Sometimes, you just need a job. The money is running out, the debt is piling up, and it’s time to have some income.
Maybe you don’t have months until the end of your cash flow. Maybe you only have weeks. Maybe the end is in the rear-view mirror.
In this post, I want to tell you how to get a job fast.
These are proven strategies that my readers and I have used.
And they work!
Remember, the job market is messy. While some companies can take months to hire, others have a quick turnaround. Some have complicated HR processes and hoops to jump through, others will shake your hand and put you right to work.
If you want to know how to find a job fast, you need to be strategic and pay attention. Ignore the long, drawn-out HR processes, and learn to exploit the messiness of the real job market. Here’s how to do it.
7 strategies to find a job fast
1. Activate your network
The first thing you should always do is check your network.
The whole traditional job process is designed to get you onto an employer’s radar and walk through a series of steps until they are comfortable hiring you.
So it’s worth asking, is there anybody in your network that would hire you tomorrow, no questions asked?
Some of us have better networks than others, but all of us do have a network. Start with people you know, and see if any of them would be hiring. Ask around: family, friends, or profs.
You can jump on LinkedIn too if you have an account. Take stock of who you are connected to on there, and Identify some people that you would feel comfortable dropping a note like this to:
“Hey NAME, I’m currently looking for some work that lets me use my report writing and project management skills. Do you happen to know anybody who is looking for somebody? A contract or short-term gig is totally fine. I’d really appreciate any thoughts you have! Thanks!”
2. Consider contracts
Many organizations have long, drawn-out hiring processes. They use these to hire their long-term, permanent employees.
Often, they’re less worried about short-term opportunities. Short-term contracts can be a great way to get your foot in the door, and usually, they are easier to get since the employer knows they just won’t renew the contract if you don’t work out.
This takes away some of the risks for them and translates into faster hiring and less red tape.
If you need to figure out how to get a job fast, short-term contracts might be your best friend.
Bonus, often short-term contracts also let you work in a higher-level role and can be a great way to launch your career forward.
3. Focus on small companies
Big companies have to standardize their HR policies. As a result, it seems like the bigger the company, the longer hiring can take.
If you need to get a job fast, focus on smaller companies. Smaller companies will have less red tape and potentially simpler hiring practices.
Also, they often have less competition for their roles than big-name organizations.
Pro Tip: You can figure out how big a company is by going to its LinkedIn page and clicking “people.” While not a perfect science, the number of people listed there may give you an idea of how big they are.
4. Be bold
A friend of mine is a nurse. She wanted to get hired at a big children’s hospital.
But nothing was moving with HR, and it felt like her resumes were going into the void.
So do you know what she did? She walked into the hospital, right to the floor she wanted to work on and started chatting with the nurse at the desk. That nurse told her that they were desperately looking for people, but HR was slow and the managers were simply too busy to even go through the interviewing process.
She called over the floor manager as he walked by, and he did a quick interview and offered my friend a job on the spot.
She now works as a nurse, while many of the people sending in resumes are still waiting at home for somebody to call.
Not everyone can hack this type of act. But fortune favors the bold! I wrote about this in my post on networking like a boss. It’s terrifying to walk into a workplace and ask if they’re hiring.
I’ve done it many times, and often has secretaries very nicely and awkwardly promise to keep my resume “on file.” I left with a red face, sweating profusely and shaking a little bit.
But it worked once, and that made up for all of the times this strategy crashed and burned. Most people would never be gutsy enough to try this. But it just might work.
5. Find decision makers
Riffing on the story from above, one of the ways to ensure that you get hired fast is to make sure you are connecting with decision-makers.
In many companies, HR has a few different jobs. One of them is usually to find qualified candidates and run job processes.
But from my experience, if a manager asks for a candidate, in many companies the HR is unlikely to say no.
If you can find a decision-maker who wants to champion hiring you, you will have way more luck than bumping your head up against HR.
6. Post that you’re looking on social media
Lee Moore wasn’t expecting 100,000+ people to like his post when he posted to LinkedIn about being thankful for an (arguably crappy) temp job. But the post went viral, and ended up netting him hundreds of job offers!
Instead of trying to guess who is hiring and who would be interested in you, why not try a different approach? Why not let the world know that you are looking?
I’ve seen this strategy work at different times, but one of the best places to do it is on LinkedIn. You have an existing network there, if you have an account, and many of them would be willing to help you.
Why not give them a chance?
While LinkedIn is the natural place for this, there are other options as well. Try joining Facebook groups for people in industries that interest you, and post something similar. You might be surprised how many people are willing to help you once they know you are looking!
7. Try a video resume
Video resumes have a ton of potential. Yup, hopefully you didn’t just break out in a cold sweat at the thought of recording your resume, because they could be the future.
In fact, TikTok recently ran a trial for video resumes, that they hope to expand on in the future.
You can post videos on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. (Are you brave enough to drop one in a recruiter’s inbox?)
A video resume should be pretty simple, quickly highlighting who you are, your motivation and career areas of Interest, your top achievements, and skills.
Use numbers to quantify, and a little bit of storytelling to make yourself pop.
And don’t worry. You don’t have to be the next Youtuber. Just the fact that you took a chance and made one, no matter how poor the production quality, will make you stand out.
And if it helps, I made a video explaining how I make videos on my phone–see what I did there?
There you have it! 7 strategies that will help you get a job FAST. Go try them out! It’s no fun to be in the situation you might be in right now. Get that job to start getting some food on your table, and then come back here and read more about how to take your career to the next level and earn what you’re worth.