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Whether you’re new to the workforce or looking for your next job, you’re going on a journey that will lead to your dream remote job. While you might feel really motivated at the start of your search, it’s easy to lose that spark along the way, especially if you get rejected. But fret not: on average, it takes 6 weeks to get a job. Rather than getting stressed, burnt out, or defeated, it’s crucial to take control of your time management during the job search. Follow these seven tips to stay focused, motivated, and in control. 

1. Effective time management during the job search starts with setting goals

Setting specific goals is crucial if you want to see results. What role do you want? Are you interested in a specific company? What kind of culture would be a good fit? What are your salary requirements?

Once you’ve answered these big questions, you can focus your job search on the exact roles you want and stop wasting your time on ones that wouldn’t help you build your career.

With a clear vision, you can go on to conduct company research, perfect your resume, sharpen your interview skills, and do whatever else you can to move toward your overall goal. 

2. Determine your schedule

Many job seekers start the job search process excited, but it’s hard to maintain that energy for weeks on end. To stay energized, set a daily schedule and goals that you can follow every day.

For example, a currently employed job seeker may set aside an hour every evening to researching companies, applying for jobs, and connecting with recruiters. An unemployed job seeker, on the other hand, might treat the job search as a full-time, designating four hours or more each week to applying, networking, attending industry events, or doing whatever else they can to move the needle forward on their job hunt.

Just as setting goals will keep your eye on the prize, scheduling your time will keep you focused and clear on what you need to do every day.

3. Optimize for your best time

One of the best job search time management tips is to do your hardest task first. Everyone has part of the job process they hate. Whether it’s writing a cover letter or speaking with recruiters, tackle your toughest task when you’re feeling most clear-headed and productive. 

For morning birds, you might “eat the frog” soon after you wake up. Night owls might prefer to leave their challenging work until later on the day. Think about when you’re most productive, and what times of day you’re low on energy or more easily distracted.

Optimize your job search to match your work style and preferences so you can get the most done in the least amount of time. 

4. Apply only to relevant jobs

Many job seekers are guilty of focusing on quantity over quality when applying to jobs. In reality, this approach signifies poor time management.

Time wasted on a job that you’re unqualified for or only have lukewarm interest in will just delay you from reaching your overall goal. That time would be much better spent on a job that excites you. 

Instead of rushing through the important applications, you can take time to go over your application, resume, and cover letter and do extra research on the role and the company. This additional effort will undoubtedly help you stand out and increase your chances of landing an interview.

5. Turn off distractions

In a world of instant communication and endless devices at our fingertips, it’s so easy to get distracted. But those distractions could lead to all kinds of problems, like those dreaded resume typos. During your dedicated job search time, turn off the TV, stay off social media, and focus on accomplishing your daily goals.

If you’re struggling to stay away from Facebook or YouTube, try one of these anti-procrastination apps to block social media or chunk your time more effectively.

6. Track your work and communication

Have you ever spent an hour filling out an application and updating your cover letter for a role only to realize you already applied there two weeks prior? Since most job searches take weeks or even months, it’s easy to lose track of what you’ve done.

To avoid duplicating your efforts, write down a record of companies you’ve researched, jobs you’ve applied for, and communication you’ve had with recruiters or hiring managers. Keeping a careful record will ensure you’re not wasting time on dead leads or repeat applications.

7. Delegate your tasks

Many job seekers don’t realize that they can delegate a large number of tasks to other people. Instead of spending hours spell-checking your resume and cover letter, ask friends and family to look over them for you.

Not only will you save time, but you’ll also get a fresh set of eyes on your materials. For your actual job search, utilize a recruiter or relationships with friends, family, and professional relationships.

Experts say that 60% of jobs aren’t even posted online; they are found through networking. So leverage the people around you to make connections, open doors, and cut down on your job search lead time.

To expand your circle even further, try one of these professional networking apps.

Smart time management is an important part of the job search

The job search process can be long and stressful, but effective time management during the job search can help keep you motivated, on-track, and efficient. By setting goals, determining a schedule, optimizing your time, delegating tasks, and keeping your eye on the prize, you’re more likely to achieve job search success.