How Long Does it Take to Find a Job?

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How long does it take to find a job? The answer is that it depends. Job seekers understandably would love to know how long it will take to find a position and resolve any uncertainty about their future employment.

You might find a job in a few days, like one person I know. She was recruited via LinkedIn, interviewed two days later, and offered a job the next day. For other people, unfortunately, it can take a long time.

Read below for more information on how long it can take to find a job, and tips for speeding up the job process.

The Average Time it Takes to Find a Job

Over time, experts have estimated it would take very, very roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn. So, in theory, if you were looking to earn $60,000 a year your job search could take six months.

However, there is little concrete research to support this assertion, and there are so many variables that impact the length of time it takes to find work that even a rough estimate is virtually useless when applied to any one individual.

Factors That Impact the Length of a Job Search

There are a number of factors that could speed up or slow down your job search. These factors include:

  • The overall state of the economy and the job market
  • Economic conditions in the area where a worker is looking for employment
  • The quantity of jobs in the person's preferred location (try finding a film industry job in Des Moines, Iowa, for example)
  • The geographic flexibility on the part of the job seeker
  • The flexibility in terms of job preferences (those exclusively seeking a type of job which is hard to land will likely have a longer job search)
  • The credentials of the job seeker, and the level of demand for one's skills
  • The longer one is unemployed, generally the longer it will take to find work
  • The amount of time and energy devoted to the job search
  • The quality of job search materials, including the resume and cover letters
  • The quality of job search strategy, including the level of networking activity

Some of these factors, like the state of the economy, are beyond your control. Other factors can be impacted by your choices. There are things you can do to try to speed up your job search process.

Tips for Speeding Up the Job Search Process

  • Be open to different locations. If you live in an area that does not have many jobs in your industry (or if you live in an area where the job market is generally not great), your job search may take awhile. If you are at all flexible in terms of where you work, try expanding your job search geographically. If you can look for jobs where your industry is booming, you’ll increase your chances of finding a position.
  • Be flexible in terms of job preferences. Similarly, if you are looking for a very specific type of job, it will likely take awhile to find. Consider looking at related jobs, or jobs that require a similar skill set.
  • Job search regularly. The frequency with which you job search will also affect how long your search lasts. Try job searching on a daily, or at least regular, basis. This will help you stay on top of the latest job postings.
  • Enhance key skills. You can also improve your chances of finding a job quickly by working to develop the skills that are most important for your industry. Try signing up for coursework, trainings, internships, or volunteer work to enhance key skills.
  • Expand your network. As mentioned earlier, some people have gotten jobs within days of going on the job market, either through LinkedIn or meeting someone at a networking event. Increase your level of networking activity through networking events, informational interviews, online networking, and more. You never know which new contact might get you the job.
  • Seek assistance. Get advice online to improve your marketability. You might also consider visiting a career counselor for more specific advice on speeding up your job search.

Be Patient

Even if you follow all of the tips mentioned above, factors out of your control might still make your job search process a long one. Continue to search for jobs, follow these tips, and try to be patient.

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