The 90 day truth about Job Search

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 - Blog, job search, job seeking

The 90 day truth about Job Search

University clock

Its a quietly spoken issue in Human Resources teams and recruitment, but the truth is that if your job search goes over 90 days, and your period out of work extends beyond this time scale, then your chances of employment go down by at least two thirds. In other words, it is going to take three times as much effort to get employed after 90 days, as it is before. The questions this article answers are:

  • Why do job seekers drop over this time scale
  • What can you do in the first 90days of a job search to ensure success
  • What do you do to get a job more successfully if your job search extends over 90days

The 90 job search problem

The theory of recruitment is that the best person gets the job, and as the job applicant that is always you. But the truth is that factors beyond your skills, qualifications and experiences – and being a “nice” person, because in reality most people are – are used in selecting the eventual job holder. Beyond the technical fit of SQE, the social fit of how you do what you do, and the magnetic fit of wanting to be there for more than 2years, employers ideally want people who are connected and leading in their market place. Hence an extended period of between positions is often interpreted in the view of the HR and hiring manager as not a leading or connected candidate. Its not that you are not qualified to do the job, its just that if no one else is snapping you up, why should they?

Success in 90 days

In my article 10 things successful job seekers do, to get employed quicker, the successful job seeker knows what they want, who’s recruiting, does their research, and applies in a series of tactics which gets them closer to the (decision maker) hiring manager. What I have noticed with many ex-corporate people, is that they think that they need a short rest or holiday, and then they will get down to job seeking. When they do, they haven’t used the rest time to think or get focused about what they want to do next, or what the market looks like – there is a lot of reading that you can do on a sunny beach – so they come back more relax but as unfocused as their last day in their old job.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a holiday or rest, but you need to use the time to be doing something with regards progressing your job search activity. Get focused, get researching, and get thinking. Be prepared when you come back to take decisive action, because two weeks in Marbella can easily extend to four weeks doing chores, and that is one third of your 90 days gone.

Long term job search success

For those over 90days, the problems to be solved will be clear. You probably don’t leave your own home, you just see a limited group of friends and family, and you business attire is probably sports wear with a logo on it. The problem for long term job seekers is that they are connected wholly to a routine of job seeking – which is highly wearing and medically proven to be resultantly depressive in effect – and wholly disconnected form the world of work.

Longer term job seekers need to come back to basics: that people employ people, and they need to become more than just a 2 page CV or resume to make the break through.

Firstly define an ideal job: concentrate on skills, qualifications and experiences gained in the past three to five years, where you will be most credible with employers. Then look for local professional groups where those sorts of people and employers go. If in doubt, call your local chamber of commerce or the national level professional body for that trade or profession, and ask them. Now it may be scary of concerning when first reconnecting to people in a business environment, particularly when you are selling yourself, but in actual fact that is the last thing your should do. Just aim to talk and connect, that’s it. With each meeting set a series of goals – target employers, people doing a similar task who you follow up with, etc. Once you have done one meeting, the rest will come back naturally. When over a half of all jobs are fulfilled through the employer knowing the final job holder – be they a supplier, buyer, competitor or professional network contact – connecting can only enhance your spirits and chances of employment.

Job search success in 90days or less

The 90 day barrier to employment may seem far away at the start of a job hunt, but in actual fact you soon find out how short three months can be when its your own time. Get focused, get active, get connected and get employment – it really is that simple.

Good Luck!


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