It can take 8 weeks, sometimes longer, to get an interview.
Even after you get into the hot seat, it can take an extra three weeks to hear back from a recruiter.
For most Americans, the whole hiring process can last 3 to 6 months, if you’re lucky, but what if you don’t have that kind of time?
Understand what you can and can’t control
Most job candidates are looking for a job because they’re currently unemployed, which naturally causes urgency.
Although it’s easier said than done, worrying about the things you can’t control will only stress you out more.
It may even make you feel less confident about your own skills.
You can’t change the state of the economy, how many applicants apply for the job, or internal delays caused by a potential employer.
However, you can control how quickly you respond to new job postings and the amount of time you spend on the search.
Focus on these factors.
How to find a job quickly and easily
The time it takes for a candidate to find a job is determined by several factors, but there are many ways you can speed up the process. Here are eight ways to quickly and easily get hired.
Use a resume template as the basis for your resume
Creating a resume from scratch is difficult, no matter how many times you do it. However, if you get a free resume template and use it as a base, you’ll be able to set up a master resume without paying a professional. At the same time, you can’t use the same resume for every job.
When you’re applying for a new position, look at the job position and add or subtract from your resume and cover letter, depending on the information listed.
If your resume is more focused, employers are more likely to see you as a viable candidate. Plus, you’ll bypass the ATS.
Pull keywords from the job posting to bypass ATS
ATS or applicant tracking systems are widely used programs that filter through resumes. ATS relies on keywords to sort through resumes, so you’ll need to pay attention to the jobs you’re applying for.
A general resume will almost always get rejected or rank low due to ATS systems.
You can beat this software by including specific job-related keywords in your resume, which you’ll pull from the job posting.
If the job posting says they’re looking for a “team player,” add it to your resume. Same goes for hard skills, like “C++,” but only include skills you actually have.
Bypass ATS auto-reject filters by answering positively
Over 80% of ATS software have an auto-reject filter, meaning your application may never be judged by human eyes if you fail to answer qualifying questions correctly.
These questions include topics like resident status, degree type, background checks, and overall culture fit.
To bypass auto-reject filters, answer positively but never lie. If the ATS software asks if you have 5 years of experience in a field, and you don’t, never say that you do. At the same time, don’t undervalue your skills on 1-10 questions. Always rank your skills higher than lower.
Create an online career brand (website and social media)
While creating a website and a social media presence doesn’t sound easy, you don’t have to spend a lot of time cultivating a presence in all industries.
A copywriter may need a great online portfolio, Instagram, and LinkedIn, but a general manager may only need a LinkedIn profile.
The point of an online career brand is to prove you’re present in your industry. You won’t need thousands of followers; you just need a way for your employers to research you. If your online presence is professional, clean, and available, employers will see you as a quality hire.
Have a list of job-related career goals you’ll complete daily
A job-related career goal list won’t necessarily speed up your job hunt, but it can motivate you to keep up with your search.
It’s hard to stay cheery about the hunt when you’re receiving rejection letters or no feedback at all, but a career-goals sheet can help you stay focused and positive.
For example, you can set a goal to apply to 5 jobs daily. Separate this goal into smaller goals that help you stay organized, like researching the company and its culture, collecting keywords for your resume, and contacting the hiring manager directly on LinkedIn before you apply.
Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of business contacts
If you haven’t built up a network of business contacts, do so immediately. Employers love to hire referred candidates because they trust the people in their network. Even coworkers and past employers can offer great testimonials on your behalf, provided you have a good relationship.
You can start building your network by sitting in at networking events, either in person or online.
Reach out to people on LinkedIn who are in your industry because they may know someone who’s hiring. Keep your relationship strong by conversing with your contacts regularly.
Develop your skills (and get certificates) while you wait
If you’re lucky, you may get hired at a company in as little as a week, but these positions are typically entry-level. Since there’s an expectation that the job search will take 3 months or longer, you can use that time to upgrade your skills using online education platforms.
You can quickly learn how to use a different coding language on sites like Coursera, or you can upgrade your sales skills by watching seminars from a certified marketer. Either way, you can set yourself up as a more in-demand candidate by learning new skills and earning certificates.
Prepare for the job Interview by researching common questions
Before you’re called for your first interview, start practicing common responses to interview questions. Ideally, you’ll have access to an interview coach who can help you with your answers, but you can still practice your interviewing techniques with a friend or in the mirror.
The more prepared you are for the interview, the more comfortable you’ll be. You won’t want to make mistakes at this stage, as it may reset the clock, so make sure you can recite your answers verbatim. Always ask questions at the end of the interview to show your interest.