During a job search, you are your own boss. You need to spend your time wisely because time wasted is money not earned. We have some tips that will help you conserve your most precious commodity—time—during a job search. Using your time wisely will often shorten the gap between jobs.
Here’s how you do it:
Set Goals and Stick to Them
Heading out into the uncertain world of job search is sometimes like sailing on uncharted waters, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you get your bearings, you can decide exactly what direction you want your career path to take.
Then, you can start moving toward your target. Set your goal of landing a job in a particular industry, and then go after it.
These handy tips will help you learn to set goals that you can reach:
- Make a daily to-do list so that you know you have accomplished tasks that lead toward your long term goal.
- Be realistic. Set goals that you can achieve.
- Make yourself accountable for meeting your goal by a specific time.
- Use teamwork and give someone power to ask you if your goal has been met.
- Set positive goals, rather than having negativity as the driving force behind you.
- Be willing to be flexible. Some adjustments may have to be made. If a goal takes longer to achieve, don’t give up. Instead, restructure your plan.
When you implement each of these goal setting tips, you will be planning for a productive future. You can now move on to your search by following the next steps.
Stop Living in Search Mode
Being organized in every area of your life is important, but it is especially so in the area of your career and job search. Being organized makes life easier because it reduces stress. When you know where everything is, you free up part of your day because you are no longer operating in search mode.
Being organized will also help you plan better and be ready for an interview with little warning. Those who can be available quickly for an interview gain opportunities that others do not.
Be Ready to Network
When you are networking and applying for positions, having both an online resume and a hard copy ready to share with potential colleagues and friends is essential. Make sure that you have copies of your resume printed and in a portfolio that is within easy reach, on the spot wherever you are.
Carry along your business cards with your updated information on them. Although you are unemployed and between jobs, you are still a professional with the ability to network.
Cling to a Schedule
When you are unemployed, it is easy to become lazy without a rigid schedule. Unscheduled is a dangerous place to be when you are without a job. Hours pass quickly when you don’t value your own time.
It is important to create a schedule for networking, performing job searches, and applying for positions. If you are being called for multiple interviews, maintaining a digital calendar or at least having a notepad handy to add things to your schedule is important. You don’t want to overbook or forget an important interview time.
You can also network on the go, which means less time sending emails later on.
Don’t Apply to Jobs You Won’t Want
When you are desperate for work, it is easy to take the scattershot approach and apply for every job opening everywhere. Unfortunately, this is usually a time wasting approach.
You would be better served in the long run if you are more selective of the positions that you apply for. It will prevent time wasted at interviews for positions for which you are not qualified to be hired or for jobs you don’t actually want.
Expand Your Search
If you’re just looking through posts from the same sites over and over, you’re doing it wrong. A lot of cities have location-specific job sites or industry-specific sites that have opportunities the large aggregators like Indeed or Monster do not.
Employ these kinds of sites and find other ones. Chances are, you’re missing opportunities by not searching everywhere. You’re also wasting time by combing through the same old posts to find new opportunities. Try to avoid this as much as you can.
Talk to Everyone
Most positions are filled by people who have personal referrals. The better connected that you are, the more likely you will be hired quickly. The best way to get to know people is to be friendly everywhere you go.
Schedule informational interviews over coffee or dessert to meet and mingle with new connections. Each time you meet someone new, try to gain the name and contact information of one more person. This grassroots style of networking is the fastest way to a new job.
Get out of the House
Instead of being parked behind a computer screen searching through hundreds of wanted ads, attend professional meetings and networking events. Career services centers and job fairs are not just for recent alumni.
These meet and greet events can land you a job on the spot, if you are in the right place at the right time talking to the right person. Being actively searching for a job is another key to being hired. The faster you actually meet more people in your industry, the more time you’ll save in the long run.