Job-hunting is never fun. Especially when you have bills to pay. So the sooner you can find a new source of income, the better. But you don’t want to rush the process and end up signing a bad contract. You still have to carefully vet job offers and ensure the terms are friendly.
The longer you’re on the hunt, the more frustrated you get. You might slip into depression and select damaging employment options. We’d like to make the process a bit easier, so here’s our advice on how to get a job fast.
How to Get a Job Fast
Tip 1: Clarity is Key
You can’t secure a quick job unless you know the type of work that you want. If you’ve been unemployed for a while, you may be desperate. You’ll take anything that comes your way. But if you have a sharper image of the position you’re applying for, you’ll craft a more tailored resume and perform more effectively at your job interview. You don’t have to know the exact position.
But you do need to know some specifics. For example, do you want a desk job or a field job? Do you prefer lots of face-to-face interactions or would you rather work with machines? Do you want to be closer to work or commute farther and pay cheaper rent? Are you open to moving house? Are prioritizing health insurance over paid vacations or do you just want cash?
Once you have a solid picture of these aspects, you can narrow down the jobs you’re checking out. So while your applications may be fewer, you can hone them better, ensuring each interview is higher quality. This improves your chances of getting faster responses and positive results.
Tip 2: Target your Resume
A 2015 study suggests the average person takes 23 days to find a job in the US. Residents of Germany, Canada, and the UK can sometimes take 30 days or more to get employed. You’ll go through multiple interviews and deep-dive vetting before they make an offer. You’ll also be assessed by bosses, peers, and dedicated panels to ensure you’re the right fit.
So if you’d like to improve your chances, craft a targeted resume for every application. Design a template, whether it’s chronological or functional. Keep this template updated for easier editing. That way, when you spot a job opening, you can quickly adjust it for the new work position. Remember, your resume should be just one page, so only include relevant details for that job.
Some of your information will remain constant – your contacts and references, for example. But with only a page to work with, you should only include the work history and educational background that’s relevant for this specific job. This makes your application stand out because employers instantly see that you’re a good fit. And that ‘fit’ will help you get a job fast.
Tip 3: Pick Places Close to Home
If the job requires physical office time, reduce your radius. Why? Because some employers will consider your commuting time. They may want you on call, and many bosses prefer hires that are available on short notice. They want to know you can rush to the office when they call you. Plus, they’d rather minimize transport expenses. If you live far away, you’ll cost them more.
Employees who live farther away may ask for mobility allowances and housing stipends, which raise overheads. Also, a local employee is more likely to be familiar and compliant with employment regulations. They won’t need visas, work permits, or local accommodation. The cultural fit is a factor as well. Improve your chances by applying for jobs that are close to home.
Tip 4: Write a Good Cover Letter
Job-seekers make the mistake of assuming their resume is enough. In reality, employers spend less than ten seconds reading one. And they receive hundreds every day. So if you want to get a job fast, send a cover letter as well. It should be brief and direct, just a few paragraphs. And don’t just repeat the information in your resume. Use the letter to connect on a human level.
It’s a chance to ‘translate’ your resume, showing them how your skills apply to the position. The focus is on your potential employer, not on yourself. It’s about what you can offer them, not what you want from them. Also, don’t use a generic cover letter. You can start with a template, but tailor your message for every application. And don’t forget to change the name at the top!
Tip 5: Fill the Gaps
Because it’s so hard to get a job fast, you probably have gaps in your resume. And you may be worried those jobless spaces will make you look bad. They can if you handle them wrong. This doesn’t mean you should lie. But it does mean you have to think more broadly. For example, what did you do during those periods? Study a part-time course? Volunteer at organizations?
Train your kids’ team? Those are all reasonable things to put in your resume, especially if they show off your soft skills. For example, supervising the local team shows leadership. Visiting hospitals shows empathy. These are skills employers value. So as you continue to look for work, seek activities that look good on your resume. That way, you can add them to your portfolio.
Tip 6: Always Follow Up
When you’re looking for a job, you can feel like the underdog. It’s intimidating, and you may not think you have any control over the situation. So you’ll probably send your resume and cover letter then wait for a response, getting progressively less hopeful as time passes. This can be worse if you’ve applied to multiple jobs because that increases your potential disappointment.
To ease your fears a little – and to show potential employers that you’re pro-active – get in touch with your interviewer. Wait two or three days and if they haven’t called, texted, or mailed you, reach out. Use the same medium they used to contact you. Return their call, text them back, or email them. Just say thank you for the interview and ask if there’s any progress.
Maybe you mailed them initially and they haven’t requested an interview. In that case, say you’re checking in to confirm whether they received your application. Offer your contact information so they can easily reach you. If they’re still quiet, wait a week then send a second follow-up. Never send more than two though. If you do, they may feel harassed and turn hostile.
Tip 7: Improve your Networking Skills
Let your family and friends know you’re looking for a job. It may feel like begging, but if they don’t know you’re job-hunting, they can’t share work opportunities. It’s also helpful to deliberately network yourself. Attend events in your industry. Spend time at social hubs and incubation centers. Connect with experts on social media, especially LinkedIn.
Be subtle in your networking tactics. You don’t want to spam them or annoy them. They may end up thinking you’re entitled, and that could ruin your reputation in their circles. Be confident and engaged. Approach them with the intention to help them, and explain what services you can offer them. That way, they’ll be glad to return the favor and help you get a job fast.
Tip 8: Prep your Refs
Some employers prefer references in your resume. Others will wait and ask during your interview. But since you don’t know when the interview will happen, you should have your referees ready. Never list anyone without their permission. Call them ahead of time and ask if they’re okay referring you, and tell them they may receive calls from potential employers.
This isn’t just etiquette. It also ensures they put in a good word. Without forewarning, they may not know they’re talking to your future boss, so they may end up saying the wrong thing and accidentally costing you a job. So always give them a heads up before you put their name down.
Tip 9: Work on your Non-verbals
Sometimes, a person walks into a room and everyone notices. They have a way about them, though you can’t put your finger on it. Think of someone you consider confident and observe them. Mimic their behavior. Stand tall, don’t hunch. Keep your posture open. Practice firm handshakes and engaged eye contact. You want to appear involved, but don’t stare. It’s creepy.
Nod to show you’re listening, but don’t overdo it or you’ll look like a puppet. Speak clearly and calmly, smiling to add warmth to your voice. This seems like a lot of information, but practice a little at a time until it feels natural. Once confidence and bearing become a habit, you won’t have to consciously think about it, and you’ll notice the difference in how people respond to you.
Tip 10: Use Stories, not Facts
This doesn’t mean you should lie. It means people like anecdotes, so use them in your cover letter and interview. Practice beforehand. You don’t want to sound rambling or confused. Or worse, boring! Prepare four or five little tales that you can sprinkle into your interview. It will make you memorable among a sea of candidates, and that can help you get a job fast.
For example, say they ask where you see yourself in five years. Instead of giving a dull answer about job titles and property, tell a little story. Explain why you want to have that title, or that car, or that house, or even that spouse. They’ll remember your story – and your resume.
Tip 11: Make the Most of Job Boards
You’ve probably used Google to find job opportunities. Job boards can offer more targeted results, but only if you use them effectively. Top job boards include Simply Hired, Career Builder, and Indeed. Spend some time understanding the sites and getting familiar. Don’t just use the basic tools. Look at their tutorials and learn how to use their advanced features.
Just as an example, some job websites let you do customized searches using keywords, locations, industries, and even years of experience. You can choose on-site jobs or telecommuting positions. You can specify part-time or full-time work. You could look up trending jobs, top hirers, and salary samples so you know how much to ask for. Some even have dedicated apps.
Tip 12: Don’t Limit Yourself
Looking for a job isn’t like being in a romantic relationship. Until you land a position, you don’t need to be exclusive. It’s a natural instinct to apply for five or six jobs then wait for a response. You might be worried you’ll get all the jobs and be stuck for choice. But it’s just as likely you won’t get any of those jobs. Then your waiting time will be wasted.
On the other hand, you might get multiple offers. Then you can tactically leverage them against each other to get a better deal. So apply to as many jobs as possible, and don’t stop trying till you get hired. When you receive a rejection letter, dust yourself off and send a letter somewhere else. After all, on average, it takes about one month and fifteen no’s before you get a yes.
Tip 13: Be Nice About Your Ex
Your interviewer is going to ask why you left your last job. Or why you’re looking for a new job. And at some point, they’ll call your current boss to verify your story. So no matter how much you hate your working conditions (and the people you work with), don’t say negative things. Even if they’re true. It will leave a bad taste in your potential bosses’ mouth.
Instead, think about the reasons you left and put a positive spin. Instead of calling your boss a micro-manager, you could say you want more leadership roles. If you want more money, explain that you’d like more versatility and a broader range of job responsibilities. Or that you’d like to develop new skills. Bad-mouthing won’t help you get a job fast – it’ll help you lose a job fast.
If you’re broke and jobless, you need quick employment. Here are some tips and tricks:
- Think about the kind of job you want and target your resume around it.
- Perfect your cover letter and fill job gaps with soft-skill volunteer work.
- Follow up for verification and send a thank-you note.
- Watch successful people and learn the power of smart body language.
- Don’t stop applying, and don’t talk badly about former work-places.
- Network online and offline to get a job fast.
How long did it take you to land your current job? Tell us how you did it in the comments!