A job search is never “fun.” (“No, duh, Einstein!” we hear you say.)
But it needn’t be a slog, a bear, an awful experience.
In fact, there are definite steps you can take to make it go faster.
Please note that we said “faster,” not “fast.” A job hunt probably will take a least a few weeks. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reported that in May 2021, the median unemployment duration was 19.3 weeks or about 5 months.
Ouch! Of course, that was the time it took unemployed people to find a new job. The job hunt for employed people is a bit easier: currently employed people tend to receive “better job offers” than the unemployed.
The stigma hiring managers tend to throw at unemployed people has lessened considerably due to the pandemic, but chances are it’s still there at least a bit.
So, our best advice: If you’re unhappy at work, don’t quit until you find another job.
Whether employed or unemployed, 9 strategies to help you find a new job faster.
1) Know what you want.
Any job definitely won’t do! Focusing on a particular position in a specific industry is the best way to find a job quickly.
So instead of saying, “I want to work as a customer service representative,” be more specific: “I want to work as a customer service representative for an insurance or healthcare company.”
Having such focus helps you avoid rushing, possibly even panicking, and therefore sending your resume to any position with “CSR” within it.
Instead, a clear intention on a particular position and industry helps you focus and stay clear of “I need a job from anyone who will have me,” which is a sign of desperation. What’s more, employers can sense your desperation and, unfortunately, it can harm your job search.
2) Create a resume targeted for a particular position and industry.
A customer service resume focused on insurance/healthcare is far better than a “general” CSR resume. It showcases how your CSR skills and background can help an insurance/health company. It’s not “general;” it’s specific and makes you a much more attractive candidate.
3) Add appropriate keywords.
Most companies today use computer software – called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – to screen resumes. These are basically “resume bots” that scan, sort, and rank resumes depending on how they meet a position’s requirements.
Stay away from the funky font, graphics, charts, and images because the ATS has difficulty “reading” them. Add job- and industry-related keywords. If in doubt as to what industry keywords to use, take a close look at the job listing.
4) Reach out to people you know.
They could be former bosses and co-workers or friends and family, particularly those who work in the industry or position you seek.
5) Create a cover letter specific to EACH position.
Cover letters truly can help your application. You can talk more about your interest in the position and how your skills and background are a good fit for them.
You should read the job description carefully and write an introductory paragraph describing your skills, etc., and how they apply to this position.
For example: “I’m applying for your open position as a customer service representative in your e-commerce returns department.
“I see that the position may work as a chat agent, as well. I’ve worked as a CSR in e-commerce returns in my current job for the past 2 years months, and when my company started using chat agents six months ago, my manager noted that I have excellent typing skills (100 WPM with only 2 percent errors) and asked me to occasionally sub as a chat agent when one of the agents is out.
“I thoroughly enjoy the work and would look forward to using my 15 total years in CSR to help ensure your customers are happy with their returns experience.”
6) Follow up on your application.
If you don’t hear from the employer within 10 to 14 days, it’s time to follow up with the employer.
However, read the job description thoroughly first to make sure it doesn’t specifically say “no follow-ups.”
This is particularly important if you haven’t looked for a job in a while, as many employers now conduct interviews via video.
Even if you will be interviewing by video, it’s a good idea to dress the part because dressing up in an “interview outfit” helps you get used to being in “uncomfortable” clothes so that when you’re actually sitting “in the hot seat,” a tie or “hard pants” won’t feel constricting.
8) Take your time.
Don’t automatically take the first job offered to you. Ask questions once you’re offered the job regarding employee benefits (healthcare, vacation, etc.), as well as company culture, chances for advancement, etc.
Make sure your “gut” tells you that the job is a good fit. If not, you could find yourself either unemployed or looking for another position in just a few weeks.
9) Register with Hire Dynamics.
Send us your resume/apply with us, and there’s a great chance you could find a job in just a few days.
While many of our positions are contract, many others are contract-to-hire and direct-hire. Yet if you need a job ASAP, working with us is probably the fastest way for you to get work quickly.
We look forward to hearing from you.