How Long Does It Take To Find a New Job?

How Long Does It Take To Find a New Job?

Looking for a new job? You’re not alone. The ‘Great Resignation’ and looming recession have many job seekers considering a career move. Yet there is uncertainty about the length of the typical job search, particularly in today’s uncertain job market. In fact, “How long does it take to find a new job?” is one of the most common questions I am asked as a career coach and job search expert.

The honest answer is, it depends. Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report, the average duration of unemployment is approximately five months. However, this data does not paint a full picture, as it only includes Americans who are unemployed and does consider your industry, target role, or unique situation.

There are several additional factors to how long it will take to find your next job. These include your background and experience, the competitiveness of your industry, and how much time and effort you put into your search. Luck also plays a part. You must take all of these into consideration when predicting the length of your job search.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to find a new job faster. Here are five proven ways to speed up your search:

1. Get clear on your target role.

To begin, you want to get crystal clear on your target role. Job seekers often cast a wide net in the hopes of landing a job quicker, but this can backfire, as it can make you seem indecisive and underwhelms recruiters. Instead, you want to be specific about the type of role you want. Rather than targeting all “human resources” or “marketing” openings, for instance, consider which specific functional area you are drawn to, as well as the scope of responsibility you desire.

While you are at it, you also want to be explicit about the company type you are targeting. For example, do you want to work at a Fortune 100 company, a hyper-growth startup, or something in between? Take some time to reflect on your dream company, then make a spreadsheet of some targets, bookmark their careers pages (example:, and check back weekly for openings that align with your requirements.

2. Update your resume.

Next, take the time to ensure your resume is not only up to date but also tailored to the target role you outlined in step 1. As you apply to roles, be sure to customize your resume to each opportunity. Remember that you do not need to rewrite your resume for each role you apply to. Instead, spend 20 to 30 minutes per application, strategically inserting keywords from the job listing into your resume and doublechecking that you’re addressing each requirement in the posting.

3. Optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Next, you want to take time to update and optimize your LinkedIn profile. This not only helps recruiters and hiring managers find you on the platform but also gives you a great resource when networking with prospects at your target company. Focus your attention on your headline, ensuring your target role is clearly listed, then add relevant keywords from your target job postings to your summary and experience. You don’t want to leave readers guessing about the roles you are seeking or the skills you possess.

4. Harness the power of networking.

 Remember that list of dream companies from step one? Revisit it regularly to see if you have any contacts working in your target roles. If you do, request an informational interview to learn more about the organization’s culture and hiring process, then request an introduction to the hiring manager. If you don’t have any contacts at your target companies, try leveraging LinkedIn to build out your network. Team Blind and Fishbowl can also help you build a network, especially if you are looking to break into the tech industry.

5. Invest in professional help.

Lastly, consider seeking out the help of a career coach to support you in your job search. The process of finding a new role can be challenging. Partnering with a trained professional can help you refine your job search strategy as well as identify barriers that may be standing in the way of landing your next role. You’ve got this!

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  • January 1, 2023