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Finding a new job, or even getting your first job, can turn into a frustrating waiting game. Every step, from applications to interviews to final candidate selection, has its own timeline and can differ by company, location, position type, and industry. 

Waiting is the worst part. So, how long will it take?

A woman with her hand on her head looks intently at a piece of paper.

Image source: Getty Images.

How long you can expect it to take to get a job

The average job seeker will spend about five months looking for a new job. This could involve many applications, several resume and cover letter rewrites, and going through the interview process with several companies. 

Glassdoor finds the average length for the interview process is 23.8 days, while Jobvite's 2018 report says 38 days

This isn't hard and fast; it may take you less time. 

Job search timeline breakdown

Let's look at how long each step in the job search process could take you.

After submitting applications

A study by Indeed found that hearing back from the employer took several weeks for 44% of people, one week for 37%, and a lucky 4% heard back within a day. 


Companies can hold rounds of one, two, or even three interviews on the phone or in person. Depending on the size of the candidate pool, interviews alone could take two to three weeks. 

Final offer 

Seven to 10 days is about how long it will take to receive an offer following a final interview. However, some candidates get offered a job on the spot while others are left waiting for several weeks. 

The more money you make and the higher your position, the longer you can expect to wait. Some job searches will also be affected by security hurdles like clearances and background checks. 

How to accelerate your job search

If you're becoming particularly antsy, give these tips a shot to speed up your job search. 

1. Search everywhere 

Make sure you're routinely scouring all the job search sites to ensure you're not missing an opportunity. Sign up for push notifications from these sites so the jobs come to you.

2. Be open to different opportunities/relocation

Consider broadening your hunt. Try searching for titles just adjacent to yours, jobs you're not quite qualified for, or maybe something a little farther away than you initially thought (or even remote positions). A slightly different position or a company that's a little smaller or less well known may actually be a perfect fit. 

3. Send a letter of interest

Not seeing the job you want at a company you love? Send a letter of interest

4. Start telling people you're looking for a job

You've heard it before: It's not always what you know, it's who you know. Start talking about your search to anyone you know -- friends, parents at your kids' school, friends, former co-workers, family, the barista. You never know who knows someone who needs someone like you. 

5. Reach out to recruiters

Search LinkedIn for recruiters who work in your industry. They are the experts in job matching, after all.

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