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If you are you doing lots of January applying right now, here is a list of 9 ways to use your valuable time most efficiently.


1. Create proper job search plan

Really think about your weekly schedule and when you have or can make pockets of time. If you’re particularly busy, this may be more complicated so think about how much of a priority it is for you. If something is important to you, you will find time, it just sometimes takes a little creativity and juggling.

Incorporate planning tools – there are plenty of apps out there that use timers and the like so you are focused and get straight to the task when you don’t want to allow yourself to be distracted. If not focused you will probably make mistakes.



2. Organise your application materials

it is widely recommended to personalise your CV and cover letter for each job. But do this strategically. Create a template of both that can be amended quickly and accurately and it still becomes a completely personalised application to the employer.

If you’re applying for a few different types of position, have core templates for each type.  Then only minimal tweaking is required and you save a lot of wasted time by being proactive.

If you have different types of template, make sure they are named it clearly so the wrong one doesn’t go to the wrong job.


3. Track your progress

Ideally keep a record of everyone you applied to and when, the materials you used and when you followed it up. You won’t apply for the same job twice, or keep re-reading the same job description.

You can also use it to track success rates, for example, number of interview invitations per application. Then you can use that to inform how you approach your applications in future.



4. Boost your skills

Work out where you are most lacking when it comes to the skillsets of that dream job, and see where you can learn to do it better. Read a book on it, or take advantage of the plethora of courses you can do online to erase that skills gap on your CV. A If you are unemployed, it will keep yourself employable while you boost your skills and it is a great way to stay busy. It shows employers that you are motivated when it comes to bettering yourself.

if you are able to afford it, volunteer work or low-paid jobs can also really improve your skills and make you more employable.


5. Networking

There may be local events for professionals in your area designed for networkers that you can take advantage of.

Get involved in industry conversation, on and offline. Take advantage of LinkedIn and ensure your profile is completely up to date as it is the first place many recruiters still look. Have you had any mentors or former colleagues the past that you can get back in contact with? Reach out to as many people in your field as you can think of and make sure they all know that you’re looking for a job.



6. Come up with specific ideas on ways the employer can improve their business

Ideas such as ways to save money or increase efficiency, or potential sales/marketing campaigns, will be an enormous asset. Properly organise them and give each a lot of thought.


7. Start a blog 

Take the opportunity to show off everything you know about your chosen field and share it with others with the opportunity to discuss. If you are an expert in your industry you will be a credit to your employer. It helps if you are passionate about the subject.



8. Treat your job hunt as a full-time job

If you are not currently in employment, make sure that you commit a similar amount of time and dedication as a full-time role. This also keeps you in good habits ready for employment.


9. Take breaks

As searching for a job can be incredibly stressful, it is particularly important to ensure that you get sufficient downtime to relax and be calm. So exercise, like a walk, can really help to calm. Catch up with friends and make sure you are taking car e of yourself with keep your head screwed on.



Hopefully these tips will have you re-energised and knowing exactly what to prioritise.