7 time-saving job search tips
7 time-saving job search tips
If you’re thinking about a career change but don’t think you have the time, then don't give up yet. There are some fairly simple steps you can take towards creating time where before there wasn’t any. We've tried to outline as many of them as possible in this article.
Read time: 6 minutes | Author: Marc Burrage - Managing Director Hays Poland
When I reflect on my career there have been many sliding doors moments where I could easily have ended up somewhere completely different. I am happy to say I am where I am largely through planning and endeavour. While I accept there is always serendipity in life I believe that your career should be about timing and opportunities, so you need to make the time to seek out the opportunities that you want.
It’s not uncommon in this age of hyper-connectivity for the working week to overlap into family life, and vice versa. Finding a few hours of personal time to pursue your individual goals and ambitions can take weeks of advance planning, to then be pushed back once more when that time comes.
7 time-saving job search tips
Here are some tips to help you conduct a time-efficient job search, divided into two sections: passive (before you start researching) and active (once you’ve started researching):
Passive (before you start researching).
1 . Stop procrastinating immediately
First things first, any periods of procrastination are going to have to go. Instead of twiddling your thumbs during your commute to work or taking the full 60 minutes for lunch why not spend this time researching relevant companies or updating your work documents? I would of course advise against doing this on a company computer.
2. Evaluate your skills ahead of time
Avoid rushing into your job search and scatter-applying for a range of vaguely relevant positions just because you are pushed for free time. Before you’ve embarked on the hunt itself, take the time to reflect upon what your ambitions are and in which direction your career is going.
- What are your strengths?
- What role would these strengths best lend themselves to?
- Which industries are doing well and which aren’t?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
It sometimes helps to get the opinion of others on how accomplished our skillset really is – we’re not always the fairest judges of ourselves!
Considering the circumstances, family or friends outside of work are probably the best people to approach – you don’t want to risk your employer discovering your plan.
By only applying for roles that you’re likely to be a success in you’re saving both yourself and prospective employers a lot of precious time.
3. Get your affairs in order
Make sure all your personal and work information is current and relevant; this includes your online profiles as well as your CV. We wrote some handy advice on optimising your LinkedIn profile, and some tips on refining your CV.
One caveat however, don’t conduct too drastic an overhaul of your online profiles all at the same time – you don’t want to raise the suspicions of your current employer.
Save time by having all your information readily available across all of your devices. Make sure you have the full contact details of your referees on your smart phone as well as your laptop, for example – this way if you find an interesting role on the way to work which has an immediate deadline you can apply for it there and then.
You can also save yourself a great deal of time by having a few varied CV templates. How many of these you prepare obviously depends on how wide a net you’re casting in your job search. Create a loose CV for each role and then tailor them when applying to specific employers.
4. Cultivate a bustling network
This should be a constant consideration for most professionals.
By maintaining a large and lively network of contacts you may not have to spend any time looking for a new job, it might come looking for you. Grow your network by connecting with relevant contacts and sharing relevant insights, as well as attending industry events which are of interest.
Again, you don’t want to alert your employer of your intentions to leave just yet so keep it casual. See if there’s anyone in your contacts book who you haven’t seen in a while and who might be able to recommend you an opportunity or employer.
Active (once you’ve started researching):
5. Schedule your day
Once you’ve refreshed your CV and your online profiles you need to carefully allocate some time to get on with the research and application stages.
When are you most productive?
The average person is most productive during the first two hours after waking up, so perhaps wake up an hour earlier than you otherwise would and get job hunting.
The reality might be that your schedule is already stretched to its limit, in which case you’re going to have to take advantage of any windows of free time that become available. This means: your commute to and from work, your lunch break, whilst cooking dinner and so on.
6. Only apply for jobs you love
The internet is your friend during this process; it has entirely revolutionised the way we job search, and sped the whole procedure up immeasurably. No longer do you have to go knocking on doors with a pile of CVs in hand to find the job you want. There are so many ways you can vet a whole catalogue of positions with just a few clicks – you can access Hays job database here.
By sending your CV to a Hays recruiter you can have them do all the work for you, meaning that you don’t have to reorganise your whole schedule. They will contact you once they’ve found an appropriate opportunity.
Save yourself time by only applying for positions that are relevant to your skillset, and which you have a real interest in. Recruiters examine job applications for a living and know if you’ve put much effort into the process or not. Contrary to popular belief, submitting a few well-considered applications will land you a job much quicker than churning out a quantity of hurried ones.
7. Search on a Monday, apply on a Tuesday
My personal advice when scouting out job postings would be to store all the jobs that interest you in one place, and then apply for them during time you’ve set aside to do so.
The alternative – finding a job you like, applying for it straight away, repeat process – could mean that by the time you’ve found a role you really like, you might already have exhausted yourself completing a bunch of forms for jobs that you had minimal interest in.
Collate all the jobs that appeal to you over a few days and then prioritise your application process according to which one(s) interest you most. Make sure to keep a record of all the positions you’ve applied for, how you applied and what sort of responses you received. This is helpful both for monitoring the status of the application (and chasing it up), as well as refining your strategy around which approach worked best.
A final thought
Finding the right job isn’t easy at the best of times, never mind when you’re already in full time employment. You want to end up somewhere where you’ll feel motivated and competent; especially when you consider that you’ll be spending most of your waking hours there.