Whether you recently graduated from college or are considering making a move to better your career, starting a job search is probably top of mind. Along with the excitement, though, the process is probably also met with a resounding “oof.” With the days ahead consisting of blasting out your resume, checking (over and over again) for reply emails and scheduling interviews, landing your dream job takes some serious hustle to nab. But don’t lose hope yet: January’s kind of a big deal.

The January hiring rush is real, and now’s your chance to finally close the deal. To make sure you’re prepared, we reached out to Emily Miethner, the Founder and CEO of FindSpark, for her tips on how to get a leg up on the competition and land the right-for-you gig right now.

job

1. Get the Apps to Turn You into a Networking Wiz: The hiring process has turned into something tech-driven, and the days of simply sending a resumé are gone. Once you’ve sent that email, now what? That’s when you use the right apps to follow up and track your progress.“There are three apps I love that integrate into your Gmail,” says Emily. “Streak CRM will easily track your important email outreach, Sidekick will let you know when people have opened your email, how many times, and from what device and Rapportive will show the social media profiles of the person you’re emailing right within Gmail.”

2. Search for Gigs on Social Media: Craigslist and online job boards will only take you so far — remember that every social network is a search engine of its own. “People think LinkedIn is the only social network you can use for professional connections. We’ve heard numerous stories through the FindSpark community about our members developing relationships and landing jobs because of Twitter and Instagram.” Pro tip: Search a hashtag by combining the word “job” or “hiring” with your city — so for NYC, try #nycjob or #hiringnyc. You can also just search the words “hiring advertising Charlotte,” for example, to get real-time recent job results.

Phone

3. Tout Your Tech-Savviness: You’re in the middle of the interview, and the interviewer asks about your skills. Emily says that you should especially look to the previous year for new tech skills you may have acquired. “Be sure to think about the new tools or versions of software you’ve learned in the past year. People want to know you have familiarity with the most updated tools. Be sure to add these as keywords to your skills on LinkedIn in addition to your digital and physical resumes.”

4. Hack Your Smartphone to Make It Easier to Apply: Your best friend just texted you a hot job and you want to jump on it right now! What to do? “I recommend keeping a version of your resume on your phone as a saved email draft. That way you can edit and send on the go if needed. You can do the same in Notes or in Google Docs (just make sure the document is viewable in offline mode).” Emily also suggests that you “save a link to your personal website as a button on your homescreen. This way you can easily show off your work, site, and resume at an impromptu meeting or at a networking event.” What if you don’t have a personal website? “I recommend using Wix.com to build a website because of how easy it is to make a mobile-friendly version.”

5. Follow Up — Fast: Don’t get so excited when you get a follow-up email that you forget to reply. First things first: respond (you know, rather than call your bestie like, “OMG, I’m going to have an interview!”). Remember that it’s going to be a competitive month, so you have to be ready to follow up and schedule interviews quickly — don’t let emails get dusty in your inbox. It’s best to respond within 24 hours. Highly responsive applications are likely to appear motivated and get the interview booked more quickly.

Will you be job hunting in January? Share your success stories with us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)