Here’s how to gain some speed in your job search

  • By Eve Nicholas Herald Columnist
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2009 6:41pm
  • Business

How long does it take to land a job in a tough market? It depends on many factors. Your industry, qualifications, career requirements. Your preparation, diligence and focus. But many job hunters don’t have the time to deal with all of these issues. Bills are piling up. They need employment right now.

There are ways to shorten the length of your job search. It takes effort and attention, and perhaps a bit of compromise, but it can be done. The more proactive you are, the better your chances of finding a job quickly, and the sooner you can stop worrying about the bills. Here are a few tips that may help:

Aim for jobs that match your experience.

Get faster results by applying for positions in your current field. Think of it this way: If you have solid experience in sales, you’ll slip into an inside or outside sales, marketing, client services or customer support role. But if you try to transition to a position in finance, your search may take longer.

Load up with keywords.

It’s essential to create a powerful resume that highlights your value as a new employee. It’s also important that your document specifically target your chosen field. But there’s one more step to building a high-impact resume. It involves keywords.

These days, many employers screen resumes electronically. They use computer applications to search for specific words and phrases, and only read through resumes that meet their criteria. So, fill up your resume with suitable keywords. Find them by researching job postings and identifying the skills, experience and training required for these roles. Also, mull over your background and call attention to your primary qualifications and credentials.

Talk about your goals.

If you spend most of your job searching time on Internet boards, you probably need to change tactics. The Internet is a great source of information and an excellent communication tool, but job boards tend to move very slowly. If you need a job now, networking is your answer.

Don’t give up other methods of job hunting — a speedy job search must cover all the bases, including newspaper ads, networking, recruiters and contacting companies directly. At the same time, it’s imperative to let people know about your skills, accomplishments and enthusiasm. If you have bills stacking up, let go of your fear or shyness for a while. Attend meetings, business groups and social events. Contact teachers, friends and acquaintances. Stop by local businesses. Get the word out!

Get ready for interviews.

What’s the best way to impress hiring managers in a job interview? Prepare in advance. Know your work history. Gather examples of your achievements. Research the company, and walk in there with a few ideas that might help the organization grow. If certain aspects of your background need explaining (such as employment gaps or layoffs), practice your statements in advance.

Prepare your physical presentation in advance as well. Dry clean your suit. Print several copies of your resume. Be ready for every opportunity that comes along.

Remain focused and confident.

Rushed job seekers, here is my final advice: Keep your eyes open for opportunities in every direction, and target each one with confidence. Go get ‘em.

Eve can be reached at

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