What can you do to get a job as soon as possible?
The answer is: Spend your time and effort on activities that have been shown to work. I could write a book about what works – and how we waste time – but for many job seekers the most crucial factor is job boards versus networking.
Don’t be a slave to the job boards.
I am not saying you shouldn’t reply to suitable openings you find online. But only about 20% of jobs come from this activity, so why spend more than 20% of your time on it?
(And if you’re going to do it, be efficient: Set up saved searches on a meta-searching site like Indeed and have the results emailed to you. Or better yet, use a tool like Fridayd to automate the process. And don’t waste time and energy replying to jobs that aren’t a strong fit.)
Solve your networking issues.
Most job offers come about through knowing someone, and the way to expand your pool of “someones” is networking. If the mere mention of networking makes you want to throw up your hands – or just throw up! – identify what the problem is and seek a solution. Don’t decide “It’s not for me.”
Networking is not just for extroverts. You can learn to do it well. You can even enjoy it. Get really curious and analytical about the subject of how you can become a solid networker. Read my three-part series on networking, for an approach that may transform your experience. Here’s the first installment.
Rebalance your networking and online job search, and you can celebrate a big step you’ve taken toward getting a great job fast.
(This post was originally published in April 2013 and has been updated for accuracy.)