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How Long Will It Take to Find a Job?

Job search will take longer than you want or expect! Are you being realistic when you set your goals?

Within the last month, I’ve run across more than a handful of job seekers who have told me they plan to have a job by the end of summer (that’s August in my mind). We’re almost in July. Using my lame math skills, that’s about 30 days. Shoot, it can take that long for some companies to review resumes.

Be Realistic

Your desired pay, job level, uniqueness of skills, all impact how long it will take to find a job. If what you do is rare or openings come up once in a blue moon, you may be at this awhile. Just understanding this can help you set a more realistic time frame. The old formula of 1 month for every $10,000 is close to what you should use. This means, if you were making $50K, you should expect about a 5 month job search. (Disclaimer: rough estimate, may be longer or shorter!)

Own What You Can

steering wheelMuch of the job search process lies in the hands of the employer, however, there are things you can do to increase your probability of finding a job faster! When you take ownership of these things and you’ll feel better and be more productive, oh, and stand out as a confident, capable candidate!

Proactive Prospecting

sales funnelInstead of responding to job postings, build a list a companies who could or would potentially hire someone with your skills. Build a list of 50 companies. I know that sounds like a lot, but this is a numbers game and the more companies you are looking at, the greater your chances of being at the right place at the right time!  There’s more information on resources for a Proactive job search in this post from Job-Hunt.org “Successful Proactive Job Search Strategies.”

If you aren’t sure what industry to narrow your search down by, start with a company you know you would like to work for. Who are their competitors? What industry have they been categorized in? Perhaps your career could exist within multiple industries, that’s great. Pick the top two or three and focus there first! How to Find Target Companies has more suggestions. Check out LinkUp (it searches job postings on company sites!)

Make this a full-time job…or not

time is tickingStay on schedule! Each time you allow distractions (personal or otherwise) that take away from your 30+ hours of job search time, you potentially extend your job search time. It is fine with me if you decide not to work on your job search because you need to take your mom to the doctor, just know, that extended your search.  I understand balance and believe it is important to take care of yourself, however…if you want to find a job as quickly as possible, know that you need to work at this!

 Gear up! Buckle down and go for it!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • AdamBritten June 28, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of LinkUp – will definitely be checking it out. Thanks for the tips!

    • careersherpa July 13, 2012, 5:24 am

       @AdamBritten What did you think about LinkUp? It is nice to be able to go directly to an employer’s website!

  • opedrola June 28, 2012, 5:12 pm

    @eba67 @careersherpa

  • Omni Chaparala - DFW Realties July 2, 2012, 4:34 pm

    Hannah, thank you for the useful post. I never heard of LinkUp myself. And you are right about finding a job being full time. If you just become distracted, it will be longer before you find a job. Thank you for the tips.

  • JonChiehLau July 3, 2012, 11:49 pm

    There re some great resources in this post.  Though I have to say that job search time formula definitely does not work for new grads right now!
     
    I would add that job seekers right now should really look into utilizing their existing network.  Just open up a spreadsheet and start listing out people you know who could help.  Many people would be surprised how strong their existing network is.  
     
    Jonathan Lau
    Biz Dev
    InternMatch

    • careersherpa July 13, 2012, 5:23 am

       @JonChiehLau New grads have opportunities to intern during college! This is absolutely one of THE best ways to gain employment after college! Getting real-world experience is so important.  Yes, Jonathan, leveraging the power of their personal network is key!

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  • chad2012 July 20, 2012, 10:10 am

    I was just reading a post about how many people are resorting to social media like facebook and twitter to find jobs. It’s a great tool to find that perfect job.