When time is of the essence, some extra effort goes a long way.

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted people's lives and upset the economy in ways we haven't seen in decades. Maybe you've recently lost your job, or maybe an unexpected expense has come up and your savings won't cover it. Whatever the reason, if you need a job fast then you'll want to hit the ground running ‒ but you might find yourself wondering where to start.

When it comes to finding a job, there are no guarantees, especially in uncertain times. What you can do, though, is improve your chances. From broadening your scope to submitting applications and preparing for an interview, following the steps below can make it all the more likely that you'll find a job fast.

Broaden your horizons

When you need to find a job fast, you should cast your net as wide as possible. The more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to get one. That doesn't mean sending out your CV everywhere without putting any thought or effort into it, though. What it means is expanding the range of jobs you look at by considering positions you might not usually go for, and taking time outside your regular schedule to tailor your application materials to fit these different roles.

It also means taking a look into temp work. Temp roles can open up quickly, so if you're looking to get a job as soon as possible, it might be just the thing. Working temp jobs can help connect you with employers and colleagues, too, which can help you find more work in the future.

Make connections

There's more to finding a job than just checking job-search sites. You should also be building a professional network, whether by updating your LinkedIn profile, attending networking events, joining industry organisations, or simply building ties with your colleagues and employers in any job you have.

So, look for every opportunity you can find to make those connections. Put yourself out there, and let people know what you're looking for. The more professionals you connect with, the more likely you'll be to know someone connected to an available position ‒ and that's a huge benefit when you're looking to find a job fast.

Work with a recruiter

No one knows the job market like a recruiter, and that's a huge advantage when you want to find a job fast. They know what jobs are available and who's hiring, so they can put you in touch with potential employers as soon as jobs become available.

There are plenty of recruitment agencies out there. Some are more general, and some have particular niches they specialise in. Take a look around so you can find the agency that will work best for you.

Keep your cover letter fresh

If you want to find a job fast, you might be tempted to send out 100 applications using the same cookie-cutter cover letter. That may seem like a quicker option, but it's a big mistake ‒ and way too many people do it.

The more time and effort you put into your cover letters, the more you'll stand out, and the easier it will be for an employer to see that you're the candidate they're looking for.

For every job application you submit, you should be including a cover letter that's tailored to the position. That means reading through the job description carefully, understanding what the company is looking for, and highlighting exactly how your skills and experience make you the best candidate for that particular role.

Smarten up your CV

A cookie-cutter CV can be just as bad as a cookie-cutter cover letter. Sure, it seems quicker to just send your CV out to as many employers as you possibly can, but really, that's just the quickest way to make sure it ends up in the bin. 

Like your cover letter, your CV should be suited to the job you're applying for, directly addressing the specific needs of the employer and emphasising the parts of your history that show you're right for the role.

Therefore,  take the time to make sure your CV is up to date, well-formatted, and shows off the right things. That way, you can be sure it will have the best possible impact when it lands in an employer's hands.

Keep track of your applications

If you're looking to get a job as soon as possible, you'll be reading a lot of job descriptions and sending out a lot of applications. When you do this, make sure you're keeping notes, because chances are you won't have every job description and application perfectly memorised as you move forward in your candidacy.

When you land an interview, you can prepare more easily by reviewing your notes, looking back over the job application you submitted and rereading the job description. Take the time to get to know the company you're interviewing with ‒ their culture, their products and their competitors. That way, you can connect your skills and experience to what the company does and what they need, giving you the best chance to land the job.

Be confident in your interview

When you want a job fast, every advantage counts, no matter how small. So remember the simple things like maintaining eye contact, smiling and offering a firm handshake when you meet with recruiters or potential employers. The better your first impression, the more likely you are to get the job.

Remember that you want to stand out from the crowd as the most confident, competent and professional candidate. If you're not feeling so confident on the inside, don't worry ‒ nerves are normal for any job seeker. This article offers tips for calming interview anxiety and finding your confidence.

Keep at it

Rejection is part and parcel of any job search, but the only way to find a job (in fact, the only way to ever get anything done) is by keeping at it.

So stay focussed, set realistic expectations, and surround yourself with the support of friends and family. Don't be afraid to reach out for any help you might need whilst you're putting yourself out there. Most importantly, don't give up ‒ chances are you'll have it sorted out in no time.

When you want a job fast, your CV needs to be at its best. See how yours stacks up by getting a free CV review.

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