4 ways to waste time during your job search – and how to avoid them

Thursday, November 23, 2023
Searching for a job can be a long and daunting process. And with the constant pressure to find the perfect job, it’s very easy to fall prey to common time-wasting traps that will get in the way of your progress.  

From endless scrolling to trying to perfect a CV that never feels good enough, procrastination can really mess with your mindset during your job search – and if you’re not careful, time can slip away faster than you can say, “hire me.”  

Read on as we explore four common ways people waste precious job-searching time and how you can dodge these pitfalls.

Spending hours on social media

It’s easy to get caught up in the scroll. You start by innocently checking your social feeds for notifications and, before you know it, hours have passed and you’re deep into the rabbit-hole of reaction videos and memes. We’ve all been there. 

Social media can be both a blessing and a curse in our digital age. While it provides a platform for networking and job postings, spending excessive time scrolling through feeds can sabotage your productivity – endless scrolling won’t magically land you that dream job. 

Combat this by setting some serious social media boundaries. Instead of mindlessly scrolling, try setting designated time blocks for social media use – you might even want to use a browser add-on or your built-in phone features to automatically lock things down when you've been on Instagram for too long.  

By consciously managing your social media time, you’ll stay focused and productive during your job search journey. Your dream job won’t find itself, but neither will you if you’re buried in cat videos. 

Applying to irrelevant jobs

Thinking about sending your CV to every job that remotely fits your skills to cast a wider net? Think again. The scattergun approach of applying to every job in sight is a classic time-wasting trap. Not only does it dilute your efforts, but it can also lead to burnout.  

Instead, play the smart game. Ask yourself if the role aligns with your career goals and if you have the right experience or qualifications, then use that to tailor your job search. To help you pinpoint the most relevant opportunities, New Job Today offers advanced search filters, an extensive employer database, and dedicated email alerts.  

By narrowing down your focus and targeting the right positions, you’ll increase your chances of landing a job that’s meaningful and fulfilling. 

Refreshing your email constantly

Patience is indeed a virtue, but waiting indefinitely for responses from potential employers can stall your momentum. Find a balance between being patient and proactive. Create a timeline for following up, and if people take their time to respond, see it as a chance to explore other potential paths.  

Instead of waiting around, take charge of your situation and work on other aspects of your job search to make sure you can stand out for all the right reasons. Keep networking, levelling up your skills, or exploring other opportunities that fit your career goals.  

Use your thumbs wisely instead of just sitting there twiddling them!  

Overdoing the “networking”

And speaking of networking, it’s the ultimate buzzword of job hunting – but catching up with mates over coffee and cake every other day doesn’t exactly count as “networking”. That’s a social hangout, and your time (and wallet) deserves better. 

Networking is a useful part of any job search, but it’s important not to overdo it. It's tempting to go to every industry event, join every professional group, and connect with everyone you meet, but stretching yourself too thin can slow you down. 

Instead, set clear goals, attend events that matter, and make the most of professional platforms like LinkedIn for quality connections with new and old acquaintances. By investing your time and energy into meaningful connections, you’ll have better conversations and potentially find opportunities that are a perfect fit for you. 

Time flies when you’re on the job hunt, but don’t lose control of it. Procrastination can be the enemy of progress, so skip these time-wasting activities to optimise your efforts and boost your chances of getting that dream job.  Melody Sadé Abeni