Job Hunting: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Many people who are either searching for their first job or haven’t looked for one in some time think that it will be quick and easy to secure a role. However, getting a new job requires endurance and dedication, and can take longer than you might think.
There are common factors that affect the pace of every job search. Some – such as the state of the economy – are out of your control, but understanding the ones that you can control will speed things up. Here are five to consider.
A specific set of skills
Searching for a job requires a unique set of skills, and these can take time to learn and perfect. Being an expert at analysing costs or diagnosing defects won’t help you when you’re filling out an application or trying to network: you have to invest time in learning how to hunt for jobs.
We all know there are certain places that are better suited for certain types of work. For instance, if you specialise in rural surveying and farming issues, you probably won’t find much work in central London.
When you start your search, take some time to consider whether you’re looking in the right place. Maybe there’s a part of town that lots of new companies are flocking to, or maybe you would have an easier time finding a role in a different country.
Often, jobseekers have a picture in their mind of the job they want and will settle for nothing less. However, that perfect job may not exist, and holding out for it can keep you from taking on other roles.
Having some flexibility about the jobs you apply for can help you find things you never expected. Whether it’s lowering your salary expectations or looking for something outside your comfort zone, being more flexible can help you land a role.
You can’t treat job hunting as though it’s a hobby. If you do, it could take months or even years to get a job offer. Investing more time and energy at the beginning of your search will not only help you find a job quickly, but also increase the likelihood of finding a high-quality role.
Take the time to do the research, attend networking events and ensure every cover letter and CV is spellchecked and tailored to the specific company you’re applying to.
Don’t slow down
If you wait to hear back from each employer before sending out the next application, your search will never end. On average, it takes six weeks to go through an application process, from submitting the application through the interview stage to getting an offer. And that’s assuming you hear back from the employer in the first place.
Don’t put your job search on hold for anything – even if you’re preparing for an interview, keep checking for new vacancies so you don’t lose your momentum.