Five Tips to Land a Job Faster

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC
Does it seem like it is taking longer to find a new job these days? By keeping a positive attitude and taking aggressive steps, you really can find your next position more quickly. Here are five tips to jump start your job search and help you land a new job faster!
1.     Consider your job search a full-time job. If you are unemployed, finding your next job IS your job. Work it like you were getting paid to job search because, in essence, you are! For every week you are unemployed, you LOSE several hundred or even thousands of dollars depending on your target salary. You can avoid that loss by keeping your job search as short as possible. Get up in the morning at your normal time, shower, dress, and get in your home office or at your kitchen table and get busy.
Talk to people as part of your “job search job”, just as you would in a normal work environment. Do not allow yourself to become isolated. Utilize online networking. Research local opportunities to get out and get in touch with real people either through free classes, volunteering, or civic organizations. Your “out of office” activities do not necessarily have to be job-related as long as they bring you into contact with people. Job search has always been a person-to-person activity; technology has just changed the methods a bit. Don’t spend eight hours in front of your computer and expect things to happen without actually talking to a real person!
2.     Invest in yourself first. Many people wait until they are completely out of funds to consider investing in their job searches. Of course, by then, it’s too late! When you lose your job, treat it like a natural disaster and think “what are my priorities?” Two of the first things you should do— invest in a great interview suit (if you don’t have one), and start spending wisely on your career-marketing activities.
Have your resume and cover letter prepared by a highly experienced and knowledgeable resume firm. Your resume and cover letter will be your “marketing brochure” and will be crucial to opening doors. They really should be top-notch so don’t skimp on them. A great resume writer can be a valuable asset to you in your job search. If you invest in yourself and your career first rather than last, your job search will be shortened simply by the aggressive approach you have taken!
3.     Use technology to your advantage. Technology is a tool that can compound your job search efforts exponentially. Use it wisely! The Internet is a bottomless goldmine of information ranging from networking on sites like LinkedIn to finding salary information or company details. Job boards have a search agent you can set to snag new job advertisements and send them directly to your email. Newspapers are online so you can research local markets from across the country or across the world! Keeping organized in your job search is a huge challenge that technology can help you conquer. Set up an Excel spreadsheet to track job ads you answer. Create a contacts database in Access, Outlook, ACT! or OpenOffice.
4.     Cast a wide net. Job search is a numbers game. The wider your net, the more leads you will snag. The more leads you have, the more opportunities you will have. Be sure to set your job search agent keywords to pull as many job leads as possible. Get in contact with dozens of recruiters. Don’t stop at networking with the ten people you know well. Make contact with EVERYONE you know and get to know new people, too. Directly target hundreds of companies, regardless of whether they are advertising open positions or not.
5.     Follow up, follow up, follow up. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. A client reported the other day he finally got the job he was targeting because he wouldn’t go away. He followed up and kept in touch through email, follow-up letters, and phone calls. He maintained contact on a regular basis until they granted him an interview. He got the job! While completing all his new-hire paperwork, the HR manager said she had put him on the interview list simply due to his tenacity over other qualified candidates. In fact, there were other candidates who were more qualified “on paper” but he showed a positive attitude and a never-give-up character. His “squeakiness” paid off!
Job search is a process involving several factors – communication, marketing, organization, and information. Job seekers who work the process diligently receive better results and enjoy shorter job searches. Wisely investing in career marketing early improves results as well. There is nothing more expensive than unemployment! Working smart to generate leads and opportunities pays off! Use these five tips to work smart, generate leads, and seize opportunities to land a great job faster.