Eight Ways to Become a More Efficient Job Seeker
If you are currently unemployed, looking for work should actually be your current job. That doesn't mean a 40 hour work week, with two breaks and a scheduled lunch, but it should be your main focus of time and effort during the day, everyday until you land that new position.
And, as with just about everything else in life, there are smarter, faster, and better ways to streamline your search so that you are more efficient and productive. Remember you don't have to reinvent the wheel. There are already so many good tips and tricks to help you. Here are eight ways to become a more efficient job seeker..
1. Organize you time.
First and foremost, create a to-do list and place the items you wish to complete in order of importance. Next to each item write down how long you will need to finalize each task. Anything that deals with people (as opposed to computer oriented work), should be top priority. Make preparing and following up on interviews the number one thing on your schedule.
Next, work on your cover letter and résumé, along with searching for new employment opportunities and researching companies and their requirements.
Save the email checks for later on in the day. Nothing says a waste of time like checking your inbox twice an hour. Think about it. When the mail was delivered by the post office, did you run to the mailbox more than once a day? However, if you really can't hold out until the end of the day, aim for a maximum of three checks a day.
If you have difficultly staying on task, set a timer and move from one item to the next. It will help you stay focused.
2. Organize your desk.
You can call it Feng Shui or just common sense, but a cluttered desk can be overwhelming. It's as if you have another whole other job to do before you even get started on finding employment. Before you do anything else, declutter your desk by setting up a filing system that works for you. Make sure that at the end of every day, you use five minutes to set up your desk so that the next morning you are good to go as soon as you sit down.
3. Don't apply for every available position you come across.
If you are unemployed, you may think it's a good strategy to apply for every position you can. Your logic might be that if you throw enough darts on the wall, you'll eventually hit something. While on the face of it, it may seem like a good idea, you could very well end up in a situation that you'll regret just because you felt desperate. Not everyone is good at everything, but we are all good at something. It's more important to focus on finding a career that matches your skills.
And while the old school of thought used to be that the more openings you applied for, the more your chances were of getting an interview, what a waste of effort for you to go from interview to interview for jobs that are just not right for you. It's better to be more selective. Apply only to the ones where you would be a good fit and then aim for getting interviews with them.
4. Update your résumé to keep it short and succinct.
If your current résumé needs to be updated or if you just want to give it a second look, remember less is more. For more tips on résumé writing, check out 8 Important Do's and Don't for your Resume
5. Make use of automatic job alerts.
What could be better than having the job search come to you instead of the other way around? Many job search sites have an automatic alert function. Use it to get a daily notification of available openings that match your specific requirements.
6. Prepare for rejection
Ouch. This one hurts. But it is a painful reality. You are going to be rejected and more than likely, it will be for a position you were absolutely, positively sure was perfect for you. Only it wasn't. It was actually perfect for the person who got it. At least according to the hiring manager.
But you can learn from each rejection. If there was any feedback from the hiring manager, take it to heart and be resolute and persistent in your continuing search. The perfect position is out there waiting for you.
7. Keep a list.
Keep a record of every job you've applied for and the status of where you are in the process. This will help you to not make the egregious error of applying to the same position twice; it will also help you in not become confused if the ad gets pulled from it's original source. With all the information you need already on your inventory, you'll still be able to do your research, because you'll have previously catalogued the company name. For example, have you had a phone interview with company one and a meeting scheduled for company two? Has company three even gotten back to you at all? This is why it is imperative to make a list and update it as soon as something changes.
There's only 24 hours in a day. You have to stop at some point. So pick a closing time and then really shut down. Turn off you computer and put it away. Enjoy a relaxed meal with your family or go out to a movie with friends. Find a way to unplug and meditate, because tomorrow is another day and you want to feel rejuvenated and refreshed for the next day.
These eight tips on becoming a more efficient job seeker will surely get you organized and keep on track in the process of finding your new career.