5 Quick Ways To Simplify Your Job Search

by | Finding A Job

A modern-day job search has a lot of moving pieces and can quickly consume all your free time if you don’t stay organized and focused. In this article, I share a few easy strategies to streamline and simplify your job search so that you can focus your efforts on those activities with the highest return on investment.

Why Is Finding A Job Frustrating?

But first, why is looking for a job so hard? As a career coach, this is a question I’m asked often by job seekers, and it’s a valid one. The average job search takes around five months if you’re unemployed, and the process can feel incredibly monotonous and stressful.

A primary reason the job search is so tedious is that you seldom receive feedback on what you’re doing well and what’s wasted effort. Unfortunately, many companies never notify candidates of their application status, and when they do send out updates, you rarely receive feedback other than, “Thank you for your application. We decided to move forward with candidates who are more aligned with the job.”

[Read: How To Ask For Feedback After Job Rejection (With Example)]

The job search can also be frustrating if you don’t have an easy-to-follow system in place, as you’ll end up spending countless hours sifting through job boards, deciding which roles to apply to, sending off job applications, following up with leads, and interviewing with employers.

How To Simplify Your Job Search

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to simplify your job search, make the process less frustrating, and find a job faster. Here are five ways to streamline your job hunt:

1. Get clear on what you want in your next role.

One of the quickest ways to simplify your job search is to get clear on what you want, as well as what you don’t want, in your next job. You’ll save a lot of time and energy if you avoid applying and interviewing for jobs that simply aren’t a fit for your needs. You don’t want to get to the salary negotiation stage with a company only to realize you spend weeks applying and interviewing for roles that don’t meet your minimum expectations.

While this article breaks down nine factors to consider as you paint the picture of your next job, here are a few questions to reflect on:

  • What are your geographical requirements, if any, for your next role?
  • Are you willing to relocate for your next position?
  • How do you feel about work-related travel?
  • What’s your ideal company culture?
  • What functional area do you want to work in?
  • How do you want to spend your day?
  • What job titles are you targeting?
  • What are your salary requirements?

Importantly, you want to delineate between what might be a requirement or deal-breaker for your next job from what might be merely a preference. For instance, you may require a certain minimum salary while preferring to work for a large FinTech company.

2. Limit the time you devote to job boards.

Once you’re clear on your job search parameters, develop a list of target companies that fit the bill, so you can check their Careers page daily or weekly for openings.

In addition to regularly checking for openings at the employers on your target company list, consider using a few industry-specific job boards, like Built In and Team Blind if you’re looking for a job in tech, to source roles beyond your target company list.

While it can be tempting to sign up for tons of email alerts and incessantly check Monster and Indeed for openings to avoid “missing out” on a potential opportunity, this can quickly backfire when your inbox is overloaded with irrelevant job alerts and make the process of finding a new role overwhelming.

3. Get and stay organized.

Since there are quite a few moving pieces in a modern-day job search, you might wish to use time blocking to help you stay focused, organized, and productive.

Sample Weekly Job Search Schedule

The following is an example of how you might structure your weekly job search activities:

  • Mondays: Check company Careers pages and job boards for openings.
  • Tuesdays: Customize resume and cover letter for job applications.
  • Wednesdays: Network with people at target companies.
  • Thursdays: Follow up on job applications.
  • Fridays: Prepare for job interviews.

Sample Weekly Job Search Schedule

[Read: “Can I Outsource My Job Search?” Answered]

4. Keep track of your efforts.

You can also reduce the time you spend on the administrative aspects of looking for a new role, as well as fight job search burnout, by developing a system to keep track of all your efforts. 

Teal offers a free Job Application Tracker that can help you get and stay organized with your applications and networking conversations. A simple Google spreadsheet works, too, and provides you with limitless customization options

Important: Don’t go down a rabbit hole of over-optimizing your task tracking, as the goal is to simplify your job search and minimize the time you spend on the administrative burden of looking for your next opportunity.

5. Develop master career documents and scripts.

Lastly, you’ll want to create a master resume and cover letter that you can quickly tweak for each application using relevant keywords from the job posting.

You might find it helpful to set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes per job application to allocate yourself enough time to customize your documents without overdoing it.

While you’re at it, you can also create master networking outreach messages to recruiters, hiring managers, and other stakeholders at your target companies, which you can then make small tweaks to based on the company, position, and your relationship with the person.

[Read: How To Write LinkedIn Networking Messages That Get Results]

You can apply the same approach to your interview preparation and develop go-to interview talking points that you customize to each conversation, as there’s no need to recreate the wheel each time.

How To Simplify Your Job Search

Final Thoughts On Simplifying Your Job Search

As you implement these strategies, take note of what aspects of your job search are using up the most of your time and see if you might be able to simplify them a bit further.

Finally, please don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional to support you with your job hunt. You’re welcome to contact me or schedule a consultation to discuss whether working together is your best next step. I’m here for you! You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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