At some point in your career, you may need to find a job fast. Finding a job quickly can be a challenging process, but with effort, you can find a position that meets your needs. Learning how to optimise your job search can help speed up the process. This article will offer steps to find a job quickly and tips for standing out during an interview.
How to find a job
Following these steps might help you find a job:
1. Find jobs that fit your qualifications
Make a list of your job experience, education and skills. Then, look for a position that you are qualified for. You should apply for jobs that are still in your desired field or industry, but you may need to widen your search.
Consider looking for positions that you may not have originally applied for but meet your needs. For example, if you’re a sales representative, you could search for business development or marketing positions. The sales skills you have likely transfer to those roles. You can also look for roles in a company you want to work for, then plan to make a lateral career move once you’ve worked there for at least a year.
When you apply for jobs, make it a continuous process. Even if a company contacts you for a phone screen or interview, you should continue to apply in case you don’t get the position or the offer wasn’t what you were expecting. In some cases, you may receive multiple job offers to choose from.
2. Optimise your cover letter and resume
Hiring managers may scan a resume for only a few seconds, so you need to gain their attention immediately by optimising each cover letter and resume you submit. Your cover letter and resume should be brief, easy to read and memorable for the hiring manager.
You should tailor your cover letter and resume or write a new one for each job you apply for. In your cover letter, explain why you want to work at that company and summarise your qualifications. You should also write about how you can help the business thrive and how you differ from other applicants.
In your resume, highlight any experience and skills you have that fill the requirements. Limit your work history to the last five to seven years or the last three jobs, to give readers a clear, concise view of your experience. You can also include information about volunteer work, continuing education courses you attended or other projects you completed. Even if you did not grow your skills in a conventional way, recruiters want to know about what you learnt. For example, if you were a babysitter as a teenager, you likely learned communication, organisation, time management and multitasking, which are all transferable skills.
3. Ask for help from your network
Asking for help is difficult for some people, but it can be an effective way to get a job fast. Communicate with other people in your field at industry events, through email or over social media. Connect with former colleagues and ask your friends, acquaintances and relatives to let you know if they find out about a position that suits you.
If you know anyone who works for a company that interests you, ask them for some tips on applying. You may be more likely to get an interview if you know exactly what skills, experiences and personality types a business is looking for. You can also ask for a referral or a recommendation.
Reaching out to your college alumni association, professional associations and former colleagues can help you as well. Talking to the right people can help you find work fast and give you more information about available opportunities.
4. Consider a temporary position
Obtaining a contract or temporary position can help you fill an employment gap while searching for permanent positions. Here are some benefits of a temporary, contract or freelance position:
- Since businesses often need temporary employees quickly, the hiring process is fast.
- Freelance jobs are usually flexible, meaning you can go to interviews whenever you need to.
- You can meet people who work in your industry and learn about long-term opportunities.
- If an employer in your field likes the job you do as a temporary or contractor, they could promote you to permanent status.
You can work full time as long as you need and then reduce your hours when you find a permanent job.
Related: 20 Part-Time Jobs That Pay Well
Tips for standing out in an interview
To stand out during an interview process, you should keep these in mind:
Research: Research the company to learn more about their culture, immediate needs and long-term goals. If possible, find more information about your interviewers by searching on the company website or reviewing their professional networking profiles.
Appearance: Dress professionally to show interviewers you are interested in the role. Bring a paper copy of your resume to your interview. You can also ask if there is anything else you should bring, such as a portfolio or some examples of your past work.
Demeanour: Make eye contact with your interviewer as much as possible. Keep your back straight and your shoulders square. Nod occasionally to show that you are listening. Remember to smile when appropriate.
Interview questions: Learn about the most common interview questions in your industry so you can prepare your answers.
Responses: Keep your responses sincere and confident. Consider your answers carefully and match them with the company’s culture as much as possible. Give examples and share stories about the ways you helped customers or coworkers at your last job. Try to talk about how you can help your potential employer. At the end of the interview, show that you are interested in the job by asking for more information about a topic on the company’s website, or asking about your interviewer’s experiences.
Follow up: Follow up with your interviewer after a few days. Send a thank you letter or an email to let them know that you appreciate the opportunity. Remind them why you want to work with the company and reiterate your contact information. This signals that you are excited about the position and the company.