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YARNLADY's avatar

How much time a day should be spent looking for a job?

Asked by YARNLADY (42272points) November 16th, 2011

The unemployed in my family spend about an hour or two (two or three times a week) looking for a job by searching online. They never go out or look at a newspaper. Is this really the way to find a job? How would you suggest they find a job?

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24 Answers

whitetigress's avatar

Honestly it seems like when you go to a store to apply, they always direct you to apply online. And then when you call for follow ups, its now seen as annoying them. I’ve done a lot of applying lately for the holiday season especially. I was sure I was going to land a job. No call so far. With all the questionnaires each application takes roughly an hour to complete. And you can’t just skimp over the questions either. Because they are essentially personality tests. So you have to pass that! Just to get a shot to even get your application looked at. I’ve also ran into jobs where you could submit your resume while also filling out an application. It can be a tiring process. Especially to find that motivation and sit on it for a weekend and then realize the next week no call backs and if you call for a follow up, you will be seen as annoying and unqualified in the first place. I just want to earn my money in society. I’m sick of receiving unemployment insurance benefits. I know for a fact I could do the job of any of these college dropouts who’ve settled for mall & retail type of jobs. Give me my dignity California! Let me earn it! And hire me! Arghh!!

Aethelflaed's avatar

I’ve never had any luck finding jobs through the newspaper or by talking to people in person, nor have I known any employers that use those venues to find new hires or any friends who had success with that route. Putting an ad in the newspaper costs money, and while in some online places cost money as well, they have a flat fee, not a fee per word, letter or amount of space, so it’s much more cost-effective for employers to post online. When you go in person, the most that happens is they hand you a physical copy of the application they have online, but the person you speak with isn’t in any way in charge of hiring nor do they have any sway with the person who hires. So it sounds like your family members are just hip to how dead the old job-finding ways are.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

Ideally, the same number of hours you would spend at the job. Use the time to search and apply, read and learn about interviewing skills, acquire a skill by volunteering or taking adult ed courses.
Sitting home and watching Maury is not an option. The TV should be disconnected.

Stinley's avatar

I think that it is a reasonable time to be looking at the ads, but there should be more time spent on applying, because, as mentioned, it takes a while to tailor your application to fit the post. As for whether online is the best place, I would say yes for career type jobs, but for casual jobs like waiting tables or shop work, pounding the streets, and asking on spec or seeing ads in the window would be best. Also good is to register with employment agencies as a lot of jobs never make it to the advert stage, and the agencies expect to be hassled by their clients anyway. If there is a particular type of work that they do, then finding out which agencies those employers use could be more fruitful too.

Boogabooga1's avatar

It depends upon how much they Need a job.
There are always jobs.
The question is Pride.
(If you have no government assistance and have a child to feed you will surely find a job as a toilet cleaner ((or akin)) within two weeks.)

Boogabooga1's avatar

Getting a decent job is all about confidence (aka.bullshit).
The longer you are out of work , the lower your confidence becomes and thusfor the meager job you stumble upon.
To get a GOOD job you need confidence (or luck/or contacts)

So to summarize, There are always Jobs if you need one, question is, Do you have the BS to get a good one?

tom_g's avatar

I suppose it depends on the type of job/career. In my experience, being unemployed is actually a longer workday than a job. In other words, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to spend a good 12+ hours/day.

I mean, what does it mean to be unemployed? If I’m unemployed (software developer), I need to spend my days:
– identifying potential employers
– researching the hell out of these employers
– creating custom resumes that are tailored for particular employers
– writing cover letters for each position
– sending resumes
– following up on every resume sent
– networking (taking former coworkers out for lunch to catch up, attending user groups, etc)
– sharpening my skills (and learning new ones) NOTE: This is a big one.
– maintaining a professional online presence (website, job sites, etc)

Nullo's avatar

As much as you can make yourself spend.

rts486's avatar

I read one should look at job hunting as a job in itself. Meaning at least 40 hours a week. If I found myself unemployed, I would spend a siginficant more amount of time than 40 hours per week.

Mat74UK's avatar

I’ve seen this a few times in the UK.

Facade's avatar

I remember you telling me once that I should be spending 8 hours a day looking for a job, and I still think that’s ludicrous. The vast majority of employers want their applicants to apply online for positions. It takes only an hour or two a few times a week to look through listings online, and only a few seconds to send out your CV and a cover letter. Things have changed.

jerv's avatar

I am with @worriedguy; you really should treat job-hunting as a full-time job in and of itself. I say anything under 30 hours a week means that they don’t want a job, and anything under 40 means that they don’t want one too badly.

@Boogabooga1 Not really. You are correct that being a Grade-A bullshit artist is a requirement to very a job since charisma matters more than competence, but trust me, even being a job cleaning toilets is tough; too much competition. There are reasons that the average length of unemployment has doubled in recent years, and our has nothing to do with people being lazier or prouder than they used to be.

@Facade Many of the jobs I have had were not advertised online. You must be talking about just major corporations since many small businesses still do things the old fashioned way.

blueiiznh's avatar

I varies a little depending on the field, but jobs are not really posted in the newspapers and feet on the street works for a very small variety of jobs.

Most positions are now posted to online job boards or through recruiters.

Getting connected to a few good recruiters is often the best way now.

There are certain online sites that may be better focus depending on their field. They need to post an awesome resume and spend 2–3 hours a day reviewing online postings. The best way is to set a specific time (morning routine is best as it likens to the job it is) and review and search the job boards. Good cover letters are also key. Also look for Job Fairs that are many times sponsored by the Job Boards. State Unemployment offices will also require weekly posting of activities of job posted, interviews, etc.

Good luck for their speedy return to the market.

mowens's avatar

When I was unemployed, I treated finding a job as if it was my job. So, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. is your friend.

What kind of job are you looking for?

tedd's avatar

As far as where they’re looking, the internet is in fact the way to go about it now. Newspapers are quickly being forgotten. As far as how long…

When I was looking for a job right out of college, and then again after abruptly losing my first job…. I would spend 2–3 hour sessions looking for jobs and applying for jobs… Maybe 6–8 hours total a day on average. When interviews started rolling in (both phone and in person) that time span would typically go down a bit as you would dedicate your time/day to that interview and not applying to new jobs.

With the looking online part, if you’re really digging you have to go past the regular job posting boards, and search out companies that are in your field just with a regular google search. When you’ve found a company in your field, then you check their websites job postings… and pray a bit, lol.

jerv's avatar

@blueiiznh It also varies by location. For instance, while many places (both employers and placement agencies) in the Seattle area have an online presence, many places in New Hampshire do not.

blueiiznh's avatar

@jerv good point.
Rural NH small business focused is very different than neighboring large focused MA.

YARNLADY's avatar

Sonny – help desk, two years experience; computer operations, one year experience; college dropout
Grandson # 1 – office clerk, two years experience (part-time); store clerk, one year experience (part-time)
Grandson #2 – many part-time store clerk jobs over two years

Two of them have been unemployed over a year, and one has never had a full time job, but worked steadily for three years.

When they go to job opening fairs, there are usually 1,000 – 2,000 people lined up for the 70 – 100 openings available.

wundayatta's avatar

They say that you should treat job hunting as a full time job. Since I only worked about two or three hours a day when I had a paying job, I did pretty much the same when I was job hunting. They say it takes about a month of time for every ten K in salary to find a new job. That was about right for me.

For me, looking at job postings wasn’t very useful. I looked online and I looked at the classifieds, but I have never even gotten a response to a resume this way, much less a job. For me, it’s a waste of time.

Yes, pounding the pavement is where it’s at. But it’s not really pounding the pavement. Think of it as real world Facebooking. That is: social networking. Actually, these days, I would use Facebook to get a job. I’d post a report of my progress every day. I’d ask for everyone to give me at least one, if not two recommendations for people to talk to.

Then you email them or pm them or better yet, call them, and talk about yourself and what you’re looking for and ask them if they have suggestions. You also talk about what they are doing and how they got there. The whole point is to get yourself known as widely as possible so that if something does come up, people will think of you.

I normally hate talking to strangers, but I kind of get into this process because it’s marketing myself. It’s the only time in my life when I feel perfectly justified about bragging about myself. It’s weird what people will believe if you tell them with enough confidence. Personally, I wouldn’t believe any of it, and when other people talk to me like that, I mistrust it. But it’s the way the game is played.

Eventually you get hooked up with someone who needs someone like you. But it’s a job that can take up as many hours as you can spend doing it, and it takes a lot of work, and you have to do it. If you’re sitting around, doing only a quarter of the work you do when employed, you are not taking your job search seriously.

blueiiznh's avatar

@YARNLADY yep. Thats the nature of Job Fairs with an Uneemployment Rate like we have.
Diligence prevails.

Haleth's avatar

Sending in my resume online is how I’ve landed nearly every job I’ve had. A written cover letter and resume give you a much better chance to show your strengths than a paper application.

Here are some things your relatives can work on:

-Ask for feedback on their resume and cover letter(s), from someone who writes well and knows what works with employers. In the past, I’ve gotten feedback like this from friends, professional contacts, relatives, and some great feedback from asking on fluther. <3

-Make a few rounds of edits on their cover letter and resume with feedback each time. You don’t see first drafts getting published into novels. Employers and HR departments get tons of applications, so their writing needs to be effective, attention-grabbing and concise while showing their best strengths.

-Get in touch with their network. This includes professional contacts like people you used to work with, but anyone you’re on good terms with could end up being the lead for your next job. One time I ran into an old friend from high school and ended up visiting her at work because we had a lot of catching up to do. It ended with me getting a job there that lasted for three years. Applying online can work, but getting their resume in the hands of the right person is the most important thing.

-Look for alternative ways to gain work experience or job skills, like taking classes, volunteering, temp jobs, or freelancing. One of my friends took a one-week temp job and they liked her enough to bring her back again in the future. Eventually a full-time position opened up and she already had her foot in the door.

-Use their free time to develop new hobbies and interests. When I was unemployed I started taught myself a bit of coding, learned a ton about wine, and started writing fiction and nonfiction. These were all things I wouldn’t have had time to do at the last job. At my interview, I talked about an interest in food writing, marketing, building an online presence for the business, etc. Now I get to do all those things at work.

So it might look like they’re just sitting at the computer for an hour or two, but there are plenty of other approaches. What are they doing with the rest of their time- are they using it effectively?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

At least 5 hours/day.

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