Let's be honest: "A job search can feel like a full-time job in-and-of itself," admits Chrissy Macken, founder and career coach at Blueprintgreen Career Coaching & Consulting.
But just because it feels like a full-time job doesn't mean it must also take the time of one.
"It's important for job candidates to conserve mental and emotional energy so that they're better able to communicate their strengths, skills, and unique value proposition with confidence," says Macken. "Taking an approach that prioritizes discernment and efficiency can not only save candidates time, but position them for what can be a long ... process of finding a new job."
With these expert-approved tips and tricks, you can seriously cut down on the time it takes to identify and apply for the right job for you, so that you can start working on it stat.
1. Partner with a staffing recruiter
Staffing firm recruiters sometimes get a bad rap, but "a high-quality recruiter, one who understands your niche, can save you an incredible amount of time by sourcing appropriate jobs for your skill set and getting your name in front of a hiring manager," says Rich Franklin, founder and president of KBC Staffing. Ready to work with one? Here are 14 reputable staffing agencies to check out.
2. Create a workflow
While it takes time to initially set up, creating a place to track your job search will save you hours throughout the job search process, Macken says. "Pick your favorite document type to lay out your job search process, log positions you've applied for, and link to your resumes and cover letters," she instructs. "Having one place where your job search documents and process steps are located can provide a critical sense of momentum and accomplishment, and creates an easy way to track the status of your applications. It will help you avoid wasting time accidentally applying for the same job twice, and allows you to quickly reference your previous cover letters so you can quickly reuse relevant content."
3. Utilize mobile tools
Your smartphone can do many things, but did you know it's one of the best time-saving job search tools, too? And it's at your fingertips. "You can email, fill out job applications that have mobile sites, keep your resume up to date, do video interviews -- using video apps like Skype and Zoom -- and fill out job assessments" on your phone, says Mark Anthony Dyson, career consultant and founder of the podcast The Voice of Job Seekers. And what's more, "Networking is made easier through mobile, and most people no longer need a laptop to connect with key individuals who refer or introduce them to hiring managers," he says.
Glassdoor's app helps you search and save jobs from your phone, too -- you can find it here.
4. List your core skills
Before you begin the job search, "Write out examples that illustrate your proficiency in the core skills you have to offer -- data analysis, project management, volunteering, etc.," says Macken. This saves time because "when these skills are listed in a job description, you can quickly incorporate [them] into your cover letter without having to start from scratch."
5. Flaunt your accomplishments
"Going to networking events can be time-consuming when you're working a couple of jobs," points out Dyson. But you can still socialize without shaking hands. "Showing proof on the internet is a way for you to show your competency and tech savviness," explains Dyson. "A website or blog is a place where you can direct the conversation to your skills and abilities." He also suggests setting up a LinkedIn profile. "Your profile becomes a magnet [to recruiters] when you are regularly engaging in conversations, adding value through articles and updates, and [using] the video and writing tools to show your knowledge and personality."
6. Apply selectively
"Job seekers who create [targeted] lists of companies rather than applying to scores of jobs on job boards save so much more time," Dyson insists. Why? "By targeting companies, you can get more specific in finding people to refer you, know and understand company culture, and help you prepare for compensation negotiations and more." You can connect with the right professionals by searching company websites and social networks, Dyson suggests.
This article originally appeared on Glassdoor.com.