Can A Job Search Be Done in 2 Hours?

I recently had the opportunity to meet a talented career consultant, Steve Dalton, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  Steve has written a new book called The 2-Hour Job Search.  I know what you’re thinking: is he trying to become Tim Ferriss 2.0?  Well, there are certainly worse goals.

But I digress.  I mention Steve here because he has a refreshing view of the job search that applies to most if not all of us fully employed folks.  Steve says that because we are so busy, we need a job search plan that allows us to move our goals forward without devoting 40 hours a week.  Here are some of Steve’s top tips for cutting the time you spend on your job search way down:

Stop Obsessing Over Your Resume

A disproportionate amount of time is spent developing versus reviewing resumes.  It’s the interview, and to some extent your online profiles (LinkedIn, etc.) that matter.  Make your resume short and error-free and move on.

Ask Questions of Others Rather Than Selling Yourself

Rather than spending days perfecting that elevator pitch in anticipation of a conversation with a new contact, briefly think through questions you can ask them, such as where they see the market headed and why.  This builds likeability.

Study Less, Socialize More

Stop thinking with the “school” mentality.  It’s not about how much you know, it’s about who you know.  Building up expertise won’t mean anything without a strong network, so focus on the latter.

Quit Looking Through Job Postings

Online job posting search engines like are great for a number of things, but they are terrible at getting you jobs.  If a job is online, often an employer already has a few internal referrals identified, so simply adding your resume to the employer’s “slush pile” is unproductive. 

Do you agree with Steve’s advice?  Why or why not?

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  • Lucky Gaoyong

    The suggestions sounds good.

  • Does he have anything more to say?!

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  • Heather

    How can I forward this to one of my friends? There’s every other way to post it publicly–Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc, but just pasting a link into an email the old fashioned way doesn’t work?

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  • Thank you for sharing these tips! Searching for a job can definitely eat up a lot of time. I like your point about the resume obsession. Applicants focus on their resumes and totally forget that the simpler it is, the better, and it would be a much more usefully spent time if they focused on their interview preparation.