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 Nikki Stokes
Nikki Stokes

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How Long Does it Take to Find a Job?

How Long Does it Take to Find a Job?

Are you unemployed or looking for a better paying, more prestigious job than you have now?

Unfortunately, there's no straightforward answer to the question of how long it will take to find a job.

However, this doesn't mean you should throw your hands up and let fate make all your career decisions for you.

Here's how the average person is faring on the job market, what the usual path to employment looks like and how to manage your job search so that it's as short and successful as possible.

How Long Are People Taking To Find The Perfect Role?

The average person will take 82 days to find a job. It's vital to familiarise yourself with the process, as it isn't a matter of replying to a job posting and then starting work the next day.

The typical process and timing of securing a job can take hours for some roles, and months for others.

There are also personal factors that will impact your search, such as how long you've been unemployed, if you want to change industries or if you're looking for a location-specific job.

While you'll never be able to peer into a Magic Eight Ball and get the exact date you'll get your dream job, there are a few things within your control that can make the process as fast and straightforward as possible.

The Job Search Timeline – And How You Can Improve Your Odds

While no two companies are the same, the general process of applying for (and getting) a job goes as follows:

1. You See An Advert And Reply To It

Improve your odds by reading the advert carefully and making sure you're qualified for the job.

If not, be prepared to motivate for why you'd suit the role despite not having the necessary training.

Make sure you adhere to the closing dates provided and provide what's requested (a portfolio or cover letter) as requested (in PDF format or via a link to a cloud folder).

2. The Company Reviews CVs and Shortlists Candidates

Improve your odds by doing research.

If you get a callback and need to come in for an interview, research the company and your potential role in it.

Visit LinkedIn to see who you'll work with and visit their social media platforms to get an idea of their dress code.

3. The Company Reviews Shortlisted Candidates & Requests An Interview Follow Up

Improve your odds by giving your references a heads up.

At this stage of the interview process, the company will know the facts about you such as your age, where you studied and where you live.

Their next step will be to evaluate your intangible qualities, and this starts with calling your references.

We don't recommend coaching your references as employers will be able to discern what's an accurate statement from what isn't, and you don't know what they'll ask anyway.

Instead, let them know to expect a call, and who it will be from so they answer it.

4. The Final Checks Take Place, And If You're Lucky, You Get The Job

Improve your odds by waiting.

It might seem counterintuitive, but not all offers are created equal.

Never commit to a job or sign a contract until you've thoroughly looked it over.

Taking up a job that doesn't meet your needs only to end up leaving will reflect poorly on you to future employers.

How To Make Your Job Search As Quick And Easy As Possible

Searching for a job can make you feel like you're at the mercy of employers, and it's true that sometimes they'll waste your time or fail to let you know your search has been unsuccessful.

Thankfully there are ways you can protect yourself and make your search more fruitful:

Know Your Basic Needs

Calculate your expenses to determine your desired take-home pay.

Many jobs will offer what seems to be an impressive package, only for you to find out that much of it is tied up in benefits, you don't want or need, such as shares.

You need to pay your bills, so knowing this figure will steer you away from applying for jobs that will waste your time.

Know What You're Willing To Compromise On

Depending on your circumstances, lifestyle and personality, you'll have certain non-negotiables and things you don't mind changing.

Knowing this puts you in the best position to negotiate for the perfect role.

For example, as a parent, you might want your weekends free, but as a young single person, you might not mind working overtime for the extra cash.

Know When To Ask For What You Want

While some roles have requirements that can't be negotiated (for example, a doctor must have a medical degree), others are surprisingly flexible.


If you've found the perfect job that's lacking in one way, it doesn't hurt to ask for what you want.

The worst they can do is say no, and you might find an alternative arrangement that works for everyone.

An example would be finding a dream job out of state. The company might request someone based in-house, but if you can convince them of your reliability you could work from home and only visit the office for important meetings. You wouldn't need to relocate and save on precious office space and costs.

It All Starts With One Thing

No matter whether you're an academic, artist or artisan, your job search will begin with one crucial thing – a resume.

This document will make or break your job options, so you need to put as much effort into it as possible.

ZygaUni offers an innovative, interactive online resume builder that can help you stand out from the rest, and we can help you with everything from cover letter templates to interview tips.

Contact us today to kickstart your job search on the best possible foot.

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