Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll keep your job search quick, efficient, and in motion until the day you accept an offer.
There are two kinds of job searches: 1.) A lean, efficient swoop out of one position and into the next, and 2.) a slow, meandering, non-linear adventure through an open-ended wilderness that lasts for six months (or longer) and may or may not end with an offer that’s satisfactory (or even acceptable). When most people set out in search of work, their process resembles either of these, or something in between. And while a slow meander may provide some benefits, most of us would prefer the first version. A quick, efficient search is safe, satisfying, and financially manageable. So how can you tighten up some of the loose ends before your job search even begins? How can you ensure a safe landing before your plane leaves the ground? Keep these tips in mind.
The more cards in your hand, the better.
Apply for every job under the sun. When an opportunity comes your way, reach out. Don’t spend too much time scrutinizing the terms, requirements, and circumstances before you dive in. Why? Because submitting a resume doesn’t represent a commitment of any kind. And the more offers and interviews you collect, the more negotiating leverage you’ll have when a perfectly perfect opportunity appears on the horizon.
Approach your cover letter strategically.
If you’re going to reach out to five or ten employers per day, you won’t have time to create ten beautiful, personalized cover letters from the ground up. (Not if you have any other obligations in your life, which most of us do). So create one simple template and customize your template for each position you pursue. At the same time, invest some thought, time, and care into your customizations. Each letter you write should make the recipient feel unique and special… even if your letters are all essentially the same.
Keep your eggs in multiple baskets.
If you find a job post for a position that seems made for you, it’s okay to get excited about it. It’s okay to get carried away, even. And of course it’s okay to invest attention and care into every detail of your application process. But it’s not okay to put the rest of your job search on hold while you eagerly wait to hear back from your target employer. Never stop moving; after you submit your application or schedule an interview, get back on the trail immediately and focus your attention on the next post or lead.
Change it up.
Some job search activities may be more comfortable than others, depending on your personality. Some introverted job seekers like to scroll through online job posts in their comfort of their homes, sifting silently through posts and responding to ads. Some extroverts like to attend “networking events” (i.e., any social event at all) in order to meet potential leads and contacts over drinks and small talk. But to keep your search in motion, make sure you’re doing plenty of both. Reach out to actual people AND search every corner of the internet for opportunities you might otherwise miss.
Stay open to new possibilities.
As you launch your search, you may have a very narrow set of specifications in mind. You may have a specific job title in your sites (like “regional account manager”) and a specific industry (like “consumer electronics distribution”.) But if you find an intriguing position outside of your industry or your experience, go for it. Your past doesn’t define your future, and you never know when a moment of curiosity and boldness might change your life for the better. Stay flexible and keep an open mind.
For more on how to set clear goals, create an action plan, and land your next job as quickly as possible, turn to the tools and resources on LiveCareer.