Managing your time during a job search


hand holding a silver clockIf you have recently left a company and you are looking for your next opportunity, your job search is probably going to feel like a full time job, and so it should.

It is important to vary your job search and use a number of different methods. This will ensure that you stay motivated and will allow you to structure your day around your usual working hours to find your next opportunity.

Here are a few tips on helping you to manage your time during your job search:

Plan your hours

Many people find it difficult when they are out of work to get into a routine. Creating a timetable will structure your day, help you prioritise your tasks and allow you to make the best use of your time and be more productive.

For example:


09:00 – 10:30 Respond to jobs from email alerts and any emails from recruiters. Interview preparation.


10:45 – 12:00 Search for jobs on specific job boards and save jobs that you may wish to come back to and apply for.


13:00 – 14:30 Tailoring CV to specific jobs that you have identified in the morning.


15:00 – 16:00 Spend some time on LinkedIn reviewing posts in groups, sharing articles, publishing posts, joining a discussion, researching companies.

16:00 – 17:00 Ring any recruiters that you may have sent applications to (Recruiters usually have more time at the end of the day to speak with you) Recruiters generally make sales calls between 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00.

Identify your zone

Identifying your zone means making the most of your energy during that particular time frame. Are you a morning person or a night owl or do you sit somewhere in between? What time of day do you feel most productive? If mornings aren’t for you, don’t force yourself to use this time for the things you need to really focus on.

You can identify your zone by rating how energised you feel in the mornings afternoons and evenings, using a scale of 1-10 (1 = not energised and 10 = extremely energised). Be honest with yourself in order to make the most of your ‘zone’.

Avoid cabin fever

Fresh air and exercise is scientifically proven to increase productivity and create a positive state of mind. Just because you are not at work, it doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. Plenty of coffee shops, public places and libraries have free Wi-Fi. Take your laptop and search for jobs whilst you are out and about. If you structure your day so that you are out of the house during core working hours, you will feel more productive when you return home and you won’t have cabin fever. If you are conscious not to spend too much money whilst you are out of the house, you could take a packed lunch and some drinks for you to have during the day.

Manage other responsibilities and commitments

If you are a parent, primary carer or have other responsibilities and commitments it’s important that you keep structure in your day and maximise productivity. Share your timetable with those people you have commitments with so they have an awareness of your current priorities and how much time job searching takes. It is much better for you to keep your routine as close to a working day as possible, that way the re-adjustment back into the working environment will be a smoother transition.

Give yourself a break

Try not to job search all day every day, job seekers who do this end up demotivated and disheartened. Give yourself an afternoon off to meet a friend for coffee, go to the gym before rush hour or just enjoy a bit of free time to yourself. You will feel much more motivated and balanced knowing that you have done some job searching but also given yourself a bit of time to just relax.

Job seekers who are organised, have structure and set goals leave employers with a positive impression and are more likely to succeed in finding suitable opportunities. Using these techniques will enable you to remain focussed, productive and motivated throughout that search. There may be times when your priorities change, or something comes up that is more important, in which case, acknowledge it and get back on track as soon as you can to keep up that positive momentum.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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