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Structuring a job search system to land a new role quickly

March 30, 2023

What makes a successful job search? Polishing your resume, networking, and steadily applying all make for a good formula, but the jobseekers that land jobs the quickest have a system to keep them on track.

Here are some of our tips for developing a job search system:  

Write down your goals.

It may sound cliche, but put pen to paper and write down your goals. Place them somewhere you’ll see them every day. We recommend getting as specific as possible with your goals. For example, instead of writing “I want to land a new engineering job” write something like, “I want to land a senior frontend engineering role at a data analytics company.”

When you write down a specific goal, you’ll stay focused on what you really want.

Start a spreadsheet to track applications and follow ups.

Let’s say you get an email from a recruiter one day saying they’d like to schedule an interview - great! But which job was this for, when did you apply, and what did you research about the company already? Starting a spreadsheet to track this info helps you know when to follow up and keeps all your notes about roles in one place.

By the way - spreadsheets and Google sheets aren’t the only tools you can use to track searches. At RFS, we’re big fans of Airtable, Coda, and Notion to manage submissions and track processes too.

Plan for pivots.

Experiment with new techniques as part of your job search strategy. Perhaps you start your search with one version of your resume, or one script for messaging hiring managers - but switch to a new resume or talking points after a couple weeks. Or returning to our previous example - maybe you start applying to roles at larger, public data analytics companies, but switch to startups or other companies that are growing at a quicker pace to find more success.

Remember to keep track of your resumes, talking points, and bios on your spreadsheet!

Research job market trends.

Conduct research on job market trends in your field to get a better sense of the current demand for your skills and the types of positions that are available. You may find that certain industries are hiring more than others, or are hiring more for people with your skillset. For example - companies building Artificial Intelligence tools may be hiring more than more traditional SaaS subscription services in 2024.

Or perhaps you find that your skills can be applied to an industry that’s related to your current experience, but you hadn’t previously considered. For example, let’s say you’re a Product Manager with experience in scaling a product that was delivery-based and you learned how to create efficient delivery systems. What other industries could use this knowledge? Are there service-based industries who need to build strong delivery systems, or healthcare companies?

By researching current trends, you’ll be better able to pinpoint how your skillset can be translated into skillsets that many companies are hiring for.

Make it a goal to meet people in person.

Spend time each week, or every other week, trying to meet others in person. Make it a priority to schedule a lunch, grab coffee, or see a friend you haven’t seen in a while to catch up.

If you’re used to working remotely, or usually don’t plan more networking-type activities, this may seen difficult at first! But making it a priority to meet people in person as often as you can should be part of your job system. If you write it down and schedule it - this will grow easier with time.

Work with a recruiter.

Recruiters (like our team at RFS!) can be a great resource during your job search and should be part of your job search plan. Recruiters have inside knowledge on which companies are hiring and can get you a quick intro to a hiring manager. If you spend some time reaching out to recruiters in addition to sending job applications, the time it takes to land a new role can become a lot shorter.

Jobseekers and hiring managers - what are some actions you’ve taken to build a job search system?

Want more interview prep? Check out our posts on: 

Interview prep for Founding Engineers

How to answer the interview question, what do you bring to the company

How to talk about a career change

How to talk about your long-term career goals

For other interview tips, check out our other posts on interviewing on the blog.

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