It’s been said that getting a job is much like attending a full time job. It’s true that it can take a great deal of time and commitment to find a job, especially when candidates are all competing for the same jobs. Time to search for jobs using online directories and networking; time to fill out applications; time to create resumes and cover letters; time to follow-up with recruiters and attend interviews – all of these factors can add up to a big time commitment that can become exhausting.

Time invested in searching for a job varies by where you are now

If you are hunting for a new job, you may be either currently working or you are in between careers. This can dictate how much reasonable time you can spend on a job search. But, to give you the best chance of getting hired, here are some guidelines for how much time you should be spending on a job search.

If you are in college or currently working full time, plan to spend around 10 to 15 hours each week focused on searching for a job in your chosen field. This is a concentrated job search process that you can set up using career technology like: automated job leads delivered to your email inbox, online resume portals where employers can find you, and working your social networks to find new job listings. Schedule at least 2 hours of uninterrupted time daily to find work using these methods.

If you are working part time or nearing college graduation, you can drastically increase the amount of time you spend on a job search. Plan around 20-25 hours a week for job search efforts, such as working with a certified career coach to define your goals, a professional resume writer to improve your current resume, and a lot more time networking to find the right jobs. Schedule at least half of this time during each morning to get your day started on the right foot, then checking back in each evening to see if you’ve been offered any interviews.

If you are currently unemployed or working less than 15 hours a week, it’s possible to invest as much as 30-40 hours each week on job search efforts. In fact, this is where the rubber meets the road. Get up each morning and take the time to get started on your job search immediately. Spend the first half of your day searching for job leads and responding to automated job lists, applying for each job in focused increments. Then spend the second half of each day calling local staffing agencies, companies, and career centers for leads. Network daily with industry peers and participate in social media groups for job seekers and for your field.

Other ways to spend time during a job search

On top of the daily time you spend searching for a new job, there are other activities you will want to participate in to boost your chances of landing a great career. The time you spend here may vary, but you can find the time to squeeze them in since they are worthwhile.

Join an industry association or two. Industry groups often have secret directories of jobs posted by other members, and there is a wealth of knowledge to be found here by connecting with mentors and peers. The investment you make here will pay off in dividends once you land a job.

Attend area job fairs. Most communities have a few career fairs each year, generally sponsored by staffing agencies and companies who are expanding operations. Find time to attend them, even if you are not sure of what kind of job you want right now. Getting on the radar of hiring firms can result in a job offer when you are ready.

Participate in a job search support group. The job search can be a long and frustrating process, filled with confusion at times. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Join a job search support group and spend time in good company – with other people who are facing the same issues and can share support and advice.

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