Dream Job Search Survey - Virtual Vocations Report - 798 Workers Respond

Dream Job Search Survey: 798 Workers’ Opinions on Looking for Employment in 2023

Searching for a job is stressful, but how are job search frustrations driving workers’ career decisions? We polled professionals on their job search practices and pain points, as well as what could improve their experiences in searching for employment in the new year. During January 2023, hundreds of workers responded to the Virtual Vocations “Make Your Job Search a Dream” survey. Our dream job search survey results paint a picture of burned out workers who are tired of getting ghosted by potential employers.

The Virtual Vocations Dream Job Search Survey

Open from January 1—10, 2023, the Virtual Vocations “Make Your Job Search a Dream” survey gave workers the opportunity to share their opinions on looking for employment in the new year. Our voluntary survey was open to Virtual Vocations members as well as the general public. Within the survey window, 798 professionals completed the dream job search survey. Respondents were a mix of employed and unemployed professionals and remote and non-remote workers. However, all respondents were interested in at least learning more about available virtual job options for 2023.

Dream Job Search Survey Key Findings

  • The majority of workers (87.47%) are actively searching for a new job in 2023.
  • More than half (54.14%) use general online job boards and social networking sites to find job openings.
  • The most in-demand job postings are for 100% virtual jobs and work-from-anywhere jobs; more than three-quarters (75.56%) of professionals want fully remote careers.
  • Never hearing back from an employer or hiring manager is the number one job search frustration reported by professionals.
  • Workers also wish certain aspects of job postings were presented more clearly, including compensation amounts, level of flexibility available with jobs, and true and accurate descriptions of positions.
  • Although 17.17% of workers spend upwards of an hour applying to a single job posting, more than a third (37.47%) report that, more often than not, they are ghosted by potential employers.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, ‘Great Resignation‘, and employer claims of hiring shortages, however, did not positively affect the frequency and urgency of employer responses to applications, with 80.45% of workers reporting no change in responsiveness since March 2020.

The Virtual Vocations Dream Job Search Survey Results

Complete questions and answers for the 2023 “Make Your Job Search a Dream” survey have been divided into the following categories:

  1. What Workers Want for Their Careers in 2023
  2. Worker Outlooks on the Job Search Process
  3. The Length of Job Searches and Employer Responsiveness

What Workers Want for Their Careers in 2023

Do you plan to look for a new job in 2023?

Yes. (87.47%)

87 %

I am not actively searching, but I would pursue a better job opportunity if one presented itself. (11.53%)

12 %

No. (1.00%)

1 %

Discover Your Dream Job Worksheets - Free Resource

Many of us left our dream jobs behind as we became adults and faced the responsibilities that came with it. This fillable worksheet will offer you guidelines to help you remember—or reimagine—the career of your dreams. It includes questions to help you remember long-forgotten dream jobs, prompts to remind you of your natural strengths and help you brainstorm what your dream job might be now, and tips for how to look for clues to your dream job, piece them together, and take the next steps.

Which of these work arrangements is most appealing to you?

FULLY REMOTE: Working from home 100% of the time with no field-travel; onsite onboarding or a periodic (i.e. quarterly or annual onsite meeting(s)/retreat(s) may be required); employers may ask that employees be located in a specific state, region, or country. (50.12%)

50 %

WORK FROM ANYWHERE: Fully remote but with no location parameters and no onsite requirements of any kind. (25.44%)

26 %

PARTIALLY REMOTE: Working from home most of the time but also willing to travel for work as needed. (13.41%)

13 %

HYBRID: Time split between working from home and working from a traditional, onsite office. (8.90%)

9 %

DIGITAL NOMAD: Simultaneously and continuously working and traveling to new locations of your choosing. (2.13%)

2 %

Worker Outlooks on the Job Search Process

What is your primary method of searching for remote jobs?

General online job boards like Indeed or Monster. (27.82%)

28 %

LinkedIn or other social networking sites. (26.32%)

26 %

Dedicated remote job board. (23.81%)

24 %

Google or another search engine. (12.28%)

12 %

Company websites and career pages. (6.01%)

6 %

Networking and referrals from professional contacts. (1.63%)

2 %

Headhunters and recruiters. (1.38%)

1 %

Job fairs or hiring events (in-person or virtual). (0.75%)

1 %

These worksheets will help you evaluate, track, and organize your professional achievements to save time when updating your resume during your remote job search. We provide tips on the 10 times you will want to reference your work achievements, advice on how to track the projects you have worked on and your major accomplishments, and strategies to identify and provide measurable proof of your career wins for inclusion on your resume.

We know searching for a job can feel like a job itself. What do you feel is the most frustrating part of looking for a job?

Never hearing back from an employer or hiring manager, even if it is just to tell me I have been rejected. (19.80%)

20 %

Job scams, especially when looking for work-at-home jobs. (17.79%)

18 %

Too many required qualifications or degrees that do not really impact someone’s ability to do the job. (17.17%)

17 %

Having my application screened by an algorithm rather than by a human being. (17.17%)

17 %

The time it takes to find jobs I am qualified to do. (13.16%)

13 %

The length of the application process. (7.14%)

7 %

Low-paying jobs. (4.64%)

5 %

Vague job descriptions. (3.13%)

3 %

What information in job postings do you wish was presented upfront and more clearly? Select all that apply.*

  1. Compensation amounts.
  2. Level of flexibility, including remote work options, onsite requirements, or hybrid schedule information.
  3. A true and accurate description of the role.
  4. The top qualifications to get hired.
  5. Responsibilities of the job.
  6. A visible career path, including if there are opportunities available for advancement and/or professional development.
  7. Employer provided benefits and perks.
  8. Company culture details.

The Length of Job Searches and Employer Responsiveness

On average, how long does it take you to apply to a job?

10-20 minutes. (29.45%)

30 %

20-30 minutes. (27.44%)

27 %

30 minutes to an hour. (25.94%)

26 %

1-2 hours. (10.90%)

11 %

More than two hours. (6.27%)

6 %

This fillable workbook is an action plan with goal targets and checklists for 30, 60, and 90 days of job searching. We have also included additional tips and resources for completing a successful remote job search, like remote job search checklists and goal-setting activities, sections for identifying your successes and discovering areas for improvement, and opportunities for progress reflection and evaluation.

Give us your best estimate on how long it takes you to hear back from an employer or hiring manager?

More often than not, I get ghosted. (37.47%)

38 %

1-2 weeks. (33.21%)

33 %

3-5 days. (15.41%)

15 %

At least a month. (13.91%)

14 %

Since March 2020, the U.S. labor market has experienced many changes, including fluctuating unemployment and worker shortages in some industries. Do you feel employers and hiring managers are more responsive now during the application process?

I have not noticed a difference. (43.11%)

43 %

No. (37.34%)

37 %

Yes. (19.55%)

20 %

About Virtual Vocations

Virtual Vocations, Inc., founded in 2007, is a private, family-owned, and 100% distributed company. Co-founded by CEO Laura Spawn and her brother, CTO Adam Stevenson, Virtual Vocations connects jobseekers with legitimate, fully remote job openings. All job postings are screened to ensure the highest quality standards. To date, Virtual Vocations has helped more than four million jobseekers find flexible remote work options.

In addition to managing and curating a database that, at any given time, houses more than 15,000 current, hand-screened remote job openings, Virtual Vocations offers jobseekers a number of tools to aid in their job searches. These tools include exclusive, self-paced career courses, digital guides for popular virtual job industries, and downloadable worksheets. The Career Services Division also provides job coaching and interview prep, LinkedIn profile enhancement, and resume and cover letter writing. Virtual Vocations also releases multiple data-driven reports each year on current trends in remote work.

Send questions about Virtual Vocations’ 2023 “Make Your Job Search a Dream” survey report to Kimberly Back. Kim is the Senior Job Data Content Producer and can be emailed at kim (at) virtualvocations (dot) com. Please visit Virtual Vocations’ social media profiles to connect. Visit Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for more remote work content and conversations.

Additional Image credits: Canva; Virtual Vocations images prepared by Kimberly Back

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