Get hired faster – 3 ways to make it happen

It is taking longer and longer to get hired.

New research from Glassdoor finds that for the first half of 2017, the average hiring time was 23.7 days. This is almost a full day longer than the 2014 average of 22.9 days. And in some industries, hiring is taking a lot longer than that. Getting a government job takes an average of nearly two months – 53.8 days. Aerospace and defense jobs also take more than a month (32.6 days), with energy, biotech, nonprofits and many other categories not far behind.

This may sound daunting if you're a job seeker, but there are steps you can take to speed things up. Here are three ways to get hired – faster.

[See: 25 Best Business Jobs for 2017.]

Help your dream employer help you.

Hiring managers are usually overwhelmed with their day jobs. Interviewing is another item on their to-do list that they simply don't have a lot of time for. As a result, managers can be distracted and uninformed. They won't have time to read your resume. They'll be running late for your meeting and under pressure to wrap the conversation up sooner than you might like. And remember – often the role they're looking to fill has been open for a while and there is a pressing need – so they are simultaneously a little bit desperate.

The best thing for you in this situation is to help do the hiring manager's job for him or her. Guide the conversation. Get right to the point – have your elevator pitch prepared. And have talking points ready that explain exactly why you're a great fit for the position based on the job description you read and how you match all or most of it. In addition, it pays to think through and emphasize examples of your past performance that relate clearly to the job you're interviewing for.

Review the employer's values statement on its website and volunteer the reasons why you and the organization are a match in terms of culture and soft skills. Show you've done your homework by offering ideas and observations about how the company might improve or do things differently.

Finally, don't hesitate to ask questions about the role if the conversation meanders. Have a set of possible questions ready in advance to help drive the discussion. You may need them, especially if the interviewer is less than prepared.

RELATED: Here are 11 jobs to consider if you want to become a millionaire:

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Jobs to have if you want to be a millionaire

Investment Banker 
Average Median Salary: $294,892

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Potential Salary Earnings: Up to $80 million per movie

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Average Median Salary: $65,960

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Professional Athlete 
Average Median Salary: $12.6 million

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Average Median Salary: $171,610 

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Average Median Salary: $155,894

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Air Traffic Controller 
Average Median Salary: $122,950

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Average Median Salary: $92,444

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Real Estate Agent 
Average Median Salary: $222,375

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Insurance Broker 
Average Median Salary: $105,680

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Average Median Salary: $745,170

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[See: The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree.]

Have your references ready to go.

Most employers will want to check references to help inform their hiring decisions. With the advent of online and confidential reference-checking tools, don't be surprised if an employer is looking for as many as five references, which may be a mix of managers and co-workers.

Knowing all of this, have your references ready well in advance and make sure you have a good selection of references to choose from. What your references have to say about you should be additive and different from what the employer can learn from you during the interview process.

Let your references know what role they may be contacted about and help them understand why you're an ideal fit for the position. Encourage your references to share examples of your past work that dovetail with the requirements of the job you want. Your references can be a powerful factor in getting that dream job – they can weave a narrative about you that allows your prospective employer to fully appreciate what you can bring to the table.

[See: 14 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance.]

Network so you can short-circuit parts of the process.

Creativity is the raw material of a smart job search.

You aren't beholden to the human resources department-driven process. Be resourceful and find other ways to connect with the job you want. Network through LinkedIn and Twitter – you can connect with all sorts of potential contacts at your dream employer that way.

Seek out informational interviews that could lead to more solid job opportunities. Capitalize on college alumni networks. All of these methods can help you identify jobs that might not even be listed yet. They can also set you up to reach the hiring manager more quickly than you otherwise might have.

So, there's no doubt the job market is more complex than ever. Decisions are taking longer and the job search is highly competitive. But by putting these ideas to work, you'll have a better chance at both finding your dream job – and closing the deal faster.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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