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 on Tuesdays, Monday applications have a statistically (10%) greater chance of advancing – being chosen for interviews. Saturday applications are the least successful. (Once you get the job, however, bring your A-Game to work on Tuesdays. HR surveys show that Tuesday is the most productive day of the work week.)

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.

Employers search the Workopolis resume database 16,000 times a day for candidates. Analyzing their keyword searches, here are the 10 skills that they look for the most.

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 interview 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 greet 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.”

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.

While you should send a thank you note after every job interview, if you haven’t heard from the employer in the time specified (or in a reasonable amount of time), it is okay to write in a second time. Use this follow-up to restate your enthusiasm for the job and to highlight how you are the right fit for it. Refer to the interview specifically, demonstrating that you pay attention to detail and recall key information.

Infographic: Thinkopolis IV: ‘Time’ to Work [Read the full report here.]


Peter Harris
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