How to Shorten Your Job Search

Personal Branding

People in transition know that finding a new, suitable job is a process—and most often, an unpleasant and lengthy one. While this is true in most cases, it doesn’t have to be that way, provided the job seeker understands the search process and becomes efficient with planning, creative thinking, networking, and research.

Where Do You Start Your Search?

You can’t even start searching for a job unless you know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, many people are so burned out from their previous jobs that the idea of going back to the same kind of position seems to be a monumental barrier. Often, talking to an experienced career coach can help. No career coach will tell a client what to do but will ask the right questions, and jointly the coach and the client can come to the right conclusion. Occasionally, when the situation is severe, a third party is introduced for help. In such extreme cases, I myself refer clients to an experienced counselor and career-coaching expert who has a Ph.D. and over 20 years of experience specifically in such situations.

How to Plan Your Day

A job seeker needs to develop a plan and a strategy. The plan is not only a road map but also an important element in achieving a positive mind-set. Focus and determination are integral parts of the process if one wants to shorten it. This job search strategy has as its goal the identification of ways the job seeker will conduct the job search via various methods, including searching for online job listings, connecting with employment recruiters, and building personal relationships through networking. Keeping track of daily activities is essential by developing a spreadsheet with such information as whom you called and e-mailed and when, what networking events you participated in, and so on. Build a roster of people you met and followed up with. And beware of falling into the trap of spending more than 10 or 15 percent of the day answering online job postings and just searching the Internet in vain.

The job search has several components to it, and therefore, identifying and measuring realistic milestones are very important in order to maintain the positive attitude and self-confidence needed during the long process.

Make sure you have an outstanding résumé. I mean outstanding—not good or very good. Those who do not have an outstanding résumé unknowingly prolong their job search. This is a shame, because they think they’re in the running when in fact they’re not—because their résumé isn’t up to snuff. Companies search mostly among only outstanding candidates. Remember that you are represented by what your résumé projects. No company is knowingly looking for good or very good job candidates. Companies all are looking for outstanding ones. For years, my recommendation has been to use a recommended professional résumé writer. Unless you are one, chances are very good that you’re not capable of producing an outstanding résumé—even if many others have helped you improve or edit it. And last, I suggest you work with a career coach who can prepare you by helping you acquire the skills needed for a successful interview.

Only in the Olympics are there three winners. In the job market, all candidates are losers except one. Good luck to you!