How to land a new job when you have no time to look

Beecher Tuttle | E-Financial Careers

It’s a bit of a Catch-22. You’re looking for a new job, in part, due to the massive number of hours you’re putting in at your current position. But those hours keep you in the office, making it near impossible to go on interviews, network or even search online for something new.

What’s a person to do? Here a few tips that may help navigate through what is a difficult journey.

Wear two hats

You need to break down the walls surrounding the traditional job search and leverage your daily interactions. One way to seemingly gain time to search for a new job is by combining personal activities with networking opportunities. “Use the gym, a drink, or a meal as an excuse to meet up with contacts,” said Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.

Use recruiters, but keep it to one or two

Recruiters are a great asset if leveraged properly. Use your network, find one or two that you like and take the time after work to sit down with them and go through your priorities. Investing time upfront will save you from wasting precious hours of unnecessary phone calls and interviews.

Also, whittle down the list of recruiters you work with to make your interactions manageable. If you have a good background and work with two capable recruiters, you should have plenty of opportunities to have conversations with hiring managers. You’ll likely be overwhelmed with underwhelming options if you work with every recruiter under the sun.

Create templates

If you’re active in your search, you’ll be sending out inquiries and thank you emails on a regular basis. You can save time by creating templates at the beginning of your search and applying them quickly to each situation, said Jane Cranston, president of New York’s Executive Career Coach. This way, you’ll be able to get back to people sooner – even while on the run – and will appear more engaged with the process.

Use your networking time wisely

Networking is proven to be the best way to find a new job. But done wrong, networking can take way too much time. “Precision is key especially on Wall Street where the people you meet have short attention span and an even shorter fuse when you are wasting their time,” said Cohen. Be straightforward about what you’re looking for and be clear on next steps. You don’t have time to BS.

“But most important, never use a networking meeting for career counseling,” he said. “When you have limited time to be out there, you will waste your time and someone else’s on matters that you should have addressed on your own.”

Go mobile

If you’re rushed for time, start relying more on personal mobile devices that you can use in the office. Have your resume and cover letter options on your phone and ready to send at all times.

Also, embrace Twitter and other social networking sites that can be accessed through mobile devices. Big banks like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan regularly post Twitter updates about careers and jobs. You can also follow company news in real-time and use that information during interviews, without having to formally “study” the company for two hours before sitting down with them.

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