Job Search: Costs

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 - CV Help, CV Tips, CV Writing, Employment, Job Advertisement, Job Application, Job Boards, job search

Job Search Costs

job hunting

Have you ever considered the costs of a Job Search? No? Perhaps you should, because even if your job search is going well, your job search is costing you time and hence money.

Firstly, lets put aside the cost of missed opportunity in the wages you are missing. The average UK wage is presently around £24,000 per annum, which is £2,000 per month or £100/working day, or £66/day. Hence, every week out of employment is costing you circa £500.

Direct Job Search costs

The real costs of the job search are in the new costs you now face in getting a job. For instance, had you considered the following at minimum:

  • Writing your own CV – will take around 5days to write yourself, and then further adjust. No direct cost, but £500 in lost income.
  • Finding Jobs to apply for – jobs can be found online at free Jobs Boards, but you should also allow for the cost of newspapers and niche magazines. A direct cost of around £5/week.
  • Communications – your computer, telephone and new PAYG mobile are not free. Assuming you already have a computer, allow £5/week for broadband, £10/week on telephone calls and £5/week on mobile calls, for a total of £20/week
  • Administration – in North America this would cover Job Search Virtual Assistants and other such services, but in Europe we are talking about paper, printer ink, envelopes and  stamps. You can’t use photocopier paper or cheap envelopes, so allow at least £20/week
  • Clothing – you probably have a good working set of suits and formal wear which will enable you to present yourself correctly. But clothes do wear out, and they need cleaning. Allow £20/week for clothing and cleaning
  • Travel – you need to get to interviews. Let use assume that half of the time you take the car, and half of the time public transport, and get one interview per week. £50/week

Optional Job Search costs

In all in direct costs, your job search will be costing you around £115 a week in direct costs, and £500 a week in lost income: a total of £2,460/month. Let us say you want to speed this process up:

  • Networking – online social networks like LinkedIn are free to register on, but you may want to supplement that with some physical networking. One meeting a week plus travel, allow £50/week
  • Job Search coaching – I have seen prices range from £100 for a whole course, to £100/session. The few I have seen who might have some experience of either recruiting or HR are few and far between, and normally charge over £500 for a six session initial engagement. I would suggest if you are considering this as an option, that you take the Myers Briggs test for free
  • Paid Jobs boards – paid Jobs Boards claim to provide niche opportunity for job seekers. I am as a recruiter as sceptical as Nick Corcodilos of paid job boards and particularly The Ladders. But, if you feel they would add to your job search, then allow £120 per job board per six months
  • Job Search software – as a recruiter, the most annoying thing when making an initial telephone call a job applicant, is them not knowing let alone remembering that they applied for your job! I suggest to our Professional CV clients that they use a simple spreadsheet style piece of paper – we provide the basic layout for free to our Professional CV clients – which keeps a list of the jobs they applied for, when, and basic job details. You can use software like Jibber Jobber or similar (I don’t advocate software outside of the office as part of your Job Search Toolkit, as paper works without the need for a battery, and in most weathers!), but if you choose to do so allow £10/month

If you took all of these additional costs alone, they would add up to an additional £450/month – doubling the cost of a basic job search, to £900/month.

Total Job Search costs

Now lets look at the duration of this cost.

Let us say you are good and lucky, find a job today and apply for it, and by the end of the week you know that you have an interview next week. They interview you and a few others, and adding in the time it takes them to decide you are the right candidate, that adds another week. You don’t have to give notice, but they want you to start at the beginning of a week, which adds another couple of days. In other words, even if you found a job today and everything went well, you wouldn’t start employment for two weeks – or £1,000 in lost opportunity costs.

When I first joined the recruitment sector, my new boss sat me down and explained that the commission part of my package, even if I got a new job brief tomorrow, wouldn’t appear in my salary for at least 12weeks. If you add in notice periods, vetting, two stage interviews, and package negotiation, then 12weeks is a more realistic time scale for the average job search.

Unfortunately, we don’t presently live in times where job seekers are scarce, and jobs are plentiful. Plus, that self written CV will need adjusting from your learning experiences, created from being rejected from 19 of the 20 jobs you will presently need to apply to for one job interview. To properly find, research and apply for a position, 20 suitable positions will take at minimum a week to apply for – you could do it quicker, but your rejection ratio will proportionately rise.

The result is that on average, at present, most job seekers take between 4 and 6 months to find a new position. If you are aged over 50, then according to the Office of National Statistics, that will rise to over 9months on average.

Four months of direct job search costs is just short of £4000 in job search and employment costs, and £8,000 in lost income.

I am not sure about you, but I don’t know many people who have £12,000 sat around to pay the costs of finding a job. If you apply for Job Seekers allowance, that is a sum of £64.30 per week, and there is an option to provide you with an additional sum of up to £500 to fund essential job seeking costs via the Adviser Discretionary Fund. I also checked with UK Tax expert Mark Lee, and he assures me that none of these costs will be allowed as reclaimable by HMRC against your income tax. It would hence take the average person saving at 10% of income just over 5 years to replenish the cost of their 4 month successful job search.

Reduce Job Search costs

How can you reduce this total cost? If added one cost of £147, the cost of our Professional CV service, we know you could reduce this cost by at least two thirds. On average:

  • Our Professional CV clients get an interview every three job applications
  • It takes three job interviews to ensure employment. Hence, our Professional CV clients are most often employed after ten job applications
  • We don’t work with many clients over a one month period
  • If we are still working with you after three months or more, you get your money back – yes, a full refund.

Hence, clients who buy our Professional CV service spend on average six weeks between jobs, and their job search cost, in direct and indirect costs, is on average £3,500: one quarter of the average job seeker, saving them £8,500.

If you want to write your own CV, have you got the savings to afford to do so? If you want to get employed quicker, at lower cost, and in the job you want – we would be happy to help you.

Good Luck!


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3 Responses to “Job Search: Costs”

  1. Tweets that mention Job Search Costs | Professional CV Writing - -- Says:

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  2. Job Search – nj job search | Know Marketing Blog Says:

    […] Job Search Costs | Professional CV Writing – CV4.biz12 hours ago by Ian  How much does the average job search cost? On average around 4months and hence £10000. But there are great ways to reduce this. […]

  3. Patrick Says:

    I consider this post is really interesting, great read. Thanks!

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