It’s hard to look for a job outside of normal working hours when you are already employed full-time. Time is precious and you can’t afford to waste it on inefficient job search methods.
One classic time-wasting method is applying for a job as soon as you discover the posting online. Here is how it happens: you find an alluring new ad, then launch into writing up your resume and cover letter for it, then click “send,” and then go back to browsing for another job ad....
Sound familiar? Yup, we’ve all done it. But it’s a real time suck. Why? Because (1) it takes a while to find postings that you really like and (2) your precious “writing energy” gets redirected to browsing activities instead of to finishing more applications. Not only is this time-consuming, it is also demotivating because you have very little energy left for writing when you eventually find a job posting you really like!
A much better approach is to separate job browsing time from job application writing and then complete multiple applications at once. Here’s how it works: carve out a block in your weekly schedule, say 1 hour on Monday evening, and reserve it for scanning job ads, collecting information, doing research on other companies, and selecting your top picks. If you like, you can streamline this process by setting up customized email alerts on job boards to notify you of openings as they become available. Then, once you’ve narrowed down your top picks, carve out another session in your schedule to write up multiple applications within the same block of time.
This approach has two obvious benefits: first, you dedicate your best energy to your top job picks instead of chasing what (only initially) looks appealing. Second, you unify your writing efforts so that more applications get written in a single sitting.
Of course, there will be times when you have to apply quickly without waiting on other job ads. I get it. There is a need to be flexible here! Just don’t make it a policy of your job search to apply out of urgency or one-at-a-time. A more sustainable policy is to apply to several openings in a single block of time.