David Cameron claims that his government have created 1,0001 new jobs a day since the coalition came to power in 2010. Yet the majority of job searchers will tell you that they’re not exactly inundated with job offers on a daily basis.
The truth is that those headline figures are masking the rise of zero-hours contracts, self-employment and low wages, hence finding permanent employment remains a challenge.
If you’re looking for a new role, these are the important facts you need to know about your job search.
- The average job search takes more than 5 months2.
If you’re currently in work, keep this 5-month-average in mind, as it’s likely you’ll need to save your annual leave in order to book time off to attend interviews over the coming months.
For unemployed jobseekers, the likelihood of receiving a job offer decreases as each month passes, particularly once you’ve reached long-term unemployment status at twelve months. This is why starting your job search at full throttle from the get-go is so important; perfect your CV, apply for jobs online and speak to recruiters, friends and ex-colleagues about suitable roles that they may know of.
- Around 1183 people apply for every job opening but only 20% of applicants are invited in for an interview.
Many companies now use talent management software to scan applications for relevant keywords upon receipt – if your CV doesn’t contain the data that the system is crawling it for, nobody in HR will even read it.
Sarah Lloyd, senior consultant at Dragonfly Recruitment, stresses the importance of refining a CV in accordance to each individual job specification.
She suggests: “Tailor your CV to each job you apply for, ensuring you include key buzzwords that are relevant to that role. For example, if you’re applying for a conference producer role, make sure you include any relevant experience in terms of speaker recruitment, extensive topic research and building a good rapport with major industry figures.”
In addition to fine-tuning your CV, conferring with a recruitment agency is another way to beat competition and get your foot through the door. Working with a recruiter will enable you to gain prevalence over those who apply directly via an employer’s website because your agent has the distinct advantage of being in verbal and face-to-face contact with the hiring manager. This relationship will allow them to bring your CV to life, fully advertise your skills and personality, and potentially increase the likelihood of your application going through to the interview stage.
- The average interview lasts 40 minutes but interviewees can expect to wait up to two weeks for a reply.
A longer interview indicates that the interviewer is interested but you shouldn’t press the ‘pause’ button on your job hunt just yet as it may be several weeks before you hear whether you’ve got the job or not.
Why does it take so long? It’s usually because they have other candidates to interview or because an important decision-maker in the company is not present to give the go-ahead, or unfortunately, it could be because you are not their first choice.
You’re more likely to receive updates on the process if you’ve applied through a recruitment agency, but if you’ve applied for the role directly, just be patient – it’s reasonable to send one or two email prompts to the company’s HR department but any more and you may be considered a nuisance.
During the wait, it’s perfectly acceptable to attend other interviews. Of course, this may eventuate in you being offered several positions at the same time, at which point you’ll need to decide which company you’d feel most comfortable working for in terms of the role, workplace atmosphere and the compensation package.
Sarah Lloyd concludes that it’s all about being open and honest throughout the process, surmising: “It’s a two-way street. Make sure you’re honest with recruiters about what you’re looking for, your motivations for moving, and most importantly, how each interview goes along the way. This way, we can ensure we get you the right role.”
1 The Guardian, 2015. Has David Cameron really created 1,000 jobs a day?. [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2015/mar/31/has-david-cameron-really-created-1000-jobs-a-day.
2 eHow, 2015. The Average Length of the Job Hunt. [Online] Available at: http://www.ehow.co.uk/facts_5858845_average-length-job-hunt.html.
3 Interview Success Formula, 2015. The Job Search Today. [Online] Available at: http://www.interviewsuccessformula.com/ISF-JobSearchToday972.png.
[All information sources accessed 21st April 2015].