How Long Will Your Job Search Take?

are_we_there_yetWith the average job hunt now at 40 weeks, accept this as truth: your job search is going to take longer than we want… or perhaps expect.

So the question becomes: are you being realistic when setting your job search goals?

Recently, I’ve met more than a handful of job seekers who have told me they plan to have a job before the beginning of summer (that’s the end of May in my mind). It’s the end of March, now. Using my lame math skills, that’s about 60 days.

Shoot… some companies take two months just  to review resumes!

Check out these four tips to help you improve your job search by staying focused, and realistic:

Properly Set Expectations

Your desired pay, job level and 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 a good rule. 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

Much 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! Research, networking, your online presence and consistently customizing/improving your resume are just some of the items well within your control.

When you take ownership of these things, you’ll feel better and be more productive… oh, and stand out as a confident, capable candidate!

Proactive Prospecting

Instead 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! Start with 10, then 20, and so on…

There’s more information on resources for a Proactive job search in this post from “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.

Make This a Full-time Job…or Not

Stay 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 if need to take your mom to the doctor. Just know: you most likely just 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 put in the time, period.

Gear up! Buckle down and go for it!




For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!



HannahAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!


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