How Long Does it Take to Hear Back From a Job Application?

Mar 26, 2021

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

Let’s face it, the job search process is often lengthy and stressful. Waiting to hear back from a job application for a position you really want is probably the worst part of the job search process. Many job seekers want to know how long it takes to hear back from hiring managers or employers after submitting a resume. The answer depends on when and where you’re submitting your job application. 

In this post, we’ll show you how long it takes to hear back after applying for a job as well as cover many related questions. Here is what this article covers:

How long does it take to hear back after applying for a job online?

1. Look for a “closing date” on the job posting

2. Figure out how big the company is

3. Consider the ATS

What to do while you wait for a response to your job application

1. Keep your job search organized

2. Don’t get discouraged

3. Network

How long does it take to hear back after applying for a job online?

You could hear back anywhere from within a few hours or a few weeks. That’s probably not the answer you were waiting to hear but there are some ways to get a good idea as to when you’ll hear back. We’ll show a few different situations and when you could expect to hear back from the employer or hiring manager after sending a resume.

1. Look for a “closing date” on the job posting

The first thing you can do is check the job posting and see if there is a closing date. Some online postings will contain a “closing date” which means they will be accepting applications until that day.

Job closing date

If that’s the case, you can expect to hear back within one week or so after the closing date. They rarely ever hire someone before the closing date so don’t get discouraged or send a follow up email before that date. If you don’t hear back a week after the closing date, you could follow up with an email.

We wrote a good post on following up on a resume submission with some great examples.

2. Figure out how big the company is

You can also get an idea as to when they’ll reply based on the size of the company. If you’re sending it to a small or medium sized company, you can expect a response within a few days or up to a week.

If you’re sending it to a large organization, it can be anywhere from a few minutes to a month. It really depends on the number of applicants and whether someone was already offered a job.

There could be a few weeks of interviews lined up and if they couldn’t find anyone to fill the role, they’ll begin calling other candidates.

If you’re sending an email to a recruiter or hiring manager directly then you could also expect a reply within a few days.

Average response time after submitting a resume. Small to midsize company: under a week. Large company: one to four weeks.

3. Consider the ATS

Most large organizations utilize an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) which automatically screen resumes. You may receive an automated email telling you that they’ve received it or that you’re not the right match within minutes of applying for the job. Your resume should be keyword optimized and formatted for these ATS scans as they reject nearly 75% of candidates. If you’re immediately rejected for a job and you know you were qualified, it’s time to revamp your resume. 

You can see how your resume does in an actual ATS screening with our free resume review.

Check ATS compatibility

What to do while you wait for a response to your job application

So what now?

Don’t sit back and wait on a few companies to get back to you. Keep sending out your resume to as many positions as you’re qualified for. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the job search process.

1. Keep your job search organized

Use Excel, Word or any other application to keep track of when you applied to the position. This will help you follow up with each company in the right time frame. We have a related post with tips on how to keep a job search organized. You can also check out Startwire which helps you keep track of your job applications. 

2. Don’t get discouraged

Many job seekers face job search depression only after a few weeks of applying. There is a lot of competition out there and although it’s easier said than done, you need to be patient and keep applying. As we mentioned above, it can take anywhere from a day to over a month to hear back about a job.

3. Network

Don’t rely solely on job boards when looking for a new job. Networking is still the best way to land a job today and many job seekers don’t take advantage of it. Reach out to friends, family, and old colleagues to see if there is anyone who can refer you for a job. Remember that those people also know people, your network is really exponential so don’t neglect it.

Related read: How to Network on LinkedIn in 2021

Summary

So how long does it typically take for a company to respond to a candidate’s job application during the hiring process?

When you’ll hear back after submitting your resume depends on a few factors such as the size of the company and the amount of applicants. It can be anywhere from a day to over a few months so don’t sit around waiting to get a response.

Keep sending your resume out to as many positions as you’re qualified for and don’t forget to network. If you’re not getting interviews, you may need to change or job search strategy or improve your resume. Also keep in mind that networking is the most effective way to land a job.

Good luck with your job search!

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