Job hunts in general can be quite tedious, frustrating, and time consuming, no matter what industry, or position you are hunting for.
This is also why most people would prefer staying at jobs they hate, and give up on their dreams, all to avoid the uncertainties that pervade the job application process, especially with recruiters not getting back on time, not receiving the proper feedback, and a host of other hassles.
The way market dynamics are stacked among jobseekers and employers as of now, job hunting will always be a hassle, but there are ways to speed up the process, and make things less frustrating, something that seasoned recruiters and experienced professionals swear-by.
In this article, we cover some tried-and-tested best practices to improve the odds of getting your dream job, while reducing the time and effort required to get there.
1. Narrow Down Your Search
The biggest mistake most jobseekers make is applying for any and all jobs that catch their eye, even if they are only remotely related to their experience, qualifications, and goals.
Given the sheer number of applicants that apply for each job post, chances are that a non-specialized, irrelevant application gets lost in the heap, only resulting in a waste of time among applicants. As a result, it is crucial that you narrow down your search to job posts that perfectly align with your goals and qualifications.
Not only does narrowing down on your search help save on previous time and effort, it helps you spend more time on each application. You can dig deep into the organization, understand its products, services, values, and history, while customizing your application to perfectly align with the same, thus, increasing the chances of success.
2. Optimize Resume & Cover Letter
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a handful of opportunities, it is then time to optimize and customize your resume and cover letter to perfectly suit each individual opportunity.
While it would not be possible, or even recommended, to start from scratch for each new application, tailoring your resumes and cover letters to highlight relevant skills and experiences for an employer can add plenty of value, and increase your hit rates substantially.
Remember, that the key to speeding up your job hunt is to stand out from the crowd, and your resumes and cover letters are perfect for doing that. If you can’t afford to work with professionals in this regard, make sure to at least glance through some successful resume examples to get ideas flowing.
3. Use Niche Job Boards & Portals
There is no dearth of job boards and portals at the moment, with the list of services only increasing over the years.
A welcome trend in this segment, however, is the rise of niche-specific job boards, focused on particular niches, sub-niches, or sectors, with relevant categories and features to perfectly aid job seekers and recruiters.
While there are job board aggregators such as Indeed and LinkedIn Jobs that fetch results from across 1,000s of job portals to provide access to all openings in one place, there are others such as Problogger Jobs for writers, and Dribbble for designers, with all features aimed at a niche-specific audience.
Such job boards and their extensive niche-specific features provide a more targeted approach for both job seekers and recruiters. It mainly aids in finding the right jobs, most relevant to a seeker’s skillset, instead of going through hordes of irrelevant listings like with most generic job boards.
4. Follow-Up On Applications
Once you’ve submitted an application, make sure to follow up with the employer on its status, or any feedback on the same. This not only shows interest and initiative, but helps your application stand out from the crowd.
Given that a vast majority of applications barely receive any attention from recruiters, a regular, personalized follow-up does wonders, as long as it doesn’t come across as annoying, or overbearing.
It’s natural to be ghosted by recruiters, especially when you are up against 100s of even 1,000s of different applicants, but in such scenarios, it is important to stay positive and persistent when it comes to hearing back and getting a response from the employer.
5. Be Flexible
If you really want to speed up your job hunting process, consider being flexible on certain aspects of the job. While you may not want to compromise on your long-term career goals and ambitions, it is certainly feasible to find middleground on other aspects, such as pay, perks, and job requirements.
By sticking to your guns, you might lose out on many perfectly relevant opportunities, with minor trade-offs. This in-turn leads to frustrations, and long drawn out job hunts, that ultimately affects your confidence, and focus in the long run.
At times, if your ideal job or work profile is not materializing, consider taking up jobs that are stepping stones towards the end goal. Once you gain the experience, or qualifications that were missing, you can start trying for better opportunities once again.
In conclusion, there are few possibilities of short cuts or cheats when it comes to hunting for your dream job, the only thing you can do is realign your approach, and be more prudent in how and where you spend your time and effort.