Time is probably the most precious commodity anyone has when it comes to their job search. This is especially true if you are someone currently unemployment and in need for immediate employment.
I have long advocated not taking time off prior to starting your job search, whether this is for a summer vacation or waiting until after the holiday season has ended. There are lots of studies out there estimating how long it takes for someone to find comparable employment. The most recent one I read had the average at 16 weeks! A general rule of thumb has been one month for every $10,000 in salary you are seeking. Any way you are looking at it, you may be facing a job search in months, and not days or weeks.
I know what you might be thinking right now: I don’t have 4 months to find a new job! If that is what is on your mind, you are most assuredly not alone. While the thought of being at home and not at work may sound appealing, you are quickly brought back to earth with the need for money.
So, you may be asking yourself – if it takes this long (on average) to find a new job is there anything a person can do to try to speed the process along. The answer is…of course!
• Start Right Away – As mentioned above, taking time off is your worst enemy when it comes to your search. Even if you are still shocked at being unemployed and not quite ready yet to interview, keep in mind that it generally takes a couple of weeks for a Recruiter or Hiring Manager to start screening candidates. So, start reviewing postings immediately and begin applying, so you will be ready to interview when the shock of losing your job begins to fade.
• Prepare Ahead of Time – Very often a person has a sense if their job is in jeopardy. Either their boss has given signs, or the company (in general) is not doing very well. If this is the situation for you, make sure you have your resume ready and have started to network. This will save you from having to start from a beginning position if you do find yourself searching for a job. This potentially may shave as much as a week or two off of your job search.
• Work At It Every Day – Your job search should be like a job, in that every day you should put some time into it. It was not that way in that past, as many years ago job searching was a very routine practice. You waited until the Sunday paper went out and applied for positions on Monday and Tuesday, and then waited for the next weeks’ paper – those days are long over. Job postings are now a daily business with new ones going up throughout the day. While WNYJobs.com prints a weekly paper for job seekers, its website is a dynamic tool with updated postings (daily) that need to be reviewed and considered.
• Offer Multiple Contacts – Don’t make it hard for a Recruiter to reach you. Offer multiple options to contact you, whether by mobile phone or e-mail. Frequently check your phone and e-mail (that you provided) for any messages that may have been left for you. Also, if you are available, pick up the phone! Recruiters are very busy people and are difficult to get a hold of if you are calling them back.
• Be Available and Flexible – Be ready to talk to or meet with the prospective employer when they are available. Don’t push back any appointments further than you absolutely have to. It can be very difficult for a prospective employer to schedule an interview, especially if it is with multiple people, so try to work around their needs. Always try to meet the same week as you are being contacted. Not only will this move things along for you, and make sure that you do not lose out to other candidates who are more accessible, but also provide less work for the Recruiter.
• Go For the Test Quickly – I add this one only due to my own very frustrating personal experience of people taking days (or longer) to take their drug screen. While I am fully aware that most labs have limited hours and do not take appointments, it still seems silly not to go immediately and cost yourself valuable time
Doing a job search takes time, and usually when you can least afford it (when you are unemployed). While there are many potential factors that you really can’t influence, such as a Hiring Manager vacation or having to wait for a new budget year, there are a number of items that you can. Do whatever you can to be available to your prospective employer and you may find yourself beating the average and back to work right away!
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: