Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How Long Should Your Job Search Take?

I met with a client today who asked me to estimate how long her job search would take. I was quite honest with her. I told her that "experts" estimate that for every $10,000 you command in salary, your job search should take a month. In other words, if you will be making $50,000, your search should take about 5 months. That is nothing more than "guestimation" in my mind.

As unpredictable as a job search may be, there are ways to make that job search as efficient, effective, and  short as possible. Most likely, the amount of success you achieve in your search is comparable to the amount of effort. However, here are some additional strategies for shortening your job search that I shared with my client earlier today.

  • Obviously a big factor in the length of a job search falls down to good, old-fashioned supply and demand. Before you embark on a new job hunt, do your research to ensure that there is in fact a market for your skills in your geographic location. 
  • A multi-pronged approach is always the most effective method for job searching. Many people focus on surfing the internet for job openings. While this should be part of your approach, it should not be the ONLY method you use. Integrate social media, attending networking events, and developing a strong professional referral network to your efforts to increase your chances. 
  • You must have an online presence. Many recruiters are not immediately posting their jobs. They prefer to use networking, referrals, and social media first, before they post a job and have to wade through hundreds of candidates.
  • Dedicate yourself to making job hunting a full-time job. You should be spending 30 to 40 hours per week on the job search. However, this does not mean sit at a computer and surf job boards all day long. Schedule time to get out and network, make phone calls, gather information, and conduct research on target employers.
  • Make the extra effort to target and focus your job search. Before you send a resume and cover letter, take the extra time to research the company's needs and find a way to demonstrate how your skills can solve their problems. Take the extra effort to customize your job search - you will send out fewer resumes, but each one will be more effective.

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