Getting a new job is frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, while I searched for work in the spring of 2017, I was able to get a new job fast.
I came up with a system.
I had been unemployed earlier in the year, getting laid off from a job I barely cared about. Through that struggle I learned a lot about how miserable being unemployed is. I learned the unemployment system is uncompassionate and living off unemployment checks isn’t the dream people think it is. How is someone supposed to live off $200 a week? That’s hardly a real figure for people used to making a modest living. I mean seriously, I think my wife bought $200 worth of toilet paper from Costco before, so let’s be real, 200 bucks is nothing. Anyway…
Applying for new jobs sucks. It is an absolutely horrible, mind numbing, and soul crushing endeavor. Whoever decided potential employees need to spend countless hours staring at a computer screen, clicking and pasting credentials, then to submit into the unknown abyss of the interweb, has obviously never applied for a job before. This web based employment system is only convenient for HR staff and no one else. It’s a “we’ll call you, don’t call us” mentality.
Back in my day (when I was a kid) you used to show up at the place you wanted to work and talked to a real person. There were people to follow up with and people to harass. At the very least it was personable, if not inefficient.
During my unemployed stint I talked with a career coach, which I would highly recommend. One of the scariest takeaways I encountered was this advice: Make a phone call.
Now let’s get one thing straight – I hate phone calls. I’ve had plenty of roles where telephone skills were key and I never want to go back there again. I have undiagnosed PTSD (no joke) from every time a phone rings – it’s all horrible flashbacks of angry customers and sales calls gone awry. So needless to say, if there’s an app that can order me a pizza or I can text my complaint to my bank, I’m going to use it. I avoid real human contact at all cost.
However, this proactive approach is priceless advice. I tend to live my life by zigging when other’s are zagging. If there’s a way to beat a system or gain an advantage over my competition, I’m going to take it. So you better believe calling HR, taking them to coffee, and pitching why you’re the best candidate is a terrific tactic – but it’s not for everyone.
How to get a new job fast – beat the employment system
What bothered me most about applying for jobs online was how long it took and how tired I felt afterward. I would spend 4 hours clicking around the internet and applying through customized portals on potential employers websites. At the end, I would have only applied to 4 potentials jobs in that same time. An hour per application was my ratio, and it was burning me out.
In an effort to combat this misery, I decided to maximize my time, effort and energy. I needed to get a new job fast.
I used sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter, which allow you to keep a standard version of your resume saved on their site. They use tools like 1-Click applications which allow you to quickly and effortlessly apply for a job. Now, instead of a job application taking an hour, it takes 30 seconds.
In order to speed up my applying efforts, I would religiously only apply to jobs featuring the 1-Click application. Some jobs, even on these sites, are only fronts to forward you to their own custom portal, thus sucking more life away from you.
I would use a generic cover letter. I had used customized cover letters with “Dear So-And-So, I think job XYZ will be perfect for me and I will love working at your firm XXX.” While making a personalized cover letter is certainly good advice, it takes forever, so get rid of it. Besides, no one really cares.
In summary, my system to get a new job fast was to spend 1 hour a day applying for work. Maybe that sounds like too little time and a lazy attitude for an unemployed person. It’s not. In an hour I could apply to 30 jobs. Then the next day I’d apply to 30 more. In a little over 3 weeks, I found I had applied to over 300 jobs. That doesn’t sound lazy, now does it? It sounds efficient and smart.
And most importantly, it sounds like someone who landed multiple interviews and got a real job, which is all that matters.
How to get a new job fast – Action Steps:
- Spend only 1 hour applying to jobs
- Submit applications as fast as you can
- Do it all again the next day
What tricks have you learned from applying to jobs? Do you feel like applying to jobs sucks the life out of you?