Focus on Manatee: An effective job search is a full-time job

November 12, 2012 

A recent study by Mark Aquiar of Princeton University, Erik Hurst and Loukas Karabarbounis of the University of Chicago examined the results of the American Time Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using the data from this survey, the authors compared the years between 2003 and 2010 to document the allocation of lost work hours over the business cycle during and prior to a recession.

Their report finds that respondents spent about 50 percent of "foregone work hours" on leisure activities (sleeping, watching television, socializing, etc.), roughly 30 percent on "home production" (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) and only 2 to 6 percent was spent on searching for a job.

While the study applies to all groups -- employed, unemployed and out ofthe labor force -- we find it startling that anyone who is unemployed and who is serious about employment may not devote more time to searching for a new job.

We understand that in a tight labor market competition is tight and the process can be frustrating, especially since employers are not likely to follow up with candidates regarding the status of a position -- that falls on the job seeker. Knowing that, follow-up is an important step in the job hunt process.

We can often determine which Suncoast Workforce customers are more likely to land a job while visiting our career centers by observing how familiar and committed one is to utilizing current resources and tools to ensure an effective job search.

This may include tactics from researching the company and the job, tailoring the resume to the position, networking with others, and using social media, to preparing for an interview, having the ability to demonstrate they're the best candidate and follow up to name a few. Those are basic job search methods.

Today, the search process can take multiple strategies depending on the type of job. Furthermore, while someone may possess the skills and experience needed for the job, if they don't have a positive attitude, they'll likely lose the chance for a second interview or the job offer.

Finding employment is a full-time job that requires initiative, dedication, perseverance and positive thinking. The more these tactics and other strategies are applied, the more successful one will be landing a new job.

Mary Helen Kress, president and CEO of Suncoast Workforce, a nonprofit corporation providing workforce services in Manatee and Sarasota counties, can be reached at 941-358-4080.

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