How Job Seekers Spend Their Time

The average unemployed person spends 18 minutes per day hunting for a job.

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GL Hoffman
Consider this Labor Department fact: The average unemployed person spends 18 minutes a day hunting for a job. Eighteen minutes.


[See 9 insider secrets to getting hired.]

Think about this: You are unemployed, sitting at home, frustrated maybe, angry for sure, and worried about the cable bill. Dr. Phil is in reruns and so is Oprah. But wait, Judge Judy starts in 20 minutes. It’s job-searching time. Head for your computer, send out twenty resumes with the new format. Hurry, hurry: Here comes the Judge.

I have some questions about this and maybe you can help.

1. Why is this?

2. Is it laziness?

3. Did the government unwittingly make it simpler to stay at home by extending unemployment benefits?

4. Do job seekers simply lack the requisite knowledge to do a better job at searching?

5. How long should it take each day?

I’m betting there are two schools of thought on this issue. If you have a job, you may think one way about this "lazy" job-seeker; if you have been out of work for six months or longer, you think another way about this "unfortunate soul."

[See 20 rules for real radicals.]

The truth lies somewhere between the two. Let’s take question No. 4. Most unemployed do not know what to do, even though there are many career advice-givers out here. For example: I think that my company's website,, is a terrific new job search engine. It presents only openings found on company websites. Yet, since we don’t have a monstrous advertising budget, it is hard for us to get the word out to job seekers. We keep trying. And, based on effectiveness, word of mouth about our site is gaining momentum. This is just one example of knowledge that could help job seekers.

As you ponder your own questions and answers to the above, throw this in the mix.

There are jobs available in every company. They might not be advertised (70 percent of the jobs on are never advertised elsewhere) and may not even be an opening, per se. But every company has a job or task that needs doing. Companies went through cutbacks, but chances are they did not lessen the workload. There are lots of jobs not getting done. But it takes extra work—way beyond those 18 minutes—to dig those jobs out, to find those managers who are overworked and understaffed.

What do you think?

G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, which operates LinkUp, one of the fastest-growing job search engines. His blog can be found at