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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
Slicing Up Your Day Print
Career Tips - Supersonic Searching Mondays
Written by Abby Kohut   

Last week on our Career Wake Up Call, a job seeker asked me how much time they should spend on their job search per week. In my opinion, when you are unemployed, you should NOT spend every waking moment on your job search. If this surprises you, read on…

In life, doing something to the extreme typically provides a less than stellar result. Going to Atlantic City or Vegas every once in a while can be fun for some people, but weekly trips might be too hard on your wallet. Eating ice cream on a hot summer day is delightful, but eating too much of it causes a tummy-ache. Similarly, spending too much time on certain components of your job search can twist your life out of balance. Here is my suggested breakdown:

Searching & networking online – 30% of your time

This 30% includes searching for jobs on Monster, CareerBuilder & niche sites. This also includes spending time on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter.

Face to Face Networking – 30% of your time

Some experts have suggested that approximately two-thirds of people who are landing in new jobs utilized some form of social networking. Informational interviews fall into this face-to-face category as does attending seminars and in-transition groups. Any activities that help you develop relationships with people who can introduce you to other people should become a major part of your weekly routine.

Volunteering – 20% of your time

You may surprised that this number is so high. To me volunteering does not mean that you have to work for a non-profit organization. I see volunteering as simply reaching out and helping others. You might help other job seekers with their resume. You might help your friend paint their new apartment. You might help a professional organization run an event. And yes, you might actually volunteer for a hospital, the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity. Trust me. Paying it forward results in many surprises, that may be far beyond your wildest dreams.

Personal Time – 20% of your time

Your work life needs to be balanced and so does your life during a job search. Take some time out to improve your health – join a gym, take a yoga class, or start jogging. Spend time with family and friends that you would not normally have and lean on them for support. Read a book a week – it will give you intelligent things to discuss during your interview. If you feel uncomfortable with 20%, at least consider devoting 10% of your time to yourself. You will soon see how invigorating it can be. And while I haven't seen it studied in clinical trials, I can say anecdotally that happy and balanced people present better during interviews.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Spending 100% of your time applying for jobs online will not be the ticket to your success in any job market. To meet the right people, you'll need to get out of the house, leap outside your box, and try on some new hats for size. Ultimately, it's up to you how much time you spend on each of these activities – regardless of the percentages I suggest, you should always do what feels right for you. But… always, always, always,…make sure you give 100% effort to each activity.
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!