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The best job search is a short one. The faster you can find your next position—without cutting corners and signing on with a poorly matched employer—the better. Most people aren’t interested in idling on the job market forever, even if they could afford to do so, and employers begin to ask tough questions when a candidate’s search starts to extend beyond about twelve months. So what can you do to speed up the process and start gaining access to more and better offers? Here are a few steps that can help.

Shorten the Path to Your Next Position

1. Tighten your keywords. Both your online resume and your LinkedIn profile should include the kinds of keywords that your target employers will be using to search for candidates. For example, do you have a few certifications that make you proud? Does your target job have a very specific title? Some jobs don’t (like “account manager” or “general coordinator”) but some do (like “CNC programmer”). Include your preferred title, your certifications, your major or course of study, your industry, and your geographic area in all of your online documents.

2. Title your document titles. When recruiters and employers find your resume online and read through it, you want them to gain a clear picture of what you’d like to do and what you have done in the past. So make your resume and profile title and headings as specific as possible. Your summary should provide an equally clear description of what you do, and the accomplishments your list under your previous positions should be quantified. Numbers will make your claims easy to understand and easy to remember.

3. Keep your blog and social profiles moderately active. “Moderately” means that you should by no means assume that sitting in front of social media all day long will get you a job. But less than 30 minutes a day a few times a week can turn your social media habit into a job search ally. Try to use some of this time looking up the profiles, feeds, and blog posts of your target employers and leaving insightful comments on their content.

4. If you’re looking for work in programming or IT, join an open source community. Leave a positive impression with everyone you encounter online, and become a thought leader in your corner of the industry.

For more information, guidance, and leads that can help you get your job search off the ground, reach out to the MA IT staffing experts at Tech Needs.

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