We often hear from candidates and job seekers who will say, “I need a job ASAP!” That cry is becoming more common, particularly as competition in the job market increases. As older workers put off retirement and a wave of younger, highly skilled applicants enter the job market, what can you do to increase your chances of finding a job as soon as possible?
You’ll find much online information about interviewing for a new role, preparing for your first day on a job, how to write amazing resumes, and even how that differs from writing your cover letter. However, there is very little advice regarding help when you need a job fast – guide and tips for that are conspicuously absent too. That’s mainly because it’s challenging to find a job quickly.
On average, the job search process can take just over six weeks. Of course, that is highly dependent on the industry you’re in and your relevant work experience, educational achievements, and the city concerned. If you need a job right away, you may not have six weeks to waste. When you need a job fast, guides and tips are an excellent place to begin formulating a plan. That’ll hopefully shorten the time it takes.
Tips to Get a Job Fast
Key in on Resume Keywords
It may surprise you to learn that just over 98% of all Fortune 500 companies currently use some form of an applicant tracking system. That’s software used by employers to vet incoming resumes. Getting past the applicant tracking system is the first hurdle applicants face – failure to do that can result in a recruiter or hiring manager never even seeing your resume. With so many employers utilizing some form of an applicant tracking system, it’s absolutely crucial that applicants understand how to pass those systems. That can be done by reviewing the job posting and using keywords from within the text on a tailored resume.
When incorporating keywords into your resume, you’ll want to ensure it comes off naturally. It’s highly unethical to scatter keywords across your resume solely for the purposes of getting past the applicant tracking system. Instead, you should look to incorporate keywords and phrases naturally and organically.
Submit a Cover Letter with Every Application
Cover letters are crucial to helping you land an initial interview. When compared to resumes, cover letters offer you an opportunity to explain your work experience in more depth and reinforce your desire to work for the employer. Whereas resumes are written in a chronological format, bulleted according to accomplishments, cover letters afford let you explain your achievements in the context of the advertised position.
Resumes and cover letters are “sales pitches” of sorts. They both allow you to provide an explanation of who you are and what you can bring to the team. A well-written cover letter can make a potent impact on hiring managers. That’s because they will be reviewing a large volume of resumes per open job position – and you need to stand out from the crowd.
Network with Everyone
Have you expressed your need for a job to your friends? What about sharing your desire to work within your family? And, how about your former colleagues and co-workers? Although it may feel embarrassing, searching for a job is something we all do from time to time and a task that most people will be able to empathize with. Always seek to take advantage of your network. Reach out to family, friends, and former or current colleagues to let them know you’re on the hunt for a new job – and you may be pleasantly surprised by the result. Your connections and network may be able to point you in the direction of a position they believe you will be great at doing.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to take advantage of social media when you’re in the process of trying to find a new role. There are a great many benefits to being on LinkedIn. It got built to help professionals network, and when you’re in the job market, it can prove invaluable. Feel free to post on your timeline about your job search. Ask for advice, pointers, and tips from your online network, and you could achieve something great.
Dress for Success
If you continue to wake up every morning, saying to yourself, I need a job ASAP; then you should do everything in your power to find one. One of the best ways to do this is dressing for success. That means dressing as if you are going to the office every day.
The reason you should do this is twofold. The first is the psychological factor. Dressing for success will help you feel more successful and ready to take on the day. The second is that you simply don’t know who you’ll meet throughout the day. Better to encounter someone when you’re dressed professionally than in a manner that is scruffy, off-putting, and conveys an unprofessional attitude.
Block Out Time Every Day
When you’re looking for a job, you should treat it as a job itself – because discipline is important. Doing so will also help you maintain a healthy sense of corporate culture, stay sharp, and keep up your work readiness, even if you happen to be in between roles. Block out between three and four hours every day for filling out job applications. You should focus solely on your job search during this time, placing your phone on silent and restraining yourself from perusing social media, news sites, or other entertainment sources. By placing yourself on a daily schedule, you’ll better ensure that you apply for as many jobs as possible. That will help you to find a new job quicker.
Reach Out to Recruiters and Hiring Managers
Although many people feel timid and shy when reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers directly, you absolutely should if you need a job fast. Reaching out to a recruiter will help you avoid the applicant tracking system and immediately get your resume in front of the relevant decision makers.
Be warned, though, that this plan can backfire. Some recruiters or hiring managers may not be open to receiving applications via unorthodox means, and you could find they simply ignore your message. However, this may be a risk you’re willing to take, particularly if you need a job right away.
Volunteer and do Good Work
While seemingly counterintuitive, volunteering can be a great way to get your name out there. Although you won’t receive a paycheck at the end of the month, you’ll be able to create valuable relationships and increase your networking circle. Not just that, but with more and more companies offering volunteer time off, you may just bump into someone who can help you land your next job.
Besides, volunteering can help you feel more motivated. You’ll be accomplishing something – even though you’re not working for pay – and be able to add the experience to your resume. Volunteering is also a great way to get out and contribute, even if you don’t have a full-time position, and you’re busy a few hours of each day submitting applications.
Increase Your Skillset
Sometimes, when you’re looking for a new job, you’ll have lots of downtime – and it can be beneficial to use that for increasing your skillset. With the proliferation of the internet and free courses online, you can learn just about anything on the web. Try and tailor skills and courses to the industries you’re looking within. You can add those new qualifications to your resume, making you a stronger applicant each time you achieve one.
Conduct Mock Interviews
When it comes to finding a job ASAP, you don’t want to apply for dozens of jobs, only to perform poorly at the interview stage. First, read our extensive advice for interviewing in different settings:
- Tips and tricks for phone interviews
- Advice for interviewing at your potential new workplace
- Tips for using and interviewing via Zoom and video
You can prepare for your interview by reviewing a list of commonly asked questions. It’s also an excellent idea to ask a close friend or family member to help you get ready by conducting a mock interview. You should also try and understand the format of most interviews and prepare yourself for how different sequences get executed.
Jobs You Can Start ASAP
When you’re looking for a job, staying active and maintaining your morale is essential – not to mention making a few dollars on the side. When you need a job fast, there are a few options you can consider. These roles represent flexible jobs you can combine with your search for a full-time position:
- Uber Driver
- Driving for Uber can be a great way to make some additional cash while you look for a full-time position. The requirements are generally simple. Typically you just need a late-model vehicle, adequate registration and insurance, and a good driving record. Uber drivers set their own hours and can make upwards of $30 an hour.
- Lyft Driver
- Similar to Uber, Lyft is another ride-sharing app that has grown in popularity. You can also set your own hours with Lyft, and you could even supplement your income by doing both Uber and Lyft at the same time.
- DoorDash is one of the most popular food delivery apps around. You can become a Dasher, delivering food for restaurants in your local area. Food delivery is becoming big business, with more and more people using online platforms when they’re looking for food deliveries.
- Similar to DoorDash, PostMates looks to deliver nearly anything to its users. A top-rated app, PostMates pays up to $18 an hour.
- Shipt is looking to transform the way we get our groceries. Signing up for Shipt means you’ll be able to deliver items for local grocery stores. Shipt drivers can earn up to $22 an hour.
- UpWork is a platform that allows gig workers to connect with individuals and companies who are looking to hire freelancers. It is by far the largest such marketplace and can be a great site to showcase your skills, then get paid for them.
- TaskRabbit lets you help people in your area with household tasks and chores. One of the original gig websites, it provides a great way to earn extra cash using skills you already have.
Conclusion: Need a Job Fast – Guide and Tips
I definitely empathize if you need a job fast. Most of us have found ourselves in the same situation at least once, and being without work is never an ideal situation. This article should help you land that job quicker – just remember to prepare your resume and get ready for an interview to come up. Use your networks – both online and real-world, and you’ll be back at a desk in no time!
Keep your wardrobe employment-ready too. Reach out in person to hiring managers, and don’t be shy about promoting yourself. Getting a corporate job isn’t impossible, and there are plenty of resources on this website to help you speed up the process – so feel free to take a good look around.