As you draft your resume and take your first exploratory steps onto the job market, you may start to notice a pattern emerging among the open positions you find. Some of these positions will offer a clear path to your five-year or ten-year career goals, some will pay well, some will involve a short, easy commute, some will seem like fun places to work, and some will come with a list of requirements that seem to mesh perfectly with the credentials and services you have to offer. But very few of the jobs you find will offer ALL of these things.
So with that in mind, we'd like to present a short series of entries that target three of the top priorities for most job seekers: 1) a speedy hiring process, 2) a high salary, and 3) sustainability.
We'll start with speed. If you aren't worried about a high paycheck and you don't need to find a gig that you can cling to until you retire, keep these tips in mind. The moves below will help you land a job as fast as possible so you can stay on top of your bills and keep your resume gap short and inconspicuous.
1. Hit the process with everything you have.
If you need a job and you need one right now, clear your schedule. Don't squeeze your job search into the last hour of the day or the ten minute gap between morning appointments. Give it your full attention for at least five solid hours of every day. Let secondary priorities go. Lean on others for help with daily responsibilities, and don't worry too much about keeping the lawn mowed or the knick-knacks dusted. This is an urgent concern, and ideally, it won't be on your plate for very long.
2. Get help.
One pair of eyes can scan job boards and one pair of hands can check items off a to-do list, but several pairs can do the job two or three times as fast. Enlist the help of recruiters, and actively reach out to friends and contacts within your industry. Arrange "informational interviews", or in-person meetings with anyone who might be offer you advice or leads. Take these people out to lunch or coffee, and make sure you pick up the check.
3. Stay in motion.
Attack the process from all angles. Don't just limit yourself to online job boards; spend at least part of every day on the phone, scheduling networking events, and reaching out to people in the real world.
4. Adjust your standards.
If speed is your goal, you'll have to let some of your other goals go. You may need to accept a position that pays less than you really want, or one that isn't quite a perfect match for your long term goals. But if you don't sign any long term contracts beyond an at-will agreement, you'll be free to leave at any time. Just give two-week's notice and move on as soon as you find something better. Remember: it's an offer, not a life sentence. (Don't worry about looking like a "job-hopper"; this term and the anxiety it fuels are both outdated).
Most Important: Create a Strong Resume
Your job search will move much faster if you start with an excellent, well-written, beautifully formatted resume. Visit MyPerfectResume for guidance and put your search in gear.