Job seekers often ask “How much time should I spend each day on my job search?” There is no one right answer, but suffice to say the amount of time you spend making strategic efforts directly correlates to your results. If you put in the bare minimum, such as just enough to collect unemployment insurance, you should not be surprised to see minimal results.
Depending on where you are in your job search process, focus your time on creating breakthroughs in the current stage. Regularly re-evaluating your effort in the preceding stage(s) is also a good investment of time.
- Self-Assessment and preparation: Time invested clearly understanding your value proposition and identifying market opportunities saves you from wasting time on unfocused and fruitless job search activities later on.
- Marketing: Time spent on customizing your resume and cover letter for each position will pay off. Regularly reviewing your online profile and online presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook is also time well spent. Do you have a personal branding statement? If so, when was the last time you reviewed it?
- Job leads –
- Interviewing: Time spent on preparing for interviews is never wasted. Showing up well prepared gives you confidence and creates a strong impression.
Here are some additional smart time investments:
- Participating regularly in professional online forums and discussion groups. This is a great way to share your expertise and network with others in your field.
- Filling your resume gap by volunteering or interning. Not only will this keep you resume current, but it’s an excellent way to network.
- Learning new skills and adding them to your resume.
- Reading professional journals and your local business journal to keep up on your industry and learn of new opportunities.
- Growing your job search skills. The Jobfully blog and Jobfully’s complete program of coaching and job search productivity tools are two of the best ways to do this.
Each of the items above is critical to a successful job search, and each one takes time and effort. Set goals to make progress on all of them, and then see how much time it’s taking you. Remember, more time spent on strategic efforts will almost certainly bring stronger results. Analyze how you are spending your time so you can create a plan for spending it wisely. Read the rest of Troubleshooting Your Job Search to find other places you can improve your job search.
Tell us: How much time do you spend each week on your job search? Answer our poll question and check out answers from other job seekers.