We don’t think we have to explain why time is of the essence during a job search. Chances are, if you’re in the midst of a job search, it feels like crunch time; whether you are unemployed or simply anxious to get out of your current place of employment, you’re most likely not nonchalantly browsing job postings. Therefore it’s incredibly important to use every moment to its greatest potential, while saving time during a job search!

Easier said than done, though. Especially if you hate the job search process, getting yourself to sit down and actually revamp your resume or write a cover letter can feel like those dreaded college essays all over again. (Remember, the ones you wrote at 3 am?). Plus, even though your job search is extremely important, life goes on, and whether you have a full time job, children, or a house to upkeep, sometimes it feels like other things should come first.

That being said, sometimes every job searcher could use a little kick to get themselves into gear, so we’ve compiled a list of things you can do before and during your job search to save time. Once you’ve save an hour here and there, you suddenly won’t feel like your job search is taking over so much of your life anymore. Balance is everything, and saving time is a great way to promote the balance between work and play.

Ready to gain an extra hour in your day? Check out these tips for saving time during your job search!

Before you start researching:

  • Identify Your Goals

Where is your ideal place to work? By what date would you like to secure an interview? How many jobs do you plan on applying for each day? By identifying your goals, you will automatically establish an ending-place for your journey, and being able to see that end makes the journey a lot shorter.

Feel free to write down your goals in whatever form best suits you. Some people may find it beneficial to create a mission statement for their job search, while others may prefer to jot down bullet points on a sticky note. However, whatever you do, write it down. People who write down their goals and dreams are scientifically proven to succeed nearly 50% more often than those who don’t. It’s true – Google it!

  • Stop Procrastinating

Yeah, we know, this is a tough one, because just one more episode of your favorite daytime television show can’t hurt, right? In fact, it can, and eliminating procrastination from the start will start your job search off on a productive note. Plus, establishing good habits now will lessen your chances of procrastinating later in the game, when it matters the most.

  • Get Everything Up-To-Date

That means your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and any other documents or accounts you may commonly submit during a job search, such as a portfolio or website. If you’re currently employed, you may want to stagger the changes you make to your online profiles to avoid raising suspicion, but otherwise organizing all of your data before officially starting your job search will lead to smooth sailing once you’re ready to hit that “Apply” button.

During your research:

  • Create a Routine

Believe it or not, you follow a routine every day of your life. Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? Do you get coffee from the same coffee shop every day? What is your route to work? Every response to these questions can tell you a bit about your morning routine – and that’s only for one part of your day!

Ever feel “off” because you had to leave for work at a different time than usual? Or, if you have to order a different type of coffee, does your day feel a little bit ruined? We’ve all experienced responses like this, and they’re usually a result of change in our routine. Think about how things seem to lag when they don’t go as usual. When you establish a routine, it’s much easier to get done what you have planned for the day – and you’ll want to do it, too. Plus, your new-found lack of procrastination doesn’t hurt.

  • Network in Person

Although some of your networking can take place at your desk while you’re sending e-mails, requesting connections on LinkedIn, and making phone calls, the best way to utilize networking to save time during your job search is to actually leave your house or office and do it in person! In reality, networking is the most effective way to get hired, and doing so face-to-face is even more effective. For example, instead of spending three hours browsing LinkedIn and sending requests, meet with an old colleague over lunch for thirty minutes; it’s a much better use of your time, and it will get the job done a whole lot faster.

  • Keep Organized with Rake

Okay, we know we’re tooting our own horn here, but Rake is the ultimate tool to save time during your job search by keeping all of your information organized in one place. When job searching gets intense (which is usually what happens), it’s easy to forget which jobs you’re interested in, have already applied for, and whether or not you’ve followed up. Keeping track of application deadlines, interview times, and contact information can be nearly impossible without some sort of organization. However, when you use Rake, you can save jobs (without those messy spreadsheets), prepare your to-do list and notes, and keep track of all your applications and interviews with reminders. With all of your information in one handy app, you save hours that you would otherwise spend on Excel. Interested? Click here to download Rake.

Also published on Medium.