How are you spending your job search time?
I met Angelo recently. He has been out of work for six months. He showed me a binder with over 200 jobs he applied for. He heard nothing from those companies. Not a peep. Not even a “thanks but no thanks” letter. He said, “There are just no jobs out there. No one is hiring.”
Another time I will share my rant about how badly most companies treat earnest candidates like Angelo. Today I would like to consider whether Angelo is using his time effectively. Can Angelo organize his time in a different way to get different results?
Angelo is busy, certainly. Two hundred applications in six months is about 20 applications a week, so Angelo has been busy finding opportunities, crafting cover letters and customizing his resume. But then he sends off his resume to a big black hole and is surprised that nothing happens. It is a sad but all too common story.
Angelo is busy but is he effective? I think not, otherwise his efforts would have born some fruit.
Here are some tips for Angelo (and you?) to spend his time more effectively to get a different result:
Decide how much time you want to spend on job search. If you are out of work or in transition, you should be spending at least six to eight hours every day on job search. Thirty to forty hours a week devoted to working on your Job Search Marketing Plan. If you are still working but want to change jobs, can you find an hour or two each day? That gives you five to ten hours per week.
Spend time on tasks that are most effective. Most people (60% to 80%) find a job by networking. Advertisements are much less effective. Your chances of finding a job from an ad are less than 10%. Therefore it makes sense that an effective job search allocates significantly more time networking and much less time on job ads. Don’t be Angelo.
Allocate your time accordingly. If you decide you will spend 8 hours per day on your job search, then here is a sensible time allocation:
- Less than one hour (about 10%) on job ads. Get up in the morning, scan the online ads, find a few that sound interesting, send off your resume and move on with your day.
- Five hours (about 65%) allocated to networking, research, outreach, LinkedIn, coffee meetings, professional meetings, getting referrals from contacts, etc.
- Two hours (about 25%) allocated to follow up on LinkedIn invitations, resumes submitted, referrals, recruiters, other kinds of marketing campaigns, etc.
It is not hard to apply this kind of formula to any amount of time you decide to devote to your job search. The trick is deciding how you want to spend your time.
How are you spending your time? Are you Angelo just sending resumes off in response to job ads but never getting a response? Or are you open to a different way? Make a plan then stick to it. That discipline will bear fruit in increased activity.