3 answers

How long does it take to get a job?

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3 answers

Jeff’s Answer


The time it takes to "land a job" is wildly varied depending on the time you invest in it, the needs in the market, and the companies you are working with, however I spent a good deal of my career at CareerBuilder investigating job seeker patterns and helping organizations find the right talent as quickly as possible. Here are a few things I learned, and you can find a lot more at https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice :

  • Most people will apply for 20-30 jobs and of all of the resumes entered into an organization's "Applicant Tracking System" it is very common that only 10-20% of those will ever get in front of an actual recruiter, so be persistent, connect with recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn, and make sure your public profile/resume is professional, cohesive, and well-written.
  • Generally, a recruiting process will have a couple of phone calls or meetings with Recruiters before being passed onto a 'hiring manager' (the person you would directly report to). That person will likely have 2 or more managers they want you to meet, and there may be a panel of peers to talk with as well. You can expect to speak with 5-10 people before receiving a job offer in most organizations.
  • There are MANY bottlenecks across an organization that can impact timing - Various higher priority positions, external factors (like leadership changes or market conditions), and even a busy summer vacation schedule that makes a 4 person conference call take 3 weeks is a common factor. Do not perceive a delay as a negative sign, rather keep up with persistent, professional (not annoying) follow-up.
  • From "hello to hire", over 5 years, some of the fastest processes I saw were about 3 weeks, but especially with salaried or technical positions, 2 months was much more common. Hourly positions for industries like retail and hospitality can take as little as one week, however.

Overall, if you are planning for graduation, or starting to look for a new job before leaving your current position, I've always advised starting the search 90 days before you need to be in-position, and maybe longer depending on if the role requires proof of technical expertise, certifications, or other needs outside of interviews and applications.

Jeff recommends the following next steps:

  • Prepare as much as possible - Review, re-write, and get others to proofread your resume, make sure your online persona (including social media and anything showing up in a Google Search) reflects on you positively, and have a couple of people you can rely on for a reference if requested.
  • Be flexible with your job search, consider you might work in an industry or company you are unfamiliar with as long as it is work you can fulfill. Unless you are an executive in an organization, or in an extremely tight job market, you should not be picky, especially in the earlier hiring stages.
  • Know your limits - What compensation are you comfortable with? What roles are you qualified for? Where would you be willing to take a 'lower-end' position with the potential to rise through the ranks?
  • DO NOT LOSE YOUR CONFIDENCE just because of a delay in response. Stay persistent and remember there are nearly infinite reasons that an employer may not respond to you, and only a few of those reasons are related to your fit for the role.
  • Use multiple sources - Networking sites like LinkedIn, Job Boards like CareerBuilder, Monster, and Indeed, 3rd party recruiters, workforce services through your local government, personal connections, and lists from sites like Forbes or Glassdoor that rank employers - Search Google for things like "Best Sales Positions in Detroit" or "Truck Driver jobs in Chicago".

Brooke’s Answer


Hi Jesse,

The length of time to get a job can really vary quite a bit depending on the type of career you are pursuing and when you are looking to secure a job.

What type of job were you looking to pursue? That will help me provide a more guided answer to the best of my ability.

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

George’s Answer


Build interview experience, learn from your 'failed' interviews, keep applying and networking.

George recommends the following next steps:

  • Highly recommend reading - What Color is Your Parachute? Book by Richard Nelson Bolles