It’s funny how the job search works. You can spend years talking to friends about whether you’re ready to move on from a company or weighing the possibility of switching industries or considering quitting your job to move to a new state until—BAM! Just like that, you need to find a new job right now.
Maybe you’ve recently lost your job or inherited a new, not-so-likable boss who’s taken your meh workweek to a whole new level of terrible. Regardless, there’s no more room for hesitation. But knowing you need to get started is one thing. Actually getting started is another.
The good news is: it only takes 48 hours to launch a job search that’s both savvy and, ultimately, successful. That’s one weekend, and honestly? You’ll probably still have time to fit in a Sunday brunch with friends. Here’s a kickstart guide to getting started.
How to Launch a Job Search This Weekend
Step 1: Update Your Resume and LinkedIn [3 hours]
It’s tempting to rush straight into scouring job boards, then update your resume on the fly as you submit applications, but don’t do it.
There’s no point in applying to 50 jobs if every one of those companies receives a resume full of typos. Instead, dedicate the morning to updating your LinkedIn profile and resume (hint: updating one first means easy copying and pasting to the other). As you revise your work experience, ask yourself these questions:
- What type of role am I going to go after? What specific skills would they want to see listed here?
- What were the results of my work? How did the work I did positively affect my company? Can I quantify it? (The strongest resumes include data-driven stats like “Ran the marketing team resulting in 110% growth in traffic in 2019”.)
Step 2: Automate the Job Search Process [1 hour]
Now that you have your resume ready to go, do the following things:
- Turn on the “open to opportunities” feature on LinkedIn so that recruiters and staffing agencies can see you’re looking for a new job.
- Set up LinkedIn job alerts based on your preferred job titles, favorite companies, and desired cities.
- Do a Google search of “job placement agencies near me” or “staffing agencies near me” to locate recruiting teams in your area who might be able to help you with your search. Submit a request for more information and attach your resume.
Sign up for alerts from other job boards like Indeed, but also niche job boards like We Work Remotely (remote work), Power to Fly (a career board for women and non-binary candidates), The Muse, CareerBuilder, and Idealist. You can also search “job boards for [whatever role you’re seeking]” on Google to find even more specific resources.
Step 3: Let Your Network Know You’re Looking [1-3 hours]
Again, before applying to any jobs (we’ll get there, swear!), dedicate some time to let your network know you’re looking for work. If your job search isn’t public knowledge, you can do this by reaching out via email to people you trust. Tell them:
- You’re looking for work and specifically what kind (Full-time? Freelance? Temp? Anything?) and in what industry
- In 2-3 sentences, sum up what sort of work you’ve been doing recently
- Include a link to your portfolio if applicable
- Let them know you’re happy to send a resume their way if they want to share it with someone they know
- Say thank you (the most important part!)
You can send a mass email—just make sure to bcc rather than cc everyone. If you’re currently unemployed and/or comfortable announcing your job hunt, consider posting an update on your social media accounts as well.
Step 4: Pick Three Jobs to Start [3-5 hours]
Yes, just three. In fact, even if you only apply to one job this weekend but do it the right way, we’d count that a success.
Do careful research on various job boards to pick the three jobs that seem like the best fit for you/excite you most. You’re only going to apply to three during this 48-hour period because you’re going to take the time to write custom cover letters for each one based on the role, their needs, and your experience that aligns best.
As you write, specifically call out what the company highlighted in the job description, plus any details that demonstrate that you’re aware of the company’s work in your industry or goals.
You’d be surprised how many people send templated cover letters—and how easy it is for a hiring manager to spot them. Be the person who writes one that’s so clearly not canned, and you’ll cause them to perk up.
Step 5: Set Up an Excel Sheet or Calendar Reminders to Write Follow-Ups [1-hour max]
It’s also easy to forget to follow up after applying for jobs, but this is a crucial step that you shouldn’t miss.* Plan to reach out 5-7 days after you submit your applications reiterating your interest in the position. Since so few applicants remember to do this, you’ll set yourself apart from the pack.
*Sometimes, you won’t have a way to follow up because the contact information is unavailable; and that’s OK! But whenever possible, follow up.
After this, take a break, meet some friends, and indulge in some self-care. And come next week, repeat the process with three more jobs. You’re going to hear back in no time!
Star Staffing is one of the top employment agencies in Northern California providing flexible staffing solutions including temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire placements. For more details, contact us at 707-762-4447.