9 hacks that will streamline your job search
Experts offer their tips so you can be faster, more effective and more organized in your quest to land a great offer.
How many times have you heard the phrase, “There are no shortcuts in life”? Technically speaking, that isn’t wholly true—at least when it comes to a job search. There are definite job-search hacks that can cut down on inefficiencies and the time it takes to get yourself in front of potential employers.
To find out how to make your job search as simple and streamlined as possible, Monster reached out to nine career coaches for their best advice.
Make job hunting your job
“Schedule a set time every day to do your job search, and work on it every day. When you schedule something, it becomes a habit. It also mimics having a job, which will help not only with consistency but also the emotional perspective of doing it. Job hunting is a job.” —Sharon DeLay, owner and president of GO HR in Columbus, Ohio
Research your future—right now
“The key to a successful job search lies solely in your upfront planning. First consider if you are just looking for a job or a transition into another career field. Next, focus on the industries and companies that would be a good cultural fit and make sure the salary and benefits meet your needs.” —Joshua Miller, executive coach in the San Francisco Bay Area
Cast a narrow net
“While it may seem counter-intuitive to narrow rather than expand your search, the best success comes once you closely target the jobs and industries that really excite you. When you are focused, you’re better organized, your network becomes tighter, and your technical and transferable skills really get the chance to shine.” —Cheryl Rich Heisler, owner of Lawternatives, a career-counseling firm in Chicago
Go ‘write’ ahead
“Create email templates to send to potential employers, your network and others who can support your search. This saves time and eliminates the need to re-create emails with the same content.” —Melva Tate, CEO of Tate & Associates, a career-coaching and HR consulting firm in Birmingham, Alabama
Track your efforts
“Create a ‘mission control’ for your search. Who have you met with? What follow-ups do you have? When do you reach out again? Many people use a spreadsheet, but I would suggest a light project management tool like Asana.” —Ben Brooks, business and executive coach in New York City
Hold yourself (and others) accountable
“Get involved with a group of four or five noncompeting job seekers and hold each other accountable to accomplish specific tasks and activities that push each other’s job search forward. Many unemployment support groups and business-networking groups already have these subgroups in place, or you can launch one on your own. These groups also help the members to avoid missteps, and often, members will share their networks and job leads.” —Lauren Milligan, CEO at ResuMAYDAY in Warrenville, Illinois
Network your face off
“Get involved with professional organizations so you can network with many people in your industry all at once, instead of individually. Attend conferences, and volunteer to help out in lieu of paying the conference fee. The key is to get yourself among people who do what you do.” —Marilyn Santiesteban, assistant director of career services for the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas
Coach your references
“Create a list of people who can support your candidacy and are easily accessible. Once you're in the running for a job, touch base with your references. Provide your updated resume and some information about the jobs you applied to. You may even want to mention specific skills of yours that they can discuss if someone calls them. The more information they have about you and the job, the better they will be able to help you land the position.” —Miriam Salpeter, owner of career-coaching firm Keppie Careers in Atlanta
"Prep for your interviews by thoroughly knowing your professional self. Create a document divided into categories such as strengths, hard skills, soft skills, accomplishments and stories. Fill the categories with keywords, phrases and experiences that highlight the progression of your career. Conducting this career self-assessment and then studying it so you don’t sound rehearsed will prepare you for acing those interviews." —Brad Waters, career coach and consultant in Los Angeles
Let someone else do the work for you
Job searching can be grueling if you don't take the time to set up a strategy. Want some help with that? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. Those are two quick and easy ways Monster cuts down on the legwork for you. Why not give it a try?