Making the Most Of Your Time When Applying for a New Job

Applying for a job can be a time-consuming process. From the initial search to writing your CV, creating a carefully worded cover letter, and preparing for an interview, job-hunting can feel like a full-time job in its own right.

But with the proper planning in place, there are a few ways that you can make the job hunt far more efficient.

In an ideal scenario, you will seamlessly search online and quickly find those dream jobs that match your skills and experience.

Let’s find out how.

Step 1. Create a Job Search Plan

You may find that creating an action plan is a good way of organising your time.

Set aside a specific time each day (perhaps just an hour) where you can browse the job boards and make a note of the jobs that interest you.

You could schedule a particular time in your diary to ensure that you stay on track or set yourself SMART objectives such as applying for three jobs within a specific time frame.

You could allocate specific days for individual tasks (for example, Mondays for job searches, Wednesdays for writing cover letters, Fridays for chasing up applications, etc.).

Step 2. Use a Master Template

We all know that we need to tailor our cover letters/CVs to each application, but that doesn’t mean you have to start it from scratch each time.

Try to create a master template of your CV or cover letter that you can amend and adapt for each subsequent job application.

Make sure you pay close attention to the advertised job description and ensure that your final CV or cover letter highlights the attributes required by the employer.

Step 3. Search the Right Way

Many job titles are ambiguous and may bear no resemblance to the job you expect to do.

To speed up your job search, make a list of different ways to describe those jobs.

For example, someone working in marketing or PR could search for roles that embody social media, media relations, lobbying, marketing, content creation, community relations, spokesperson, crisis management, reputation management or public affairs.

If you know what role your experience relates to, you can search for those terms only, which will naturally filter out the results of the jobs you are over/underqualified for.

You can also choose to search for jobs based on specific qualifications/certifications that ensure you are making a good match.

Step 4. Search in the Right Places

Another helpful tip is to make sure you are searching online in the right places.

For example, most employers will use job boards to publicise any jobs that they are recruiting for.

Some job boards are devoted to specific industries, while others are more generic. So, pay close attention and do your due diligence.

For example, if you’re looking for a graduate/entry-level job, you should focus on job boards that specialise in these roles, rather than wasting time on sites such as LinkedIn, which may focus on more senior recruitment.

Step 5. Reach Out to Your Networks

We know that personal connections can be hugely important when it comes to a job search. If you have made professional connections with peers from your industry, why not contact them and ask them if they know of any available positions?

Many firms offer internal incentives to aid with recruitment, so you may find a job that isn’t yet advertised.

Similarly, try to attend some professional networking events. These can help you make new contacts, but conferences and workshops can also help you upskill yourself and make you more employable.

Step 6. Track Your Progress

To ensure that there is no duplication of job applications, you should track your progress.

First, make a list of jobs that you have applied for – not only can this prevent you from accidentally applying for the same job twice, but it can help you to learn what is or isn’t working. 

Next, please make a note of whether you have had to fill in an application form, whether it’s a CV/cover letter application, or whether you’ve been invited to an interview.

You may start to notice a pattern – perhaps you’re great at writing cover letters but struggle with application forms.

If so, you can then make better use of your time to improve your weaknesses.

Step 7. Only Apply For Jobs You Want

Sometimes the most straightforward advice is the best.

To avoid wasting your time (and that of the potential employer), only apply for the jobs you really want.

This way, you can focus your attention on making the application as strong as possible, rather than using a scattergun approach.

If you put all of your efforts into your application, you will be far more likely to succeed and achieve an interview.  


To make the most of your time searching for a job, focus on finding the right roles that fit your interests and skills.

These practical tips will help you streamline your job search, and it’s clear that spending more time on fewer applications is more likely to yield far better results.

This guest blog was brought to you courtesy of WikiJob you’ll find free aptitude tests, careers advice, jobs and more on their site.

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