Your job hunt shouldn’t feel like another 9-to-5. Unfortunately, for most job seekers, that’s what it turns out to be. Writing and customizing resumes and cover letters, updating your LinkedIn profile, filling out online applications, networking, researching companies, and following up – the sheer volume of tasks required in a job search is overwhelming. It’s no wonder switching jobs is so hard. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then let’s dive into a few strategies that will help you streamline your job searching and reclaim your time and sanity.
5 Ways to Save Time in Your Search
Job searches are time-intensive. And your time is valuable, especially when you’re juggling so many things. Even professionals with years of experience and multiple searches behind them hit roadblocks. But imagine how much quicker your job search could be if you had access to expert guidance and tools designed to save you time at every step. Let’s talk about 5 shortcuts you can take to eliminate the time-wasting obstacles in your job search.
Create master resume templates you can customize quickly
Tailoring your resume for every application can take hours and feel like a time-consuming chore. Instead, create a master resume template for each main type of role you’re targeting. For example, let’s say I want to apply for either an HR Manager position or a Recruiter role.
My main master resume template may speak to my experience in talent acquisition, candidate screening, and onboarding–because I would do all three in either role.
However, my HR manager master resume would highlight policy development, employee relations, and benefits administration because those are specific to an HR manager role. Whereas my recruiter master resume would point to my sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and time-to-fill expertise.
Now, I have two resumes ready for the two types of roles I am qualified for and targeting. The only customizing I need to do will be very minimal. Let’s say a specific recruiter role is in-house, versus agency; all I would need to do is make sure I included that on the recruiter resume. Or, let’s say a specific HR manager role needs union and labor relations experience – I might add that keyword to the top of my resume.
Those small customizations won’t take hours, just seconds. Inside my brand new Job Seeker Central Membership, I’ve designed 9 different resume templates that you can choose from to create your own master resume. It will save you hours of writing, formatting, and designing time. Plus, if you need more hand-holding when it comes to content, my Resume-In-A-Day course is included in the membership, too. Both of these tools are designed to shave hours of time off the most tedious parts of your job search.
Use networking scripts to start conversations and keep them going
The number-one complaint I hear from job seekers is that hiring managers don’t respond when they message them. Research from Steve Dalton of Duke University found that only about 40% of the messages you send to network contacts and hiring managers will get a response. So, we need to adjust our expectations. For every 10 messages you send, only four people will reply.
I suspect this number is lower for cold outreaches where you have no common connection with the person (e.g., alma mater, past employers, or person you both know). There are several ways you can increase the chances that your message will get a response. And if you can increase your response rates, that’s fewer messages you have to send and more time saved.
Here’s what I recommend.
1 – Prioritize reaching out to people with whom you share multiple common connection points. A connection point can be:
- you’ve worked together in the past
- you share a common friend, peer, or colleague
- you both went to the same university
- you’re from the same location
- you volunteer for the same or a similar organization
- you’re in the same industry
- you’re in the same role or share a similar past role
2 – When you reach out to this person (whether it’s to send a connection request, ask for advice, or schedule an informational meeting), mention your common connection points. It substantially increases the likelihood that they’ll want to respond.
3 – Keep your messages brief. People are busy and it’s overwhelming to get a message that they have to keep scrolling to read in its entirety. If you’re giving your whole life story or all the minor details of your current career obstacles, it makes it harder for the person to reply promptly and decreases the likelihood you’ll get a response at all. People end up thinking it’s too involved for them to help or they’re not an expert so they can’t assist you.
4 – Use networking scripts for repetitive types of messages. Every time you send a connection request, request advice, or ask for an informational meeting, it will make it easier and quicker for you to make the ask if you have a template that you can plop into InMail or your email and then shoot it off. The hard part (all the writing and thinking) is already done for you. All you need to do is identify the right person.
5 – Use networking scripts for messaging connections, employees at your target companies, and hiring managers/recruiters. When you identify a message that gets a high response rate, reuse it. Find what works, and use it again and again and again.
You’ll save hours of time from writing messages to hiring managers and people you want to connect with by using your own networking scripts.
If creating networking messages is not your strength, I have tested and proven messaging scripts you can tap into inside Job Seeker Central.
There are templates for every type of LinkedIn interaction and networking conversation – from reaching out to say you’re starting your job search to asking for an informational meeting to requesting a referral. They’re all there and ready so you can hit the ground running.
Replace conflicting and outdated web clutter with trusted expert resources
When searching the internet for career advice, you’ll find an overload of contradictory information. This abundance of conflicting advice not only leads to overwhelm but stalls critical decisions on resume changes and interview strategies. The problem isn’t just the time drain, though; it’s the outdated information steering you toward ineffective and irrelevant techniques that really cost you.
Without a reliable way to verify the credibility of sources, you end up wasting time following advice that lacks merit – delaying your job search and causing you to miss out on opportunities.
I see this every time a job seeker goes to Google for advice with questions like:
How long should my resume be?
Which resume format should I use?
How do I write a cover letter?
How do I ask for the interview in a cover letter?
How do I find the hiring manager?
How can I leverage LinkedIn in my job search?
What do I write in a message to hiring managers on LinkedIn?
What’s the best way to get a referral?
How do I schedule an informational interview?
You spend valuable time sifting through the search results and are often left more confused than when you started – and have lost time that could’ve been invested with your family or submitting applications.
That’s why I decided to create Job Seeker Central, a brand-new resource for you in your job search. I’ve created job search guides, designed resume and cover letter templates, and written networking scripts to help you with every aspect of your job search. No more guessing if the advice you’re reading is current and reliable. You’ll have access to an entire library of job-search-related content, courses, guides, and templates, available for you to access 24/7. It’s your one-stop shop for job search advice and resources.
Create job alerts to get notified of new openings at target companies
If you’ve never created job alerts on LinkedIn, then you’re missing out on an excellent way to cut down on time spent searching. You can set up job alerts for a specific type of role or company. Whenever a job is posted that matches your alert, you’re immediately notified. There’s not only a great time-saving benefit here but also the benefit of being one of the first to apply. The earlier you submit your application, the higher your chances are of getting an interview.
I posted an opening on LinkedIn recently, and within 12 hours, I had over 100 qualified candidates apply. There’s no way I could review and interview all of them. One of the first things I did was review the first 12 applications. With so many qualified applicants, it was hard to narrow it down. Seven of the applicants sent me direct messages, so I contacted each of them to prescreen them. Five of the seven candidates took an extra step to personalize the message they sent me and express why they were interested in and a fit for the role. I interviewed those five candidates.
A survey from the job search site Ladders revealed you have the best chance of landing a job interview if you apply within the first 72 hours the position is posted online. This was certainly true in my experience on the hiring side, and it’s what my recruiter colleagues are telling me, too.
Here’s step-by-step guidance from LinkedIn on how to create a job alert. And, here are the instructions for creating a job alert for a specific company. There’s a nifty little unknown benefit to creating a job alert for a specific company; LinkedIn will place a spotlight on your application and notify the recruiter that you’re specifically interested in their company, meaning you’re more likely to respond if they reach out to you about the role.
Recruiters want assurance that if they reach out, that candidate will respond. With a limited number of InMail messages available to them, they have to be strategic about how to use them.
Bypass hours of searching with direct access to recruiters
Imagine this: Instead of sifting through job boards and sending out hundreds of applications, you send a direct message to an internal recruiter at your top target company. In moments, you’re discussing potential roles and next steps, saving you hours – if not days – in your search.
Traditional job-seeking methods often involve multiple steps, like applying online, waiting for a response, and then (maybe) getting an interview. Direct access eliminates these barriers, getting you straight to the decision-maker.
When you connect directly with a recruiter, you have the unique opportunity to present yourself in a way that aligns specifically with what the recruiter is looking for. This tailored approach often yields faster and more positive responses.
A direct line to the recruiter can also provide you with a better understanding of what the company values in a candidate, giving you a stronger position from which to negotiate salary and benefits.
Now, there’s the question of how to get direct access to recruiters. One time-intensive way is to build your network over time, connecting with recruiters at industry conferences, through webinars, or by researching, following, and connecting on LinkedIn.
But I’d like to introduce a better way. I’m excited to share with you that our recruiter contact lists are a one-of-a-kind feature, exclusive to Job Seeker Central Membership – no other platform in the world offers this. You can search for recruiters by industry and/or location, and you’ll get access to their email address, company or agency name, and LinkedIn profile URL.
With a direct line to recruiters, you can bypass traditional search methods, immediately cutting down the time spent on job boards or waiting for replies to cold applications.
Your job search doesn’t have to be a second full-time job; with the right resources and guidance, you can save time and energy while maximizing results. Consider this your invitation to join Job Seeker Central as a founding member. As one of the first 100 members, you will receive 50% off your subscription for as long as you remain a member. The offer goes away after the first 100 members join, so don’t wait. If you’re serious about accelerating your job search, I designed this membership specifically for you.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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