The Highly Efficient Job Search

Every unemployed person has heard this saying: Finding a job is a job. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of work that makes you want to whistle while you do it. But as with any task, you can take steps to make it easier. Here are some tips to help you boost your efficiency as your search for a new job:

Set a Schedule
It’s important to establish and adhere to a regular schedule, bringing the same level of discipline and diligence to your search that you would a 9-to-5 job. Get into the routine of creating a prioritized to-do list each morning, laying out what you want to accomplish and, just as important, a deadline by which you want to accomplish it.

Developing a daily plan of attack will keep you from falling prey to countless distractions. For instance, if you’ve set a goal to follow up with three of the HR representatives you met at yesterday’s job fair by noon today, you’re less likely to lose focus or procrastinate during the morning.

In addition, your job hunt won’t feel so overwhelming and all-encompassing if you’re in the habit of starting and stopping around the same time each day. Scanning online job boards and professional networking sites around the clock is a recipe for burnout. Giving yourself permission to enjoy some downtime can help you manage stress and maintain morale when you’re out of work.

Focus on Specific Targets
The more resumes you send, the better your chances of finding employment, right? Not exactly.

Many applicants make the mistake of adopting a scatter-shot approach to their job search, focusing on quantity instead of quality. But finding an employment opportunity isn’t strictly a numbers game. You’re better off sending customized resumes to a smaller number of prospects you’ve researched ahead of time than firing off the same generic document to every company with an opening.

Make better use of your time–and improve your odds of landing job interviews–by adapting your resume to highlight the skills, qualifications, and accomplishments most relevant to each employer. Integrate applicable keywords from the job ad, and review the company’s website and marketing materials to gain beyond-the-basics knowledge of the firm.


Get Organized–and Stay Organized
Clutter and poor planning can lead to chaos and last-minute scrambling. Getting organized will help you avoid messy surprises that come in the form of missed opportunities, errors, oversights, and extra work. (If you’ve ever lost a vital business card or shown up at the wrong time or place for an interview, you know the dangers of being disorganized.)

Develop a system that enables you to quickly retrieve documents and keep track of dates, names, and contact information. As long as you have a method that works for you, it doesn’t matter if you use electronic tools or an old-fashioned Rolodex and paper calendar. Knowing that you’ll be able to find what you need at a moment’s notice in an appropriately named file aids productivity and provides peace of mind.

Investing a few minutes at the end of each day to update your calendar and tidy up your physical workspace, digital desktop, and email inbox will save you significant time (and headaches) in the long run. The bottom line: Staying organized may help you find your next job more quickly.

job, Jobsearch