For whatever reason you find yourself back in the job market, whether you are trying to leave a toxic workplace, find a new (better paid) challenge or you’re just eager to take the next step in your career, when you need to find a new job, you want to find it fast. While there are never any guarantees in the job search, there are some tried and true methods that can help to speed up the process.

However, the quickest ways to find a job still require the utmost attention to quality and detail. You’ll notice that “applying to as many jobs as you can in a day” is not one of the methods listed here. Never let your eagerness lead you to cut corners or rush through the details of a job application. You’ll be much more likely to accidentally make a mistake or submit lower quality work that will cancel you out of consideration for the role.

Let’s get started:

  1. Determine your priorities

Before you dive headfirst into your job search, you must think about what you truly want from your next job and then outline these qualities in priority order. What are your non-negotiables? Which qualities would you be willing to give up in exchange for others? This priorities list can be helpful to fall back on to make sure you don’t settle or rush into a job that might not actually be the right fit for you.

2. Make sure you are easily “searchable” on LinkedIn

Before you start sending out applications, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated and search-friendly for recruiters and hiring managers. Adding industry and role-specific keywords and skills in your summary and work history section will make it easier for them to find you and reach out about job positions they are trying to fill.

3. Reach out to your network

Sometimes the easiest way to find a job is by tapping into your existing network of friends, family, and colleagues (and ex colleagues). You never know what opportunities they have heard about or have open within their own companies. If they do know about a job you are interested in, having a personal, inside reference can help increase your chances of landing an interview, and possibly the job.

4. Set up your search filters

One of the best ways to search for jobs is by utilizing the filters feature on job boards. Within many job search websites, there are features that allow you to set up a series of pre-set job search filters outlining your preferences on role type, location, job title, experience level, and more. This saves you time when you log in and check to see which new jobs are listed that are most relevant to you and your needs.

5. Create job alerts

Once you’ve set up your filters, you can also establish “alerts” that can send you a notification on your profile, or an email to your inbox to let you know the moment that new jobs are posted that match your designated qualities and keywords. This is particularly helpful for positions that are highly competitive, as applying sooner rather than later can increase your chances of landing a coveted interview spot. 

6. Develop an organizational system

When you’re looking for the quickest ways to find jobs, sometimes that means you’re moving so fast that your workstation can get a little messy. This can make it more difficult to keep track of important files and information that you need in your applications. Create special folders on your laptop to store CV variations and a note or document with your responses to common application questions to help you stay organized and speed up your application time.

7. Set realistic goals

Sometimes, when you want to get a job immediately, you can unintentionally set yourself up to be burnt out by working on your job hunt 24/7. Be sure to set realistic goals for how many jobs to apply to each week, and how many hours per day to spend on your search. Be sure to schedule breaks into your day and remind yourself that you are doing your best.

8. Get an accountability partner

Ask a friend or family member to help keep you accountable with your job search goals. An accountability partner can not only help you stay on track, but also offer you encouragement and support on days when you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.

9. Optimize your CV for every position 

As you start applying for jobs, be sure to tailor your CV to the job description for each individual role. This significantly increases your chances of making an impression on recruiters to land that interview opportunity. Tailoring your CV requires matching skills, keywords, job titles, and specific formatting and experiences.

10. Follow and interact with recruiters on LinkedIn

Sometimes going straight to the source can be the quickest way to find a job. Be sure to follow relevant recruiters on LinkedIn and start interacting with them. Many recruiters regularly share their job openings and offer general introductory meetings to determine if you are a candidate for any of their open positions. This can significantly speed up your search.

11. Do your research and prepare for interviews

Once you start landing those interviews, block out time to research the company, the team you’re applying to, and the interviewer to get prepared for the meeting. Doing this research can help you gather insight into the company and produce a list of important questions you’ll want to ask in your interview. It can also help you understand the type of person you’ll be meeting with and potential details you might want to emphasize or avoid to better connect with them.

12. Follow up with recruiters and hiring managers

After a positive interview, it never hurts to follow up with the recruiter or hiring manager to thank them for their time and offer them any additional information they might need from you. Not only is following up polite but it can also help keep you in the front of their mind and above other candidates.

13. Consider a contract or temporary role

While your goal might not be to have a temporary position, in many cases, contract roles offer an opportunity to evolve into a permanent, full-time role at the end of the contract. This can be mutually beneficial as it provides everyone a chance to decide if it’s the right fit (if you truly like the job, company, and culture) before committing to a full-time position.