Once you begin searching for a job, it won’t take long before you start to wonder how long the whole process will take. You might even get bored of the process and start asking that question the very first day. Searching the internet, filling out applications, and awaiting responses is not a very fun process, but it is what is required for you to eventually find a job.
So, how long should you expect the job search process to take? The answer is not very clear, as it differs for everyone. Here are some important things to know about the length of your job search.
A VARIETY OF FACTORS IMPACT THE LENGTH OF YOUR JOB SEARCH
Obviously there is no one-size-fits-all process for the job search. Each person is going to be impacted differently based on personal things such as skill sets, experience, and characteristics. External things can also impact the job search including market and seasonal trends.
Research shows that looking for a new job while you are still employed is actually more effective than looking for a job while unemployed. People with jobs were found to have had more interview offers and recruitment opportunities.
Things like location and industry matter as well. If you are flexible and willing to relocate, these might not be major barriers to your job search. But, if you are determined to find a specific job in a specific location, you should expect the search to take a bit longer.
Ultimately, the research shows that in recent years, the average person has been unemployed for about 5 weeks before their job search is complete. As you start to get past 5 weeks and into several months of the job search, that is when you might start to run into some additional problems.
If you are unemployed for more than 6 months, you officially become classified as long-term unemployed. This, unfortunately, carries some negative weight with it. Many employers are likely to pass on your application for this very reason.
Some experiments have shown that holding all else constant such as gender, experience, education, etc, applicants that are unemployed for more than six months are less likely to even get an interview request or return call. Their application is rejected from the start.
Why is that?
It really comes down to a stigma associated with long term unemployed individuals. Education, experience, and skillsets can all be held constant, but firms see long term unemployment as a negative sign. They assume that there is a reason you haven’t been able to find work during that time. Other firms you applied to have therefore done the work for them. Sometimes these assumptions are warranted; occasionally there are individuals who are just not ideal applicants.
However, this is not true in most cases. There are a number of reasons why people struggle to find jobs. Out of bad luck, things outside their control such as market forces and seasonal demand might have prolonged their job search. This might have pushed them months into a job search that has nothing to do with their quality of work or personal characteristics. Eventually, they get labeled as long-term unemployed and things just get progressively worse.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR JOB SEARCH IS TAKING LONGER THAN EXPECTED
If you are worried that your job search is taking longer than expected, here are some things you should do.
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