The First Rule of Job Search - Never Stop Searching

The most successful job search is the one that never happens. Sounds like gibberish, I know. Allow me to explain.

If the goal is to get a job quickly, then the ultimate goal should be to find a job in zero days.

Through the years, I have discovered that the best way to find a job is to never stop looking for a job.

To decrease the amount of time it takes to find a job, never stop searching for a job. Although a more focused job search is best when you are truly looking, the goal here is to cast a much wider net. Here are five things you can do to keep your skills sharp when you're not looking:

  1. Create weekly job alerts from Indeed, Monster, and Career Builder for every job in your city (or the city in which you want to work). Yes, every job. And then spend a few minutes every week reading through the postings.
  2. Create another weekly job alert for jobs with your same job title within 50 or 100 miles from your city (or the city in which you want to work).
  3. Keep a journal. When you come across a job or company that interests you, write down a few quick notes. What is the company? What is the title of the position? How is the employer asking for candidates to apply? Make sure you include any contact information, dates and the source where you found it. You'd be amazed at how helpful this can be down the road. Spend time every week reading back through your journal. Over time, you will have a much better understanding of the job market.
  4. Every couple of months, create a resume and cover letter for a specific job opening you've found. Even if you don't send it out, the practice will help you improve this skill.
  5. Update your resume. This should go without saying but I'm saying it anyway. Every couple of months, spend a few minutes updating your resume. If you've been capturing your successes and other job notes this will be simple and painless.

As a cyclist, the best advice I've ever been given is "Eat before you're hungry". The same applies to the job search. Don't wait until you need to find a job. Build the habit and the skill when you don't need it so it's there when you do.