“Over 30 interviews in six weeks, feeling pretty hopeless.” That’s the title of a post by one desperate Reddit user in the “Recruiting Hell” SubReddit (sub-forum on Reddit). Despite the impressive number of interviews, after six weeks, the poster still hadn’t managed to land a job. “I wake up every day anxious or crying. It's so hard for me to even get through the day, to do any work, to eat, to muster up any energy to do things I liked to do,” the poster admits.
If you’ve ever wondered, “How hard is it to find a job right now?”, this post is a sobering example of the length of time it can take to find a job these days, even after the most dedicated of job searches. Randstad commissioned a survey of 2,000 Americans in 2018 and found that respondents took an average of five months to find a job.
Since $7.25/hr is minimum wage in the United States, and if you base your calculations on a 40-hour work week, every week of unemployment could mean a minimum lost income of $290/week. After 5 months, that adds up to a staggering $5,800 in lost income simply because of being unemployed!
How can you speed up the process so you can find a job quickly? Here are 7 of my best suggestions:
Maintain an up-to-date resume
According to Forbes, keeping an up-to-date resume is about being “proactive” rather than “reactive”. Keeping an up-to-date resume will mean that if you do unfortunately lose your job, you can be ready to apply to new jobs at any time if you need to find a job quickly.
Keep your references current
The same maxim that applies to your resume also applies to your references: be “proactive” by keeping your references current. It may be hard to find a job, but having outdated references will only make it even harder.
The Balance Careers explains, “Aim to maintain an active, ongoing relationship with your references, even after they've written letters, filled out forms, or spoken on the phone in support of your candidacy.”
Make sure you’re checking all the top job sites
It’s hard to find a job if you limit your job search to just one job site. Your job search will go faster if you diversify your search by including all the top job sites, such as Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor. Find more top job sites by learning the 10 Best Job Search Sites in 2021.
Leverage your network
A recent survey published on LinkedIn found that 85% of jobs are found through networking. So if you aren’t already building a solid network of social and professional contacts who may be able to help you find a job in the future, you should start now. Knowing more people can definitely improve your ability to find a job quickly.
Remember to follow up after the interview.
We’ve all been there, sitting on pins and needles after an interview with no word from the interviewer, wondering “why is it so hard to find a job,” and how long to wait before we email them or move on. The Muse has some valuable advice for how long to wait for contacting an interviewer after an in-person interviewer (one day) to how long to wait when told they’ll be in touch (five to seven business days).
Avoid the resume and interview process altogether with new hiring technology
Geekbidz is a new skill-based direct-to-hire job platform that allows applicants to rank their skills, then uses AI to match applicants with the job that best fits their skills. It skips the resume and interview process and sends job applicants straight to an on-the-job evaluation. What better way to find a job quickly than by eliminating a couple of steps in the journey and moving straight to the job itself?
Find a temporary job
Even though you may not want a part-time, contract or temporary position, unfortunately sometimes it’s simply hard to find a job, and you just need to pay the bills.
As the Balance Careers explains, “Obtaining a contract or temporary position can help you fill an employment gap while searching for permanent positions.”
Prepare Well, Broaden Your Horizons and Try New Solutions
Watching your bank account drain while searching fruitlessly for a job is an anxiety-inducing experience like no other. While persistence and luck are part of any job search, by preparing well, broadening your search horizons, and trying new hiring solutions that may speed up the hiring process, you stand every chance of beating the odds to find a job quickly and easily.