Alright, you need to get a job fast, so we won’t waste any time here.
But, before we get going, there’s something you should know: If you don’t need to get a new job fast, then you should take the time you need to find the right job.
If you hate your coworkers or are dealing with a difficult boss, it’s understandable that you want a new position ASAP, but if you’re still employed, consider looking for the right job, not the first one that comes along. Haste can put you into another bad work environment. You may thank yourself in the long run.
With that said, let’s get you back to work.
Networking is one of the most important things you can do to speed up your job search
Career and interview coach Mirela Borsan says networking is the best way to get a job. “Most job candidates, when looking for a new job, rely on Google or job boards to find jobs,” Borsan says. “However, on average, any job posting receives roughly 200 resumes and out of those applications, only about 2 percent are selected for an interview.” And by some estimates, up to 70 percent of jobs are never posted on job boards and up to 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking alone.
Networking must be a part of your job search strategy.
But networking isn’t just schmoozing “professionals” over dethawed canapé. Your network is also the other parents at your kids’ school, your neighbors, your social media network, your family, and friends. Let your professional and social circles know you’re looking. Call up a few connections, and ask them to get coffee. Let them know you’re looking for work (and are kind of in a hurry). Message them on LinkedIn or shoot them an email or text and let them know you’re looking. Ask if they know of any positions or companies that might fit and whether they could make an introduction. If there’s a specific company or industry you have in mind, ask for introductions there too.
Here are a few resources on networking to get you started:
Focus your job search
Borsan advises job seekers who are in a hurry to narrow their job search as much as possible. “Be intentional and strategic when zooming in the specific roles you have and target only two, max three, roles even though your experience is wider,” she tells InHerSight. “The more specific you are, the more focused you will be in your job search.”
Think quality over quantity when applying for a new job. Sometimes getting a new job can be a numbers game, but by focusing your time on applying to the two or three types of roles you want, you can make those applications absolutely stellar.
If you’re unsure of where to start, Borsan advises this: “Write a list of the companies you would like to work for and learn as much as you can about them. Just as important it is for them to find a great candidate, equally important is for you to align with their mission, vision, values, and brand while at the same time considering your career needs (e.g., location desired, opportunity for growth or leadership, organizational culture, etc.).”
Beef up your LinkedIn profile and participate in the conversation
When you’re applying for jobs, employers will be Googling your name and searching for you on LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, includes a summary, and notes that you’re looking for a job (you can update this in your profile settings), which can help recruiters find you.
Here are some resources for beefing up your profile:
“Use LinkedIn to build your network, research employees of the target company, and intentionally start making connections with those you believe could provide valuable insight into the roles or companies you are interested in,” Borsan says. “One way to get noticed is to start adding valuable comments to their posts and have authentic communication, which will also provide common ground for when you will engage in conversation.”
Start an online portfolio
Especially if you work in a creative field, like writing, design, animation, product design, etc., you should have a place to showcase your work. Sites like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly have inexpensive and even free options. (Here's a longer list of sites where you can build your personal website.)
Be sure to include work samples, your resume or CV, and an “about” page that mentions you’re in the market for a job. Don’t forget your contact information.
Share your portfolio on social media, especially LinkedIn, and let people know you’re on the job search and hope to move quickly. Ask friends and connections to pass it along to their contacts.
Stay organized and get really good at following up
Use a spreadsheet to keep track of the jobs you apply for and when you sent in your application, when you can expect to hear back. Make note of coffee meetings or emails sent, whether your colleague said they could pass along your name to that manager at that company you’re eyeing.
This written record will help you keep track of leads and when to follow up, so nothing slips through the cracks.
There’s an art to following up—after a coffee meeting, after you submit an application, after a phone interview, after an in-person interview. A general rule of thumb is to follow up on a job application a week after it’s sent, and then another week after that. If the job description or recruiter explicitly asks you not to follow up, then don’t.
Here are the follow-up guides you need:
Write a letter of interest
If there’s a company you’re interested in working for, but don’t see any open positions posted, you can write a letter of interest. Sometimes called a letter of inquiry, a letter of interest is a letter written to an employer to express interest in working for them, often if there’s not a relevant job opening published.
Here’s a guide:How to Write a Letter of Interest That Gets You Noticed
Ask for an informational interview
Contact a professional you admire or a company you'd like to work for and request an informational interview. This is your opportunity to ask for advice on your career and job search, and your chance to get face-to-face with someone who might be able to give you a job, or at the very least, connect you to someone who can.
“Reach out to your network,” Borsan says. “While you don't want to ask them for a job, you do want to politely share your job searching goals, target roles and companies, and then simply ask if they can introduce you to anyone at those companies to conduct informational interviews.
Borsan’s rule for informational interviews: Never ask for a job. “Also, don't share with them everything about you and how great you are, but instead be interested in finding more about the insight they may offer on your career path. What is their success journey? And what advice do they have for you? If they ask you for a resume, then by all means share it with them.”
Manage your expectations
Borsan reminds job seekers in a hurry to manage their expectations when looking for a job quickly: “While you can still be strategic in your job search—i.e., stay in the same industry—you may not necessarily entertain the roles you would otherwise pursue. You may also have to lower your expectations to have access to more jobs. For example, while in an optimal job market you would vie for mid-level managerial roles, now you may have to pursue non-management roles.”
Get matched to a company
InHerSight is good at more than just giving killer job search advice. We can also match you to a company that shares your values. Get matched.
How make money while you look for a job
Most of us will need a little cash flow while we look for our next gig. Here are a few ways you can still earn money while you look for a job.
Take part-time work
If you normally work full-time but need to keep money coming in while you look for another full-time position, try a part-time gig. Taking on some part-time hours can help you design a schedule that lets you take interviews while you keep the cash flowing.
Apply for unemployment
Take on freelance work
Sites like Fiverr and Upwork can help you find freelance projects for anything from writing and design to translation, voiceover work, programming, marketing, business and financial consulting, data entry, research, sound mixing, relationship advice, and more. Basically, anything you can think of, someone is likely willing to pay you for it.
While you’re contacting your network and warming up those leads, consider taking on some consulting work. A little different from freelance, consultants typically work on longer-term projects and often get paid a little more.
You might even reach out to former employers or clients who know you well and may have contract work for you. Who knows, that consulting work might even lead to a full-time job.
Try temp-to-hire work
Temp agencies can connect you to day labor, longer-term temporary jobs, and even temp jobs that can lead to full-time work. Is temp-to-hire legit? It certainly can be.
Try out gig work
Read more:How to Find a Job You Love (No, Really)
About our source
Mirela Borsan is a certified professional career coach through the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches and she partners with her clients to guide them to launch their career, transition to another career, and win the job interview. Borsan also enhances LinkedIn profiles and holds the National Certification for Online Profile Experts (NCOPE) through the National Association of Resume Writers.