Your Job Search Clock vs. Real Time Elapsed – Surviving the gap

Those of you who have conducted a job search – especially when unemployed – may likely hear a ticking of the clock in your ear. It can show up when you really want the world to move FAST and get that job offer but it just doesn’t.

I want to work again. I want to work again. Frustrating.

As a job search professional I know how excruciating the process can be. Phone screens, now even Skype interviews start the process. Often this begins with an HR professional doing a quick screen for basic qualifications and reasons why you may have moved from one job to another. Then another one or two interviews with persons from the work area and perhaps a final interview with the hiring manager.  Background and reference checks and maybe even a drug test. And that time menu will take four to eight weeks.

I think there is only one solution. Have a lot of activity going on.

My suggested formula:

10-20 target opportunities – use a spread sheet to keep track – label them A, B, C depending on desirability and expected success.

Email then call these targets once a week. The call can be introduced and tied to an email. This makes the phone call a bit easier because you can say you are following up on an email sent. This works even if they have not seen your email.

Once or twice a week visit a place where people in your field or desired field hangout. This could be an association meeting or more formalized networking event. You will want to expand your network. Set modest goals. Aim for just three new contacts. Success is more than three.

Read job ads in your field but don’t apply. As previously written here, go find the post author and call. Ask about the key position requirements and tell the author (who may be HR or hiring manager) that you are eager to source other candidates if not a personal fit.

Realistically, from personal experience and observation a job hunt requires 15-25 hours a week. Only if there is acute activity from high demand skill sets or economic good fortune, can one expect more required time.

The key is targeting high probability of hire positions and researching and digging in to make a top impression.

Quality over quantity.

Next, we’ll talk about what to do in those 15-25 “other” hours a week to help your job search or if employed, improve your career.

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