We surveyed thousands of employed and unemployed Canadians about their recent job searches and looked at more than 7,000,000 employment histories from our resume database to create a snapshot of modern Canadian career moves.

So how long does it take to find a job? Job searches can last anywhere from two days to over a year, but for most people it is roughly four months. That is how long the largest group, 50% of people surveyed, told us that it took them to secure their most recent job.

In order to get hired during those 16 weeks, most people said that they had to submit 10 job applications and conduct two job interviews. A further 30% of people said that they needed to perform five or more job interviews before being hired for their most recent job.

Mondays are the best day of the week to apply for a job. While more people apply for jobs on Tuesdays than any other day, Monday applications have a statistically (10%) greater chance of advancing to the interview stage. Saturday applications are the least successful.

On average, only 2% of applicants for a job are chosen for an interview. This is because a large portion of resumes are never actually read by a human being, as the screening software that more and more companies use will filter out applications that don’t contain the most relevant keywords the employer is looking for.

Of those resumes that recruiters do actually read, Workopolis research shows that most are only scanned for 11 seconds or less before either being shortlisted or passed over. Recruiters view ten resumes for every two that are flagged for closer consideration. 80% don’t make that initial cut.

If you are called in for an interview, try to schedule the appointment in the morning if you can. Research has shown that employers tend to rate the candidates they meet first higher than subsequent applicants. If the person conducting the interview has interviewed particularly strong candidates in the morning and has already given out top scores, they will be less likely to afford those same high rankings to another applicant later in the day.

The average interview is approximately 40 minutes long, but some crucial decisions are made in the first four seconds. That’s how long it takes the interviewer to decide four things about you: Do I like you? Do I trust you? Are you safe? and Who do you remind me of?

Since those decisions are made before any interaction has actually taken place, this leaves the remaining 39 minutes and 56 seconds for you to take charge of making a positive impression.

A lot of that impression will still be formed in the first 30 seconds. Make eye contact and smile when you great the interviewer. When you shake hands, don’t jerk your hand back after contact like you’re reluctant to touch or (worse) end up holding hands. A professional hand shake should last between 2 and 5 seconds – or just long enough to say, “Hi! Nice to meet you.” (And not long enough to be considered holding hands.)

24% of people interviewed hear back from the employer within a week. 42% receive a response within the first two weeks. However, 44% of applicants surveyed said that they never heard from the employer at all after their most recent job interview.

Canadians can expect to hold roughly 15 jobs over the course of their careers. Frequent career changes are necessary for advancement. Only 11.5% of promotions happen within an organization. 88% of the time, people have to change employers in order to move up a rank in their career.

Most of us will work 2-3 different career paths entirely in our working life.

See all of the reports, insights, and infographics in the Workopolis research library @ http://workopolis.com/research


Peter Harris
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