Can't wait to dive into a new role?
Looking for work can be a lengthy, daunting process at any stage in your career. Whether you're a recent graduate looking for your first “proper” job, an experienced professional reaching for the next rung of the corporate ladder, a new parent seeking a better work-life balance, or returning to work after an illness, the potential length of your search can be nerve-wracking. However, with insight into the latest trends and factors that can affect how long it takes to find work, and tips on minimising your waiting period, you may find the right fit in less time than you had anticipated.
How long does it take to find a new job in the UK right now?
In many workplaces, the recruitment process can take weeks - sometimes more than a month. According to research from Glassdoor, the average length of the interview process in the UK is 27.5 days. Though it may sound bleak, this timeline isn't consistent across all industries and sectors and some work is more readily available for those looking to find a job fast. Restaurant and hospitality workers can expect to secure a job in as little as 10 days, whereas public sector interview processes can last around 54 days.
Fortunately, hiring managers are aware of the cost of lengthy recruitment processes. According to current research, 50% of UK professional candidates have turned down a job offer because of the lengthy hiring process, and 64% of employers worldwide reported missing out on talent for the same reason.
How long does it take to find a job after graduating?
It's no surprise that many of those who graduated during the pandemic feel particularly anxious about the length of their job search. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), only 57% of university leavers in 2019/20 had secured full time work within 15 months finishing their course. Lest you think it's not worth pursuing another grad scheme application, the UK's largest graduate employers have announced a 22% increase in graduate-specific vacancies in 2022. Moreover, the only sectors reducing the number of graduate roles this year are the public sector and charities. One advantage that graduates have is that most entry-level job offers are made within two weeks, whereas more senior positions can take six weeks or more to reach the offer stage.
How long do I have to wait before quitting my current job?
If you're looking for a new job because you're unhappy in your current role, you could be waiting six months or more to complete the transition. Though it's important to weigh the pros and cons of leaving sooner rather than later, no job is worth compromising your health.
What can I do to speed up my job search?
Make your career narrative clear and concise
The average recruiter will spend around six seconds looking at a CV. Use the Professional Summary section on your CV and LinkedIn as your personal elevator pitch that briefly and succinctly conveys what you do, where you want to work, and the key benefits you bring to the employer. Make sure that you tailor the summary – and your CV – to match each individual role you apply for. Don't leave it to the hiring manager to cobble together your profile from a series of seemingly unrelated accolades and experiences. While you don't want to appear one dimensional, you need to be selective about what you include so that your documents are consistent and support your career aspirations.
Leverage your online profile
Updating your LinkedIn profile is essential for any job search, but you can also leverage your social media presence on other networks, too. UK companies reportedly fill 25% of their vacancies by using social media and 84% of UK employers report using social media as a key part of their recruitment process. Creating a professional account on the social media channel that is most relevant to your industry is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm, and level of engagement in your sector of choice. Use your professional accounts to provide your own insight on existing conversations on social networks, share thought-provoking articles, and engage with potential employers.
Apart from the obvious psychological and emotional benefits of volunteering, giving your time to a cause that is meaningful to you is a fantastic way to make an impact and gain valuable skills and experience. Research conducted by Deloitte showed that 82% of hiring managers were more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience than one without and 85% accepted or overlooked flaws in a candidate's CV when they included volunteer work. Though there may be practical limits on how much time you can offer, there are charitable organisations across the UK looking for volunteers on a part-time basis, with some roles that can be done virtually.
Hire a professional to write your CV
Hiring a professional CV writer can increase your chance of securing the role you want, in a shorter length of time. Professional CV writers know exactly what companies are looking for and what they expect from their top candidates. Not only will you save a considerable amount of time compiling the perfect CV, with expert guidance you can avoid many of the most common CV pitfalls that take candidates out of the running – all before starting what could be a lengthy job search.
Looking for work is a job in itself, and with so little control over the process – particularly the length of time it takes from application to offer – it can be very discouraging. Staying productive during the job search is essential, particularly while you sweat out the waiting period between interviews. Frame this time as an opportunity to find the right role for you – whether it's the one you dreamed of or the one that's the next necessary step for you to develop your skills and hone your craft. Remember, all good things are worth waiting for.
Ready to speed up your job search? Why not submit your CV for a free review to make sure you're not wasting valuable time?
How long should you wait after a job interview before you move on?