We’ve heard from a few December graduates lamenting the slow pace of their job searches. One thing that often is surprising to those seeking their first post-graduate professional position is that the job search is a more drawn out process than they might have encountered in the past. AND, it is a process that requires a lot of effort. There’s a well-known job hunting quote that goes something like this: “Finding a job is like a full-time job in itself!”
Why is this so? Well, for one thing, as we’ve mentioned before, networking is a must for any successful job search. In addition to what you know (reflected in your resume detailing your skills, knowledge and experience), it is WHO you know that can open the door to the employer you’ve targeted. But the thing about networking is that it takes a lot of energy and time. First you must identify people to meet and connect with, then you must introduce yourself to them, then you must set up a time to meet with them, then you must prepare for your conversation and actually meet them, then you must write a thank you letter, and finally you must regularly follow-up with them so they will keep you in mind for possible openings. That’s a lot of “you musts” and a lot of time involved if you are trying to meet with 2-3 people per week! Most surveys of successful job hunters indicate that greater than 50% found their jobs through networking. So it is not something you should choose to ignore if you want to find a great job. And networking is just ONE aspect of your job search!
The hiring process for professional positions is generally slower than it is for part-time, internship or co-op positions. It is not unusual for an employer to take 2-3 months to hire someone. So, another very practical reason why your search may seem slow is that employers will just take much longer to get back to you after you’ve applied. By and large, you can expect that 10-15% of the applications you make will result in interviews. Don’t get discouraged if you have only applied to 5 or 6 jobs and not heard back from anyone. Instead, realize that through networking and using other job resources, you need to be applying to several jobs per week so that you can generate the interviews that will lead to a job.
So, you can see that job hunting is not something that you can just do successfully in your spare few hours each week. It requires a lot of dedication and persistence over a prolonged period of time. Don’t get discouraged if you’ve just started – you’re only in the first few miles of the marathon! And, remember to come to Career Services if you need some help and support as you search.