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Advice / Job Search / Networking

Make Your Life Easier: 4 Parts of the Job Search You Can Put on Autopilot

Let me start with a confession: I’m probably the laziest job-searcher out there. Five minutes into browsing for a new position and I’m overwhelmed. All those companies, all those listings, all that work. Ugh. I can’t be the only one—right?

Luckily, we live in a time of incredible convenience. And while you may not yet be able to call upon a robo-butler to draft a new resume on demand, there are many tools out there that can at least lighten the load.

So, take it from someone who is all about shortcuts, here’s a crash course on automating some of the more challenging parts of the process:

1. Growing Your Network

As you’ve probably heard a million times, any truly smart job search starts with reaching out to your network. But people hesitate to reach out for a variety of reasons.

Hate industry events and traditional ways of meeting new people? Think about downloading an app like Shapr or Weave. They both help you meet new, like-minded people. (Note: While Weave’s only available in San Francisco right now, it's completely free and about to start expanding nationally. So keep it on your radar.)

What about people you already know? How can you reconnect with them? I suggest signing up for LinkedIn notifications. The site will let you know whenever your contacts change jobs or are featured in the news—both great excusing for dropping them a line. Just go to your email controls and make sure the “Network Updates” option is turned on.

2. Actually Finding Jobs to Apply To

You’ve built and engaged a network of contacts, which’ll definitely help you learn about upcoming openings (especially the unlisted ones.) But to cover your bases, you want to stay up to date on posted positions, too.

And while you could spend weeks hitting the refresh button on your browser every hour to find the freshest jobs, you could also just let technology do it for you. More and more job search boards are sending openings directly to your inbox. For instance—warning, shameless plug ahead—once you create an account on The Muse, you can sign up for a newsletter that’ll send you a weekly list of companies that are hiring.

3. Researching for an Interview

So, all your work has finally paid off and it’s time to interview. Well guess what? You can even automate your research. Here’s how: Instead of spending days Googling the company, the CEO, and the field, you can get a direct line into what’s happening delivered to your inbox.

Just go to Google Alerts and enter the company’s name to receive real-time updates right up until the moment you shake hands. Then create another one for your field. Suddenly, you’ll sound like a thought leader when you can discuss a new marketing app that just launched and will change the industry as everyone knows it. Pro tip: You can also add the names of anyone you’re interviewing with to score the perfect conversation fodder and break even the frostiest interview ice.

4. Following Up

And once the big day is over, don’t take your foot off the gas. Because there’s no better way to show your passion for the role then staying in touch with the hiring manager. But that only sounds like a lot of work. Because with technology at your side, you can keep the pressure on while you snooze. Just download Boomerang for your Gmail account.

Then, when you send the hiring manager a thank you email, you can check the box for “Boomerang this in seven days if no reply.” Doing so means that Boomerang’s algorithm will check for a reply from your prospective boss. And if you don’t receive one within a week, it’ll remind you to follow up, keeping you on the company’s radar and in the running.

It’s true, applying for a new job will take some effort. But with these tricks, you can let technology do the heavy lifting, so you’ll never again feel like looking for a new job is taking over your life.

Want more job search shortcuts? Get my free LinkedIn profile checklist, covering the only four things on the site that will actually help you land a job!

Photo of job searcher courtesy of Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/Getty Images.