Looking for a job when you have a job can be puzzling. With days and weeks going by with hardly time to spare, when can you find the time and energy to effectively apply for jobs.
It is not impossible, however, to find a job while you’re busy working. In fact, employed candidates often have a better potential in getting a job than those who have unemployed. So if you think that quitting your job to focus on hunting a new one is a good idea, think again.
To get started on your job search, don’t overlook the importance of setting some schedules and plans to ensure that you make time for searching, applying and interviewing.
Here are a few points to keep in mind.
When to look
You certainly can browse job boards occasionally, but you might miss out on opportunities or see them when it is too late in the process. If your schedule is packed, set a time weekly for job searches, and turn on the alerts for jobs that might interest you.
Bookmark the websites and job boards that you need to check regularly. You also should create a folder in your email inbox to save alerts that might otherwise get lost.
Looking for a job also goes beyond online resources, so if you check newspaper classifieds, other print ads or boards, be sure to save these publications or set time aside to visit the boards and collect job notifications.
When and how to apply
Finding a job opportunity that doesn’t equal applying for it. To use your time effectively, have your documents ready to go as much as possible. Having said that, never rush to send an application or a resume without scanning it throughout to make sure it was not previously customised for a different job or a different employer.
Save time, but be efficient in knowing which fields need particular attention. In fact, you can save a template of your resume and cover letter with some blank fields highlighted. So when you want to send a new application, you have to go and fill in those fields with the position you’re applying for, the employer, the contact person’s name, etc.
It may be good to separate between browsing jobs and applying for jobs. By doing so, you make sure that you look closely at the jobs that might be a good fit. You also ensure that when you sit down to put together a job application, you give this task your undivided attention. Mixing the two is unlikely to yield good results for either.
Putting yourself out there
If you’re looking for a job, it is good to let your business contacts and some key connections that you’re on the market. There is a thin line to walk, however, to protect your current job and employer’s interest. Based on your trust in the recipient of this information, you should be able to either hint or make a statement about your interest in open opportunities.
You also are more likely to know about job opportunities if you’re networking actively. Think of industry events or networking gathering that help you get closer to employers on your dream list. Being there at the right time may tip you about an upcoming job opportunity or even help you speak with a decision maker whom you wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to meet.
Save time for interviews
If you’re actively looking and interviewing for jobs, have a plan for how you will take time off from work. Calling in sick on the day of the interview is a lie that can leave a bad impression with your employer. Instead, have a plan. You may for example plan on asking for the interview to be after 24 or 48 hours from the time of the call. Then you take time off (like a personal day), providing your supervisor with a decent notice.
Try not to get into the details of your planned time off. And based on your expectation of the interview length, try to keep your time off to the minimum — take a couple of hours or half a day instead of a full day, for example. By doing so, you won’t have to miss work frequently to do interviews. Plus, remember once you get closer to a job offer, you might have a couple of follow up meetings or interviews. So be prepared to save time for this big one.
By Rania Oteify
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