How to Find a Job Fast: A Framework for Accelerating Your Job Search
Do you have an urgent need to find a new job? Job hunting is already a stressful process. And when time is of the essence, the hiring process can become even more demanding.
But don't worry: With a few key strategies and the right know-how, it's completely possible to get a job fast. From top to bottom, here are the job search tips that can help you start getting job offers in no time at all.
3 key takeaways
- How long it takes most job seekers to find a job in 2023
- The best ways to prep your job search assets and LinkedIn profile
- Pro tips to help your search move even faster
How long is the standard job search in 2023
As of the end of March 2023, there were 9.6 million job openings in the U.S. If you're trying to start a new job fast, it might seem like your job-hunting process will be over almost before it begins.
But most job seekers—including highly qualified candidates—are still having to put in some serious work to get a new gig: One source indicates that the average time to find a job in 2023 is five months. While another study from fall 2022 reported around half of workers finding a new position within a month, a third shows that three months is the current average for job seekers.
Bottom line? It's likely a reasonable expectation to get a new job within the next few months—but only if you're adhering to all the best practices to help you find a job fast.
How to best prepare for your job search and ensure success
If you want to find a job quickly, you'll need to be willing to put in the work. Start your job search process by learning how to find a job fast.
Prep your job search assets
The first step in any good job search is prepping the materials you'll use for each application. You'll need a strong:
- Cover letter
- LinkedIn profile
- Professional references
- Online portfolio (if desired/relevant)
Your resume should be a clear and concise summary of your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Make sure it's up-to-date with your most recent accomplishments and information. Your LinkedIn profile will likely contain the same information as your resume but in a different format.
A concise cover letter is how you'll introduce yourself to potential employers, explaining why you're a good fit for the job. It's also helpful to have professional references on hand and ready to go. Make a list of your references and their names, job titles, and contact information (remember to ask their permission before including them on your reference list).
Finally, if you work in a creative field or have projects you're proud of, consider creating an online portfolio to showcase your work. This can be a website, social media account, or other type of online profile.
Take notes on your best achievements
Achievements belong in their own special section on your resume. An achievement is evidence—it's proof that shows you have a certain ability or skill. If your resume only lists the daily tasks you performed in your prior job, that won't be enough. Employers want to know the results of those tasks—in other words, what you achieved.
If you can, include metrics as you write your skills and achievements. These measurable numbers or statistics serve as further proof that you can actually do what you're claiming you can do. Start documenting your "work wins" each month so you can plug them into your resume when needed.
Use the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate achievements. To get quality, metric-driven achievements, make sure to attach a job description to incorporate relevant keywords.
Remember, companies want to hire for you what you did—not what you plan to do. So you need to become a salesperson, learning to sell yourself and your accomplishments to hiring managers.
Identify your timeline
How soon do you really need to get a job? If the answer is "ASAP," the volume of applications you're sending out will be much higher.
But if your definition of "fast" is actually "within the next six months," you have a bit of leeway, allowing you to more carefully pick and choose the job opportunities that are the best fit for you. If you aren't already employed in a full-time position, you might even consider working a temporary job while you continue your search.
It's also helpful to realize that your job search timeline might vary based on factors such as the industry you're in, the level of the position you're seeking, the location you're targeting, and the current job market conditions.
Make a job search plan
Your next step in an impactful job search process: Make a concrete plan to inform next steps. A job search plan is a strategy that maps out the actions you'll take as you search for your next position. It's a method of setting goals and staying organized, keeping you on schedule as you network and find jobs—which is especially important if you need to find a job fast.
Craft your strategic job search plan by following these steps:
- Decide on your target job title. List roles and/or industries you're interested in.
- Make a list of target companies. Create a list of 20 companies you'd want to work for.
- Map out a timeline. Set an ideal start date and work backward, deciding how many hours you'll devote to the job search each week.
- Make a strategy. Think about how and where you're going to find job opportunities (referrals? Recruiters? Online job boards?).
- Track your applications. Keep track of each application you send out (stay tuned for tips on how).
Once you know how to create a strategic job search plan, the application process will feel much less overwhelming, and you'll be ready to jump right in.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile
87% of recruiters think LinkedIn is the most effective platform for vetting job candidates. Hiring managers will be looking at your LinkedIn profile, scrolling through your About section, skills, recommendations, and more to see if you measure up to that dream job.
Is your profile up to par? Find out with Teal's LinkedIn Profile Review tool. This free Chrome browser extension audits your LinkedIn profile and provides you with an analysis highlighting which areas need sprucing up. It's a great way to get personalized recommendations on what you need to change.
If you feel like you don’t have the time to get your LinkedIn profile where it needs to be, consider using AI to help. A tool like ChatGPT can write your About section and your LinkedIn headline.
Ask for LinkedIn recommendations
Your LinkedIn profile isn't complete without some solid recommendations—and that's one area where ChatGPT can't help. Instead, find current or former colleagues, managers, or other people you've worked with who can speak to your integrity and skills.
You can request a LinkedIn recommendation from somebody using the LinkedIn website or app. Sending them an email is okay, too. You’ll want to:
- Explain that you're trying to find a job quickly and you're looking to boost your LinkedIn profile to help.
- Add why you're asking this person specifically.
- If desired, you can even mention the specific skills or abilities you're hoping to highlight.
- Offer to return the favor by leaving them a recommendation, too.
How to expedite your job search
Once you've defined a timeline, set your job search plan into place, and prepared your job assets, it's time to begin applying to positions. Get a job fast with these key job-searching tips to help you stand out to potential employers as you look for a new position. Here's the job application process explained.
Strategically apply for right-fit roles
As you scroll through popular job search sites or hear about job opportunities from your connections, it can be tempting to apply for everything you see—especially if you're trying to find a job fast. But this "spray-and-pray" approach isn't the most effective tactic you can use. The last thing you want is to quickly find a new job, but realize two weeks in that it wasn't the right fit for you. Instead, slow down and do a little extra research on job postings to make sure they're a good match.
Read the job description carefully to help you fully understand the requirements and responsibilities of the job.
- Ask yourself if you meet the basic qualifications. Do you have the required experience?
- Look up information about the company online to get a better sense of its culture, values, and reputation and how it aligns with your own values and goals.
- It's also helpful to research aspects such as the location, commute, salary, and benefits.
Finally, think about how the job fits into your overall career goals. Will it help you develop new skills or advance your career in some way? If not, it may not be the right fit for you. By taking the time to carefully evaluate each job opportunity, you'll increase your chances of finding a job that's a good fit for you and your career goals.
Tailor your resume to each role
Take your main resume document and change it up for each application you submit. You can increase your chances of getting the job by highlighting your skills and experience that are most relevant to that particular position.
Pull out keywords and phrases from the job description to add to your resume to ensure it can get picked up by applicant tracking systems (ATS). Then use the job description to identify the skills, experiences, and accomplishments you have that are most relevant to the position. Reword or reorganize your resume where needed to emphasize these assets. This shows employers that you're a strong match for the position, increasing your chances of getting an interview.
Want to see how strong of a match you are? Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume to get a Match Score.
Customize your cover letter for each role
Just like your resume, your cover letter should be customized for each application, too. Look for information about the company's culture, values, and mission so you can infuse your cover letter with a similar feeling. Use specific examples from your experience to demonstrate how you have the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for.
In some cases, you might be writing a job application email that either serves as your cover letter itself or includes a separate cover letter as an attachment. Learn how to write a job application email by including a strong subject line, introduction, body, and closing. Get started and apply for jobs with this email. (Another helpful tip: Use Teal’s AI functionality to save time as you tailor your cover letter for each position.)
Be thoughtful with your job application
Don't fall prey to the temptation to dash off your cover letter as quickly as you can. Slow down and carefully consider questions like "Why do you want to work here?" or "What is your experience in this field?"
If you're still stumped or if you're truly short on time, autofill can help you answer these kinds of questions. Teal's Chrome browser extension helps with your job application by using information from your resume to autofill the application questions. The process takes just 10 seconds, and once you've double-checked the responses, your application is ready to submit.
Be active in industry groups
Industry groups on Slack or LinkedIn can help you connect with other professionals in your field. They also can be a great source of information on trends, best practices, and industry news. And sharing your own insights and perspectives can build your personal brand and make yourself more visible to potential employers.
Most industry groups will likely be on Slack (such as the Superpath community for content marketers), but you may find good options on Facebook or LinkedIn, too. After joining, be active in the groups, sharing helpful posts and responding to other comments.
Search unique job boards
Niche job boards are often more helpful than more general ones. Look for job boards that specifically share postings for positions in your industry, location, or demographic. This will save you time because you won't have to scroll through dozens of jobs that don't apply to you.
Do a Google search for keywords like "niche job boards," "industry-specific job boards," or "specialized job boards." Many professional associations also have job boards that are specific to their industry or field. Your industry peers or colleagues may have recommendations to share, too.
Track your search
If you’re sending out job applications left and right, tracking your job search becomes more important than ever.
Nothing is worse than accidentally applying to a job you already applied for last week—that’s a surefire way to indicate to a hiring manager that you don’t actually care about their job as much as you said you did.
Easily track your entire job search using Teal's Job Application Tracker by keeping up with:
- Jobs: When you see a job posting that interests you, save the job title, link, and description.
- Contacts: Here, you want to know the person’s name, relationship (meaning how you know them), and what your goal is (Networking? An informational interview?).
- Companies: Save the company’s name and a link to a page with more research on the organization so you can learn more about them. Their LinkedIn or Crunchbase profile might be helpful.
Once you start sending out applications, you’ll want to keep track of those, too—saving details in a tracking spreadsheet, such as when you sent the application and its status.
Take on freelance opportunities
Freelance projects or contract work can help you cover the bills while you’re looking for a new job. A study by Fiverr indicated that 71% of U.S. workers planned to freelance in 2023, with the average freelancer earning $28 an hour.
When it comes to freelancing, the best practices for finding work overlap with many of the best practices recommended when seeking a full-time job. It's helpful to have a strong LinkedIn profile, be active in industry groups and job boards, and tailor your application for each role.
Send follow-up emails
If you don't hear anything after submitting your job application, send an application follow-up via email. This second email expresses your continued interest in the position and gets your name back to the top of the employer's inbox.
Send your follow-up email 1-2 weeks after you initially apply. If you're unsure what to say, Teal has follow-up email templates within the Job Application Tracker you can use to help write your message.
Knowing how to follow up on a job application can go a long way in demonstrating your interest in the position and keeping you top of mind with the hiring manager.
Remain professional no matter the outcome
If you need to find a job ASAP, the interview process can feel stressful. You might experience feelings of anxiety or frustration knowing that so much is riding on each job interview. But even if things don't go your way, it's crucial to stay professional.
Acting rude or unprofessional upon not receiving a job offer could burn bridges with the company. What's more, word spreads fast, and you may find that you quickly develop a bad reputation—missing out on opportunities from other employers, too.
Always be grateful and humble in your interactions with hiring managers and everywhere online.
Your job application process can take some time and effort, but don't give up! If you're feeling run down, it may be time to revisit your goals and your job search plan to make sure they're realistic. Your goals (such as how many networking events to attend per month or how many applications to send per week) should be specific and achievable.
Don't be afraid to also reach out to friends, family members, or a mentor for support and encouragement during your job search. They can provide you with motivation and help keep you accountable. Stay positive by focusing on the progress you've made so far, and keeping your eyes open for new opportunities.
How to ensure your job search is as effective as possible
Find a new job as quickly as possible by using Teal to help.
Start by prepping your resume and LinkedIn with the AI Resume Builder and Chrome extension. Then save any job postings that interest you using the Job Application Tracker. Finally, get started sending out those applications with the autofill capability.
With Teal's suite of digital tools for job seekers, you're set to find the right job for you as quickly as possible.