Job searches can be extremely frustrating and those seeking a position have one question on their minds above all else: How long does it take to find a job? I have been asked this question on many occasions.
Let me start by saying this is a complex question, with no easy answers. Once you have perspective, you will have a better feel for how long it will take you in your current situation. Let’s look at some of the factors that can affect the length of a job search.
Amount of Effort
Of all the things that can affect the length of the job search, the biggest contributing factor is the amount of effort you put into it. To become re-employed as soon as possible, treat a job search as a job in itself.
Spend a few hours each and every day sending out your resume, searching the want ads, doing interviews and conducting follow-up calls to help your job search succeed more quickly. While this is not a definite predictor of how long your job search will last, the more you put yourself out there, the greater the chances are of succeeding.
Directing your Efforts Effectively
Misplaced effort may be as useless as no effort. Sending around an outdated or irrelevant resume can spell doom for your job search. Those who are applying for jobs in many different fields should have a different resume for each one.
Apply for the most promising, relevant positions first, but always have a few backups. Also, make sure you are looking for jobs in as many different places as possible. Online job search boards are an excellent tool, but make sure you are checking local papers, and asking business contacts about possible positions as well.
Your Local Job Market
When asking “how long does it take to find a job?”, another huge factor is your local job market. Even a strong local market may not mean that your industry has a large amount of positions available. Conversely, a weak local job market may have quite a few openings in your chosen profession.
Depending on the situation in your city, it may be necessary to look for a job elsewhere. You never know when there will be a boom in an industry in another location, so if relocation is at all possible for you, you may want to have some emergency money set aside for this purpose.
Your Skill Set
The job market today is increasingly fast paced and skill based. If you have been unemployed for months and are asking “how long does it take to find a job?”, you may want to entertain the idea that your skills have become obsolete.
Consider local community colleges that often offer a variety of certificate programs. Look at what kind of courses are on offer, and see if any are relevant to your chosen job. If you don’t need the certificate, just the skill, consider looking for free instructional materials online, in places such as wikihow and youtube.
There is a huge amount of folk lore out there, such as the idea that the length of the job search is based on income. These tidbits may have a bit of truth in them but what really determines the answer to the question “how long does it take to find a job?” is you. The next resume you submit, the next interview you attend, could be the one that ends your search.
David Atog is a staff writer for CPA Career Coach. he enjoys writing about personal branding, career tips, and job search advice.