By now you’re probably familiar with the hard-and-fast rules of the job search. Rules pertaining to elements like the best websites to look for jobs on and how to dress for your interview have probably become redundant, too, as many job seeker resources are quick to reiterate them. While many of these rules still apply, there are also plenty of outside-the-box tactics that will help you save time and energy on your job search. Plus, these hacks are simple enough to integrate into your process today.
1. Let employers come to you
The job search doesn’t have to be one-sided. One way to let employers know that you are looking for a job is by creating social media profiles. And more specifically, a LinkedIn profile. Given that many companies hire recruiters to scour the web for qualified applicants, you might end up attracting a few leads simply by making your (completed) profile public.
2. Automate your search
Rather than constantly logging into all of the job search boards you’ve signed up for, hoping to spot new listings as soon as they’re posted, opt for push notifications instead. These automatic notifications can pop up on your device whenever you receive a new email, so you’ll quickly know if any job leads have been seen your way.
3. Hone your search keywords
Job seekers tend to go broad with online job searches, aiming at whole industries and other vague criteria. Take a more fine-tuned approach by searching for keywords, especially those that relate to a specific set of skills. Start with your most developed skills, whether they be French translation, HTML, social media, or anything else. The results will be much more relevant to you.
4. Write a few resumes
For multi-talented job seekers, it’s important to keep your resume focused rather than showcase an irrelevant diverse range of skills (unless the skills are complementary—like marketing paired with psychology backgrounds). This is where it’s handy to make multiple versions of your resume that highlight one skillset and accompanied work experiences over another, depending on the employer and job description. Just take care to make cover letters less pre-written and therefore more tailored to the employer—they’ll recognize the difference between generic and genuine.
5. Opt for the upload
Seeing as many job applications are submitted electronically these days, you will likely encounter two options for submission: upload your resume or fill in the many blank fields. For the sake of time and aesthetics, go for the upload option. Just be sure to check the requested file format beforehand!
6. Spice up the interview with a narrative
While you could ace an interview by traditional means (succinct and polite answers, focus on what you can offer the company, etc.), you’re more likely to stand out if you add a little flair. Telling an employer about yourself in an anecdotal way is more likely to resonate with them post-interview, so offer up a memorable narrative about a relevant topic, like a project you recently undertook.
7. Master the art of the follow up
The seemingly daunting follow up can actually land you major points if done correctly. You don’t want to appear bothersome, but a little check in can let an employer know that you are professional, detailed, and especially keen on the position. A phone call or email will do, whether you submitted your application last week or whether you are in the post-interview stage. Don’t forget to save some time on it by keeping an email template and filling in the appropriate fields as necessary.
As you continue your job search, keep in mind that while there are plenty of hacks out there that will make the process easier, there are some to be avoided. First and foremost, never lie on your resume—no one benefits in the long run. Also steer clear of irresponsible shortcuts (like trusting spell-check over a human read-through), as mistakes are easy to make. Be efficient, but be thorough.
Emily Burgess is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about all aspects of improving a business, be it marketing, customer service or training. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru – experts in the field of online education. Personally, she’s a great fan of foreign languages.