Spend LESS TIME On Your Job Search

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Spend LESS TIME On Your Job Search

  The longest it ever took me to complete an online application was 2 hours.   Full disclosure, it wasn’t my application. At the time, I was working in the career services department at a college. I was assisting a soon-to-be graduate with an online application for a well-known pharmacy chain.   I can’t remember […]

 

The longest it ever took me to complete an

online application was 2 hours.

 

Full disclosure, it wasn’t my application. At the time, I was working in the career services department at a college. I was assisting a soon-to-be graduate with an online application for a well-known pharmacy chain.

 

I can’t remember exactly how many pages we went through before we finally reached the end, but it was more than 30. I remember thinking to myself, “Holy crap, I’m so glad they’re paying me to do this right now.”

 

Granted, most online applications don’t take 2 hours – but some do. And the ones that don’t still tend to average somewhere between 30-60 minutes to complete. I don’t have any actual data on that – I just know from my own personal experience.

 

It’s getting to the point that searching for a job is a job in and of itself – and most serious job seekers can expect to spend a large chunk of time on their job search. It can vary anywhere from 8-10 hours per week for those who are currently employed, to 20 for recent graduates, to 30 – 40 for those who are unemployed.

 

And the problem isn’t getting any better. The entire application process is taking longer than ever, and the trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing. So the smart job seeker needs to adapt. Utilize every resource available to you, and cultivate resources of your own.

 

If you’re feeling a little lost as to how to do that, don’t fret! I’ve put together a list of vital ways that you can better prepare yourself and spend less time on your job search!

 

Organize

Think about it – most online applications ask you to provide the same general information, right? So and work smarter instead of harder! Create a reference document that includes the entirety of your work and education and career history. Include all accomplishments, important projects, awards and recognitions, promotions, etc. This may take some time in the beginning, but if you continue to update this document as you move through your career, it will be well worth the effort!

 

With all of that information compiled in one place, you can just copy and paste for each new job application. This will take MINUTES off of the time it takes you to complete each individual application, which really adds up!

 

Automate

Many online job boards offer helpful services like “Job Alert” emails that will give you daily or weekly updates on new open positions that match your preferences. Use these to your advantage! During the early stages of your job search, create your profile, set your search criteria, and sign up for job alert emails. This will take TONS of time off of your job search, and let you focus on the jobs that interest you most!

 

Professionalize

Your LinkedIn profile can be a huge source of leads in your job search. According to sources like ForbesThe Washington Post, and Jobvite, LinkedIn is being used with increasing frequency by recruiters, employers, and job seekers alike. In fact, the 2014 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study (linked above), states that 94% of recruiters are actively using LinkedIn.

 

If you don’t know anything about LinkedIn’s search algorithm, you may want to do a little research. There is a lot to it – more than I know, and I’ve actually gone through training on it! But there are also some great resources to at least give you a good start.  One thing I can tell you is to make sure it is thoroughly completed – the more text you include in each section, the higher you will rank in search results for recruiters and hiring managers.

 

Get your other social media profiles in order, too. Scour them to get rid of any less-than-professional images or associations. You don’t have to sensor yourself “Big Brother” style – you just probably shouldn’t have any drunk selfies or drug references on any of your pages. In other words – be smart!

 

Network

Networking is considered to be the most effective way to find a job, but it is also probably one of the least-liked parts for many job seekers. But it is a very important skill, and it needs to be practiced in order to be developed.

 

Networking can be intimidating, uncomfortable, and awkward. Putting yourself out there and expending that kind of energy seems exhausting, especially if you don’t fully understand or value the return on your investment.

 

But 80% of jobs never get posted and are only found through networking. So if you put the time and effort into it, the return can be incredibly high. Effective networkers will build relationships that last a lifetime – or at least a career lifetime!

 

 

© 2016 Professional Progressions Consulting.  All rights reserved.

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