Unemployment can represent one of the most stressful times a person can face. Mounting bills, dwindling savings, family and financial responsibilities weighing down on you.

Keeping that period of time as short as possible becomes crucial to maintaining your mental health (and a healthy financial situation).

Unfortunately, the length of time between jobs isn’t completely up to you. The availability of positions ebbs and flows with larger economic cycles. And individual companies operate on their own (always seemingly snail-like) timetables.

But while you can’t control every aspect of the job-search process, there are steps you can take to quicken the pace. Here are five measures you can take to fast-track your job search and shorten the painful out-of-work time period.

Keep Your Resume up to Date

The need for a new job can come up suddenly. Layoffs, mergers or other corporate restructuring can leave you without a position, even if you have a stellar record and no previous warning that unemployment loomed on the horizon.

For that reason, stay prepared. Even when you have what seems like a stable position, keep your resume current and be ready to pull the trigger on a job search at a moment’s notice.

Constantly Improve Your Job Skills

Keeping your resume up to date helps jump start a job search. But you must make sure that resume will make a difference when the time comes.

Building job skills can take time. If you find yourself behind the curve, it may take months to get the appropriate training. Or, if you find yourself underqualified while searching for a new job, you might be forced to take a lower position as a place holder.

Lay the groundwork for a quick transition. Constantly research the gold standard in your industry and make sure your resume lives up to expectations.

Engage Your Network Immediately

Resumes and job skills represent preventative precautions if the worst should happen. But when the worst happens, what’s your first step?

Most people know the best way to land a new job is through an acquaintance. Still, a lot of folks get shy at the moment of truth. They don’t want to bother people. They feel embarrassed for being out of work. They don’t want to feel indebted to anyone.

Don’t let pride slow your job search. As soon as you begin looking, reach out to the people who can help you find a position.

Treat Your Job Search Like a Job

Devoting sufficient time and energy to a job search ensures the process remains as efficient as possible. The end result is a shorter gap between positions … as well as a better choice of gigs.

So, plunge into the job search full time. If you’ve run through all the application possibilities, consider other methods. Or spend time improving your skills or upgrading your job search tool kit: practicing interviews, expanding your network and researching companies or industries of interest.

Get Professional Help

No, we don’t mean a psychiatrist (though, if you’re pulling out your hair or constantly throwing office supplies around the room, you might want to check into that as well). We mean you should look into professional services firms that can help you land a job.

There are plenty of experts available to help you hone your resume or improve your prospects. You should also consider the use of a staffing firm, which can quickly place you into an excellent long-term opportunity.

A recruiter, like PrideStaff, can steer you into the perfect situation for your current career needs. Contact our recruiting experts today to get started.

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