How long does it take to get a job? The exact answer is unknown.
I have seen people receive offers in as little as eight days. Unfortunately, not everyone is always so lucky. Whether you have been searching for days, months, or years, you are going to want to keep reading.
Below we explain the average time it takes to get a job and what variables are impacting the length of your search.
Average Time It Takes to Get a Job
There are a ton of theories out there on how long it takes to find a job. After all, the time frame can vary drastically for each person.
A good rule of thumb to go by is that every $20,000 you earn will translate into one month of job searching. So, if you are making $100,000 per year, your job search will take five months.
As you might have already guessed, this is a very personal process and there are a lot of factors that can either speed up or slow down your search.
Variables Affecting the Length of Your Job Search
When it comes to job searching, there are hundreds of variables that will make your search unique from someone else’s. These variables include:
Availability of Your Job in a Given Location
If you live in a large urban city like New York, San Francisco, and Austin, the chances of finding a job will be easier. If you live in a 300-person town in the middle of Alaska, chances are there are not a lot of opportunities.
Solution: Be willing to commute to a larger town or relocate to a new city/state for new work.
The Job Requirements
Are you looking for a chemical engineering job without a chemistry degree? Chances are you will be searching for a very long time if you do not have the basic credentials that the job is asking for.
Solution: Choose a new job or gain the experience necessary to fully qualify for the jobs you are applying to.
Unrealistic Salary Expectations
If you interviewed, shared your salary requirements, and it went nowhere, you might be asking for too much. A 5% decrease in your desired salary is not worth a year of unemployment. I can’t tell you how many people I have met that regretted passing on an offer that at the time was too low.
Solution: Be open minded on the salary you are asking for.
Quality of Job Searching Materials
What kind of job searching materials are you using? Are you using the same resume style you used ten years ago? If you are, chances are this can be playing a big factor in the time it’s taking to get a job. Reach out to credible friends and recruiters to get honest feedback on your resume. If you have not had your resume professionally done, it might not be a bad idea.
Solution: Receive free feedback from credible sources or pay for a resume makeover.
Large Gaps in Your Employment History
One of the hardest obstacles to overcome are the gaps in your employment history. Whether you took time off to find yourself or you were taking care of a loved one, employers are not going to enjoy gaps. If you are going to take time off work, try to stay busy. Show your future employer that you were constantly learning and staying up to date with working trends.
Solution: If possible, list freelance work, volunteer work, or any work that is relevant to your job. You can also read this post on How to Explain Gaps in Your Job History for advice.
Overall Effort Put Into the Job Search
How hard are you actually looking to find a job? If you hop on Indeed for 1 hour a week, I would say you need to try harder. Searching for a job is a full-time job in itself. If you aren’t spending at least 10 hours a week on your job search, you are probably missing out on some great opportunities.
Solution: Set aside time each day to search or hire Find My Profession to do all the work for you.
State of the Overall Job Market
For the most part, I think this one is a common cop-out for people who like to make excuses. There are always jobs available. Sure, sometimes it might be harder to find jobs than others, but this should not discourage you from trying.
Solution: Stay persistent. There are ups and downs with the market. Keep your head in there and the ups will eventually make their way to you.
The Recipe for a Job Offer
At the end of the day, it is impossible to predict how long your job search is going to take. Anybody that claims to know an exact time frame is lying to you.
The job search process can be timely, difficult, and exhausting. There is really no way around that.
However, with persistent work, strategy, and by following the steps above, you will be doing everything in your power to have time work for you, not against you.