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When looking for a new job, the application and interview process can seem to drag on indefinitely. Maybe you’ve outgrown your current position or need to get out of a bad work situation. Sometimes you need to find a gig sooner rather than later.
Switching jobs can be a lengthy process, but there are things you can do to get hired fast. Knowing all the tips and tricks can help you find your dream job and get hired quickly.
We’ve compiled a list of tips that will expedite your job search. It will also take you one step closer to landing a new position.
How to Find a Job and Get Hired Quickly
If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, not quickly finding a new position can get discouraging. Focusing on the right things during the job search and interview process can make all the difference.
You may already be doing some things on the list, and some may be new. Pick a couple to add to your research and application process, and you will be on your way to getting hired fast.
1. Apply for jobs that are a good fit
It may be tempting to apply for all kinds of jobs, even if they’re not a good fit. This is especially true if you’re looking to get out of a toxic work environment or if you’re unemployed. However, this can hurt you more than you realize.
Don’t apply for jobs that are only semi-related to what you want. You can end up in a position that is a bad fit. Plus, it could cause a bad work experience or sidetrack your career path. It may also make it more difficult to be successful at your new place of employment.
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Instead of applying for anything that looks remotely related, get specific. Most job boards will let you search using specific keywords and other criteria. Use those to pull only jobs that fit your skill set well and align with your long-term goals.
You can search by location, experience level and sometimes even by pay. Only look at positions that fit your parameters and will be an asset to your resume.
Once you have a good list of positions, create a spreadsheet so you can keep track of when you applied and when you heard back.
2. Tailor your cover letter
When you apply for a job, you may be one of tens (if not hundreds) of candidates. Hiring managers usually only glance briefly at each resume before deciding whether to interview the person.
Tailoring your cover letter to the position can help you stand above other applications. Use this as an opportunity to showcase how your qualifications match the job requirements.
Show the hiring manager why you’re the best candidate for the job in the first one to two paragraphs.
Use verbiage from the job listing and show how your experience is a great fit for the position. Try to keep the cover letter no more than a page and highlight the main reasons you are the ideal fit for this opening.
3. Get specific with your resume
Instead of including your work experience in chronological order on your resume, try a different approach. Get specific with the resume you use for each job and only include the experience relevant for the position.
When organizing your resume, put the experience that most closely matches the job description first. Lay out your resume in such a way that it shows the hiring manager why you’re the perfect fit for the position at first glance.
If you’re worried about gaps in work history, include a small section at the bottom that accounts for all work experience. Keep it as short as possible and only include the name of the company, your position and the years worked.
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4. Add keywords
Since hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes, they often resort to keyword searches to help them narrow down applications. So it’s crucial to add keywords to both your resume and cover letter.
How do you know which keywords to add? Look at the job description and pick out the key phrases used to describe the perfect candidate. Use them in your resume and cover letter and throw in a few synonyms.
This technique will help you stand out from other job applicants since you’re showing the hiring manager how your skills line up with the job requirements.
5. Include other relevant experience
Most people only focus on work experience when applying for a job. If you’re looking to transition into a new industry or have been unemployed for a while, use other expertise to strengthen your resume.
This can include volunteer work or freelance projects that showcase your skills and expertise. Most times, companies don’t care if you got paid to do the work. All they want to know is that you can get the job done.
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If you’ve been unemployed for a while, this can also help you account for a longer gap in work history.
6. Update everything
When searching for a job, many people update their resumes but often forget about the rest. Many employers will do additional research online and look at your social media profiles and web presence.
Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date and aligns with your resume. If you have a website, update it with recent information or work history.
Also, review your Facebook and Twitter accounts for anything that can be off-putting to hiring managers or prospective employers. With so much information online, make sure that a quick online search presents you in the best light possible.
7. Line up references
Many jobs will request references besides a resume and cover letter. Don’t leave this for the last minute because you will be scrambling to find people who can vouch for you. Instead, take your time and really think about who would be the best person for the job.
Talk to old bosses and co-workers and ask them if they would be willing to serve as a reference for you. See if they will be open to writing a recommendation for you on LinkedIn as well.
Recent feedback from a former boss will strengthen your profile in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.
8. Network, network, network
Every person you meet is an opportunity to expand your network. It could also potentially lead to a job down the line. When it comes to getting a job quickly, knowing someone at the company you’re applying with can fast-track your application.
Networking can be very powerful, yet many people shy away from it and think it’s too difficult. But you’re probably already networking in your daily life and don’t realize that’s what it is.
Networking is more about connecting with other professionals and staying in touch rather than selling yourself.
If you have a full-time job and want to make a move to a different position, networking to land a new gig may be a little more difficult. Be careful who you tell you’re looking for a new opportunity.
Your best bet would be to connect with old co-workers and former bosses and find out what they are doing. Ask them if they know of any opportunities that would fit your skill set and help you advance your career.
This would make it less likely for your current employer to find out you’re looking for greener pastures.
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9. Research the company
Before you apply for a job with a company or go to an interview, do your research. Find out who is the company’s target customer and what they consider their competitive advantage.
Review not only the company’s website but also news articles and customer testimonials. Try to figure out what challenges the company is facing and how the role you’re applying for will help toward finding a solution.
Use this knowledge in your cover letter and during your interview to show you’ve done your research.
Plus, if you know anyone who’s worked at the company before, make sure to get a first-hand account. You can learn a lot more about the company culture and how employees are treated by someone who already worked there.
10. Put in the legwork
Finding a job takes a lot of work. Many people send out a few resumes and throw in the towel when they don’t hear back in a few days. Don’t be the person who sits around and waits to hear back from one company before applying for another position.
If you want to get hired fast, you need to do the legwork. Finding a job is a numbers game – the more applications you fill out, the better chance of success. Make finding a new gig your full-time job and focus your efforts on the search.
Create a spreadsheet to track the jobs you apply for and if or when you hear back. Review what you did right and wrong at each step and tweak as necessary.
Find out the name of the hiring manager for each position, so you know how to address your cover letter. Follow up when you don’t hear back after a couple of weeks. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond for positions you think would be an excellent fit for your skill set.
11. Dress the part
If you’re going in for an interview, make sure you dress appropriately. Research the dress code for the company and try to wear an interview outfit that will fit well with other employees. If you can’t find any information online, it’s ok to call the Human Resources department and ask.
When picking an outfit, err on the side of being conservative rather than the other way around. Leave the ripped jeans behind and try to cover up any tattoos and piercings. This also goes when you’re in a creative profession such as graphic design.
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If you’re interviewing at an agency, it may be ok to go with a more casual and creative look. However, for corporate gigs, try a more buttoned-up look. First impressions are important, so make sure your outfit counts for you and not against you.
12. Ask questions
Many people go into an interview trying their best to impress the hiring manager and get the gig. They often forget that an interview is a conversation rather than an interrogation. You’re interviewing the potential employer as much as they’re interviewing you.
When appropriate, make sure you ask lots of questions – both about the duties of the position you are interviewing for and about the company. This shows you’re engaged and want to learn more about the culture.
Use the answers to your questions to showcase how your experience makes you a perfect fit for the position. Give examples and tell stories to illustrate why you’re the ideal candidate for the job position.
Listen to the interviewer for any clues that this position or environment may not be a good fit.
13. Practice your answers
One of the worst things you can do during an interview is to stammer all over the place or clam up. Rehearsing answers to common questions can help carry you when nervous butterflies are causing a riot in your stomach.
This doesn’t mean memorizing your answers or sounding robotic. It’s quite the opposite. Use it as an opportunity to gather your thoughts and figure out how best to answer the question. It’s a lot easier to deliver a smooth answer when you already know what points you want to hit.
So how exactly do you practice your answers without memorizing them and sounding rehearsed? Start with 10 to 15 common questions that you will probably be asked during the interview.
Here’s a short list to get you going:
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- How did you hear about the position?
- What do you know about the company?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Tell me about a difficult situation at work and how you overcame it.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- What makes you uncomfortable?
Want more examples? Check out this list of the 50 most common interview questions from job review website Glassdoor.
Pick 10 or 15 questions and jot bullet points under each one to help you remember what you want to cover. Practice using the bullet points to answer the questions a few times until you’re comfortable. Ask a friend or a family member to quiz you.
During the interview, you will be surprised at how much easier it is to answer questions. All the practice will teach you how to put together well-rounded answers using your mental bullet points without sounding rehearsed.
14. Don’t badmouth past or current employers
No matter how you feel about your current or past employers, never say bad things about them during an interview. Even if you don’t believe it will get back to your employer, it makes you look bad in front of the hiring manager.
It makes the interviewer wonder why you are still with the current company. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have legitimate complaints about current or previous employers. However, a job interview is the last place to unload your unhappiness and talk about what is wrong.
If you talk badly about the company or co-workers, the hiring manager will wonder what you will say about their company when you move on.
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15. Follow up
When the interview is over, your job is not done. Make sure you send a thank you note after the meeting to show your appreciation for being considered. It also allows you to reiterate that you’re still interested and highlight how your skills are a good fit for the position.
Grab a business card during the interview so you can send a follow-up email. You’ll get bonus points if you send a handwritten thank you note. Getting a personal note in the mail is pretty rare these days and can make you stand out from other applicants.
The Bottom Line
If you want to get hired fast, you need to be willing to do the work. There is no magic pill that will guarantee you’ll get a job quickly, but certain actions make a difference. One of the best things you can do for your career is to expand your network.
When you have a vast network of professionals in your field, finding another job is much faster. Just make sure you give more than you receive and help others whenever you can.
Keep track of your job searches and follow up on opportunities. These efforts will keep you front and center in the eyes of the hiring manager.
What are your best tips to get hired fast? Share on our social media challenge.