A job search can feel like a race against the clock, and all too often jobseekers busy themselves with the process rather than focusing on the results. Here are four key strategies to shorten a job search—strategies many jobseekers fail to use.

1.    Don’t waste time on job boards.  

Mindlessly sifting through irrelevant job postings is a time and energy drain. Conversely, job seekers can build momentum by being focused and specific. Identify keywords and phrases relating to the specific industry, field, or job level. This will help the jobseeker quickly scan through job postings, only picking out the most relevant. That focus and specificity can mean a difference between a candidate finding a dream job or wasting another day scrolling.

2.    Use a professionally written resume.  

With more and more resumes being screened by computers, it is crucial that job seekers have a well-written, tailored resume. You could be the best candidate for the job, but if your resume is messy or outdated you will often be overlooked. Using industry and field keywords will help the scanner, human, or machine, quickly identify a candidate as qualified for the position and pass you along to the next step of the recruitment process.

3.    Devise a personal marketing message.  

Identify the strengths, unique skills. and assets that you are marketing to potential employers. Make sure these are in line with the job details of the positions you are seeking. Practice this messaging as if you’re in an interview. By rehearsing your personal marketing message with a friend, you’re going to be more comfortable answering interview questions that tell the interviewer exactly what he or she wants to hear. The interview is a key point in a job search. Perfecting your responses ahead of time will get you one step closer to landing that dream job much faster. 

4.    Embrace the available technology.  

While many people use the web for their job searches, few are knowledgeable about how to effectively use the latest technologies. Social media are increasingly popular for business-related activities; and sites such as LinkedIn have filled an important niche. Using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is a great way for applicants to create a professional online presence and reach out to their connections. 

Jobseekers aren’t the only ones using social media. Companies are also working to build their online presence and often post openings on their social media sites. Connecting with companies via social media can be an effective way to learn about the company and their opportunities.

Personal websites are another outlet to create a professional online presence. Creating a website with your bio, your portfolio, and your detailed contact information can give recruiters a one-stop shop for learning about your professional life. A personal website along with your social media can ensure that you are completely represented on the web. Using these technologies will not only save time in areas such as networking, but it allows recruiters to reach out to candidates.