FAQ: How Many Applications Does It Take To Get a Job?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 4, 2022

Published August 4, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

It's relatively normal for candidates to spend several weeks to one or more months searching for the right job. Sending out multiple applications each week that you customize to a specific position can increase your chances of getting a job. If you're currently searching for a job, it's important to balance submitting multiple applications with other tasks that can help you find the best employment opportunity for you. In this article, we answer several frequently asked questions about how many job applications you should send during your job search.

How many applications does it take to get a job?

The number of job applications you might need to send out before getting a job can vary. Getting the right job can sometimes require candidates to send out many applications. The exact number of applications depends on many factors, including current economic conditions and your years of experience in the field.

How many applications should I send each week?

In many cases, it's beneficial to apply to ten to fifteen different jobs each week or two to three jobs per day. Sending out two to three job applications each day can help you increase your odds of receiving attention from hiring managers at the companies you apply to. With two or three applications each day, you can make sure that you customize each job application for the specific company and position.

Related: How Many Job Applications Should You Send Per Day?

How can you increase your chances of getting a job?

Here are some methods that may help improve your chances of receiving a job:

1. Narrow your job search

Focus on specific industries or roles during your job search. It might seem like the more jobs you apply for, the more you increase your chances of getting a job. However, it's actually more effective to perform a targeted search for the jobs you're most interested in having. When you specify the parameters of your job search, you can spend more time personalizing your application materials for the jobs you want the most.

2. Read the basic requirements

Before applying for a job, review the basic qualifications and make sure that you have those experiences or skills. Most hiring managers only move candidates forward in the hiring process if those candidates meet the job's fundamental requirements. While it's okay if you don't match some of a job's preferred qualifications, it's essential to possess all or nearly all of the required ones.

3. Incorporate keywords into your resume

Include keywords for the position and industry on your resume. Some companies use applicant tracking system (ATS) software to screen candidates for a job position. These companies often program their ATS to search for specific words or phrases, known as keywords, that indicate which candidates have the necessary qualifications for the open position.

Find keywords for your resume by selecting words and phrases from the qualifications listed in a job posting. Personalize different versions of your resume for each of the jobs you apply for by including keywords unique to that company's job posting, goals or values. You can also find keywords for your field or position by searching online or checking with colleagues or members of your network within the same industry.

Related: How To Use Resume Keyword Scanners To Get Your Resume Noticed

4. Emphasize your unique qualifications

Highlight your unique skills, experiences, traits and achievements throughout your application. An open job position might receive dozens, hundreds or even thousands of applications. Distinguish your application by pointing out any abilities, experiences or other qualifications that might differentiate you as a candidate.

5. Include only the most relevant information

Write information in each application most relevant to the specific position. A resume should typically be only one to two typed pages. Try to minimize listing skills, experiences or other qualifications that are perhaps more relevant to a different job type or field. For example, if you're changing careers or industries, include on your resume only those experiences that best show your transferrable skills.

6. Submit a cover letter

Write and send a cover letter with your application. A cover letter can be an opportunity to explain in more detail your unique or outstanding achievements, abilities or experiences. Cover letters can also you give the chance to discuss gaps in your resume or other qualifications that may require more of an explanation. Even if a job does not require a cover letter, including one can help distinguish you as a candidate.

Read more: How To Write a Cover Letter

7. Edit your application

Edit and proofread your resume, cover letter and any other application materials before you submit them. Make sure that your content is as clear as possible and highlights your best and most relevant attributes for a specific job position. Be sure to check for spelling errors, typos and other tiny mistakes.

How long does it take to find a job on average?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in June 2021 was 19.8 weeks. This equals about five months. However, the exact time it might take you to find a job can vary based on many factors, including your years of experience, credentials and location. External factors, such as developments within your chosen industry and economic conditions, can also affect how long it takes you to get a job.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Find a Job?

Is it okay to apply for two jobs at the same company?

In general, you should only apply for one job at a time within one company. If you receive notice that you did not get a job, then you can apply for another job at that same company. However, try to avoid applying for multiple jobs simultaneously at the same company. If you're applying to a company where you previously advanced in their hiring process, such as by getting an interview or taking a skills test, be sure to mention that in your next application to that company, as this may help you advance faster through the application process.

What steps besides submitting an application can help you get a job?

Besides submitting an application, there are other measures you can take to help you find a job. Here is some advice for getting a job in addition to sending in your application materials:

Use your network

Build, maintain and reach out to your network. Many people find their jobs by building new connections in their network or connecting with professionals already in their network. Reach out to friends, colleagues, former supervisors and other professionals in your network to see if they know of any employment opportunities for which you might be a good fit.

You can also try connecting with professionals you haven't met before at companies you're interested in working at. Reach out to someone over email or through a professional online platform who has a job title similar to the one you hope to get and ask if they're willing to connect.

Read more: The Complete Guide To Networking

Create a quick verbal summation

Prepare a brief speech about what you want from your next job and what your primary qualifications are. You can use this short verbal summation during interviews or when networking. Having a prepared speech about your hopes for your next job and your unique skills or experiences can help others get a better idea of what the best job for you might be.

Stay up-to-date on industry developments

Remain informed about the latest trends, news and developments within your field. Doing so can help you know the most important qualifications to mention in your resume or during an interview. It can also prepare you to have a knowledgeable conversation with hiring managers or professionals in your network that demonstrates your awareness of your industry.

Follow up on your applications

Follow up on your job applications through email or a phone call. If you haven't heard back about a job you applied to within two weeks, reach out to the person who posted the job to inquire politely about the status of your application. If you are unsure of who posted the job application, contact a hiring manager or administrative assistant. Keep the message brief as you reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and your major qualifications.

Read more: How To Follow Up on a Job Application

Prepare for interviews

Prepare ahead of time for interviews by reviewing some common interview questions, such as the reason you want the job, your most relevant skills and previous related experiences. Depending on the role, it's also essential to prepare for questions that test your ability to perform the job. Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can help you appear more confident and showcase your best qualities during your interview.

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