If you're like most people, it's tough to find a job quickly when you need to. There are some things you can do while job hunting that will help you find a new position faster. Some of these things are small but can make a big difference. Others are significant enough that they can make or break your job search.
Use these tips to see if there's anything you're not doing—then give them a try.
Watch Now: Quick Tips to Get Hired Fast
Use the Job Boards Correctly
All the major job boards, such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com have an “Advanced Search” option where you can search by keyword, location with a radius, job title, and many other options.
Applying for every job you find isn't always a good idea—it's also inefficient. Instead, seek out jobs that match your qualifications. That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting selected for an interview. Before you start job hunting, take the time to decide what type of job you’re seeking.
Come up with a target list of companies you’d like to work for and do your best to get them to notice you.
Focus Your Resume and Keep Applying
You only have a few seconds to impress a hiring manager enough to select you for an interview. Hiring managers want to see what you can do for the company written in your cover letter's first paragraph.
However, it’s not just your cover letter. Your resume should be edited and tweaked, so it’s as close a match to the job as possible. Otherwise, it may not get picked up by the applicant tracking systems companies use to screen resumes or the recruiter who reviews it.
Avoid the temptation to put decades of work experience on your resume. It dates you and provides too much information. It might also be too much experience for most job openings.
You applied for your dream job, and you didn’t hear anything back from the company. Later, you see the job posted again. A “do-over” is fine, but be sure you’ve carefully matched your qualifications in your resume and cover letter to the job requirements. Also, check LinkedIn to see who you know. You might be able to get a referral the second time around.
When applying for work, the most likely outcome is that you'll get a lot of rejections before you land a job. Instead of getting discouraged, learn from your mistakes and keep applying until you get the right offer.
Waiting to hear the results from your application or interviews will only extend the length of time your job search takes. Keep applying—the worst thing that can happen is you’ll either be told no or have to juggle multiple job offers.
Your Appearance and Personality
Maybe appearances shouldn’t matter so much, but they do. The first few minutes of an interview are critical for first impressions. Be sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the type of job and company you’re applying to.
Rehearsed answers, fake smiles, and saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear misleads the employer. Employers want to know who they’re hiring, and that’s the person they expect to show up for the first day of work.
One way to show the employer what you’re like is to tell a story. When you’re asked questions, relay the specific skills and experience you have and how you handled the situations you’re asked about. The more factual information you provide, the more the hiring manager will know how qualified you are.
Hiring managers look at your shoes—you might need to polish yours. If your shoes don't require polish, ensure they are clean and free of scuffs or scratches. It’s important to look your best from head to toe.
Remember Your Interview Etiquette
One of the most common interview mistakes is badmouthing your last boss or co-workers. The first thing the interviewer is going to wonder is what you will say about their company when you’re moving on.
It’s essential to follow up after a job interview. It’s a way to show your appreciation for being considered for the job. It’s also a way to reiterate your interest and share anything you neglected during the interview.
Use Your Network and References
Networks are an essential component of a successful job search. Most jobs are found through networking, whether it’s online or in-person. You never know who can help you find your next position unless you tell your connections you’re looking for a job.
References are important, and employers check them. Get recommendations from bosses, coworkers, clients, subordinates and suppliers. Store them on sites like LinkedIn and share them whenever possible. If you’re worried about getting a lousy reference from your supervisor, work on getting some personal references you can add to your credentials.
Be Thorough and Patient
Job hunting can feel as though you're playing a multitasking game to try to keep up. There's so much you need to pay attention to when you want to impress a prospective employer.
Before you submit an application online or email a cover letter or thank-you note, make sure to read carefully for typos. In particular, check that you've spelled the company and hiring manager's names correctly.