The job search can be a long and drawn out process. From the application to the interview(s) and hopefully getting hired, there is really no way to determine how long the process will take. This can be a frustrating experience for job seekers, regardless of if you’re currently employed or not.

When you’re unemployed and looking to get back in the work force the waiting game can be demoralizing. The fact that looking for a job can essentially become your full-time job isn’t something that many people enjoy. In a process that seems to be out of your control, chances are you want to take some of that control back.

In an otherwise long process, our friends over at TopResume have some ways in which you can take control and speed up your job search.

Define What You’re Looking For In Your Next Role

There is a reason you’re looking for a job, so you must figure out what that is first. Do you want greater benefits? More pay? Different industry? Regardless of you’re reasoning, first and foremost you have to figure that out. Once you do so, you will be able to narrow down what you’re looking for in a new role.

What you want can vary from a certain title, industry, projects, etc. The key is defining these factors before you search for your next job. With millions of jobs out there, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and fall down a job search rabbit hole. Once you know what you’re looking for the pool of potential openings narrows and you can save some time. As Rachel Fletcher states, “You won’t find the right job for you if you don’t know what you really want, and you could waste a lot of time in the process if you don’t figure it out stat.”

Write Your Elevator Pitch

After you figure out what you’re looking for in your next role, you can prepare for potential interviews and networking events. At these events you want to portray yourself as the best candidate for the position based on your background and knowledge. The quickest, most efficient way to do this is via the elevator pitch.

The pitch is a few sentences used to highlight your accomplishments usually in the time it takes to ride in an elevator. It is a great response to the often asked “so, tell me about yourself.”

Set Achievable Goals

When setting goals, regardless of the context, it is important to make them “SMART.”

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

If you’re looking for a new job, you might set a goal to get hired by “X.” That is great, but it depends what your timeline is. Can you really get hired by next week? Probably not, so you should reevaluate your goals. “Setting unrealistic goals for your job search will only disappoint you and make the process feel a lot longer than it needs to be,” says Fletcher.

Get Your Network Together

“Its not what you know, its who you know.” As much as you don’t want to believe this phrase, it certainly rings true throughout your career. While you certainly need to have some understanding of what the job entails and experience in the role, knowing someone who can open a door for you can take your job search to the next level.

Getting your network together before you need to enlist their help on the job search is recommended. If you need some help getting started networking, check out our article “Effective Networking Crash Course.” A LinkedIn survey found that up to 85 percent of all jobs are filled via networking and one of the easiest networking tools is LinkedIn. If you’re on the job search, one of the best places to start is with your very own LinkedIn profile.

As we’ve mentioned many times before, once you get a job your networking efforts should not end. Networking should continue throughout your entire career, as you never know who can open a door for new career opportunities.

Wrap Up

The job search can sometimes feel endless. From applying to countless jobs, interviewing and hopefully getting an offer or two, the process can take weeks and sometimes months. If you want to speed this up and retake some control of the situation, consider these tips above and read TopResume’s full article here.

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