ready to move on. Job searching is a grueling, time-consuming, unavoidable task. On average, it is taking employers more than 26 working days to fill a job opening, leaving you in job limbo for almost a month.
Ideally, by now you have come up with your own serious, in-depth job search strategies. Here are five tips that can further aid your search, especially when you’re short on time:
1. Combine personal opportunities with networking opportunities. When you are in a situation where discussing your career aspirations is not considered out-of-place, use that time as an opportunity to feel out possible job leads.
Often times, having a family friend who has known you your entire life creates an additional upper-level reference. Internal references help ensure you are at least given the opportunity to interview, but almost all personal interactions can turn into a networking opportunity if you are willing to seize the moment.
Bring up work naturally in conversations with others by talking positively about their job. If your friend is happy where they work, there is a good chance you would enjoy working there, too.
Additionally, if you know someone who works for a company you like, ask them how they got hired. The more you know about the hiring process, the easier it will be for you to put your best self forward.
2. Identify if your new connection is beneficial professionally. While personal opportunities can turn into networking opportunities, learn how to navigate away from a professional conversation that you don’t feel would be beneficial to you professionally.
There are times when your friends’ own career wishes cloud their ability to identify whether or not their advice is useful to you. Only take networking opportunities that make the most sense to you. Not all connections are created equal.
3. Spend 15 minutes per day researching and contacting potential employers. Making a little headway each day can help prevent burning out from the long, arduous hours of job searching.
During the week, it’s understandable if your time is limited. Make the most of your time and limit your job search to 15 minutes. When you have more time to spend searching for jobs, take advantage of that time.
Visit the job boards each day to check for the newest posts, but don’t waste your time digging through positions you’ve already decided weren’t a good fit. Also, search specifically for companies you are familiar with and would like to work for.
4. Use templates when contacting potential employers. A lot of employers are looking for the same information. Examples of your work, your relevant experience, etc. will all virtually be the same.
By creating an email template that you use to provide this information, you will save time on drafting completely new emails each time you reach out to an employer. Just make sure you edit the template to match the needs of whomever you are reaching out to.
Your template should include a space for you to address the hiring manager by name, a section stating the job posting you are referencing, a list of relevant skills you have, and samples of your work. Save the template so sending out multiple applications in a row is easy.
5. Use mobile. Think about the number of times per day you check your social media accounts on your phone. Consider installing job search applications on your phone and treat them as another way that you spend your free time.
Using your phone is one of the easiest ways to narrow down job opportunities. Many apps allow you to save job postings that appeal to you the most, so you can sit in front of your computer and complete multiple job applications at the same time.
Outside of apps like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed, you can use your phone’s web browser to Google job postings on the go. You can also set up mobile alerts so you know about job postings as soon as they happen.
Setting aside the time to find a new job doesn’t have to be time-consuming and stressful. By making a little progress each day, you will have set yourself up for a quick, successful end to your job search.