The Two Best Ways to Find a Job if You Value Your Time / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Never put up with an obnoxious three-page job application form ever again. These two powerful methods will level-up your job search.

You’ve probably heard the advice that you should treat your job search like it’s a full time job.

Do you really need to set aside hours each day to achieve the results you want though? 

There are two proven methods that can save you countless hours in your job search. Surprisingly, they have almost nothing in common with each other.

The one trait they share is efficiency. If you start with these two methods, you’ll spend less time applying while still finding the best opportunities.

1. Use Your Direct Connections and Network

With this method, you’re going to avoid any “cold” emails or other outreach until you’ve exhausted your entire network available to you. Contact your friends, colleagues, and former bosses that you’ve (hopefully) kept a good relationship with. If a recruiter has helped you in the past, contact them as well.  

If you are close with somebody, be upfront and tell them you’re looking for a new job and were curious if they had anyone in their network that might be a good resource, or if they can help you directly. For the rest of your network, you’ll want to use a softer approach. You can send an email like this:  

“Hi George, I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to let you know that I am quietly starting a job search to find a Software Engineering Manager position. I’m letting a few colleagues know, and you came to mind as somebody that I should send a note to. If you know of anything, or have anyone in your network that might be able to point me in the right direction, I’d welcome the chance to talk. Thanks, and let’s catch up soon over coffee either way.”

Related Article:Are You Using or Abusing Social Media for Your Job Search?

How This Method Saves You Time

With this strategy you are going to have an extremely high response rate compared to applying for jobs directly. You will also be leveraging the networks of everyone you know which magnifies the payoff of your time spent sending emails. Not everyone will respond or be able to help, but many will, and some will have multiple opportunities they can share with you.

Also, being referred directly to a company cuts down on the time you spend filling out online forms and writing cover letters. You might even skip a conversation with HR if you get referred directly to a hiring manager by one of the people you contacted.

How This Method Helps You Find a Better Job

Many of the best jobs aren’t posted publicly. You'l find varying statistics online but anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of jobs fit this category and are considered part of the hidden job market. Companies will quietly try to fill a job through their existing network and then post it online if they don’t succeed.

Even if the job posting is public, companies like to hire people they trust. So being recommended and referred by someone they know will help you stand out from the crowd and get hired by even the pickiest employers.

Related Article:Become a Top-Tier Candidate: How to Search For a Job Like a Pro

2. Use LinkedIn’s Job Search Tool

This next method is the complete opposite and will focus on a high volume of outreach. This tactic has been tested and is proven to help you get interviews and find a job fast. LinkedIn allows you to search specifically for jobs by selecting the briefcase icon in the main search box. From there you can narrow down your results by location and more.

LinkedIn search bar - screenshot
Use LinkedIn's search bar to search for jobs

After entering a search term and narrowing down the location, click a specific job posting that looks interesting. You'll either see a button that says, “Apply,” or, “Apply on company website.” In the first scenario, you can attach a resume and apply directly without ever leaving LinkedIn’s website. No cover letter needed, just tailor your resume and send it off. 

LinkedIn search job results: Apply or Apply on Company site - screenshotWhen the button says “Apply on company website” you can click through to view the company’s job application form outside of LinkedIn. You can take a look and decide if it seems worth applying to based on how much you like the job and how easy the process is. 

How This Method Saves You Time  

When you find jobs that offer the “Apply” button, you are saving a ton of time versus a typical job application form. You will never be required to register an account on a company’s website, write a lengthy cover letter, or fill in personal details on an application form. As a side note, if you'd like to attach a cover letter because there's something specific you need to address, you still can.

Even when that button is not available (it's approximately 50/50 in terms of which button you'll see, and it depends on the company's preferences), you're still able to quickly view the company's application form and decide whether you want to apply.

This strategy also keeps your job search in one place and will make the process simpler. LinkedIn even sends you a confirmation email for each application so you can track everything. 

How This Method Helps You Find a Better Job

This method puts you in control and removes any need for you to put up with slow or frustrating job application forms. Because of how fast it is, it will allow you to send out a high quantity of resumes and get multiple conversations going as quickly as possible. 

Then once you have multiple leads you'll be able to narrow down your search and choose from among the best employers that responded to you. You will have multiple options and multiple interviews which results in more leverage and more confidence when speaking with companies. 

Related Article: Beyond Job Search: LinkedIn as a Tool for Building Relationships


The two methods above are both powerful and capable of landing you a high quality job very quickly. For best results, use a combination of both, while skipping other methods that are caught somewhere in between these two tactics.

You'll likely find that you're able to complete your job search without resorting to any other methods, and if not, you still did the right thing by starting with the most efficient steps first. 

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