How Long To Hear Back After Applying For A Job?

Submitting your polished resume, cover letter, and application materials for a job feels good, but knowing how long to hear back after applying for a job from the employer feels even better.

Unfortunately, each day that passes without a response adds a bit of anxiety, and you start to wonder if you’ll ever hear back.

In this article, you’ll learn how long to hear back after applying for a job, and steps you can take to boost your odds of getting responses in less time.

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How Long To Hear Back After Applying For A Job

After applying for a job, you should expect to hear back within one to two weeks. 

If the job is a high priority, or if the company is small and efficient, an employer may respond a lot quicker.

It may also take longer for an employer to respond to a job application or resume submission if an employer has other priorities at the time you apply.

Conversely, certain jobs, such as those for government positions, may take up to six to eight weeks to respond.

It is possible to wait three or four weeks and still hear positive news from the employer. 

This can emerge when an employer was preoccupied with other business objectives, developing a new hiring budget at the start of the year, had a few key employees on vacation, and was unable to interview you, or for a variety of other reasons.

This, however, is not particularly common. I recommend that you assume the company will just not call after two weeks. 

That way, you can concentrate on applying for more jobs and contacting other employers.

You also can follow up if you want especially if you had specific reasons for wanting the position or felt qualified.

I don’t recommend following up on every job application in general. However, I do recommend that you follow up after each interview.

You can, however, choose which applications to check on after two weeks.

What To Do When You Are Waiting to Hear Back About A Job

The most important thing to do while waiting for a response for a job application is to keep applying for new positions. 

Waiting for a single employer will only increase your anxiety and reduce the number of options you have in your job search, potentially causing you to be unemployed for longer.

Employers typically interview 6-10 candidates per job. 

They also frequently put jobs on hold, decide to promote someone internally, change their search criteria in the middle of the process, and so on.

What’s my point?

The point is that there are too many uncontrollable parameters in a job search and waiting for a single employer after applying for a job is risky.

In fact, even if you have already had an interview and are confident that it went well, you should always keep on applying for jobs until you’ve signed a job offer and set a start date.

Most job seekers do not adhere to this, and as a result, their job search takes weeks or months longer than it should.

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Steps To Take When You Haven’t Heard Back From The Employer

When you’re waiting to get a phone call or email about a job you applied for, you may wonder what the right way is to follow up about your application without seeming desperate or inconvenient. 

Use a timeline like this one when you haven’t heard back from an employer:

1. Review The Job Description Or Posting

If you are unsure of when and how to follow up with an employer about a job you applied for, check the original job posting. 

There may be information that tells you how long you can expect to wait before receiving a reply. 

For example, if the employer plans to respond within two weeks, then you shouldn’t contact them before that two-week period passes. 

However, if the description says you will receive a reply within five to ten business days, and you still haven’t heard back after 10 days, the employer is more likely to welcome a follow-up.

2. Continue Your Job Search

As you wait to hear back from a job, continue your job search. 

You will most likely find other options if you are not asked for an interview. 

It can also help alleviate your nerves and give you a sense of control to apply for multiple jobs.

3. Write A Follow-Up Email To The Employer

After the one-week mark or the amount of time the employer specified to wait.

Consider writing a follow-up email to demonstrate your interest in the position and remind them about any relevant details on your application. 

Your follow-up email should be brief and include the following components:

  • Subject
  • Salutation and name of the recipient
  • Personable statement
  • Full name
  • The position you applied for and the reasons you are a good fit for the role
  • Inquiry about the status of your application
  • Closing statement with forward-focused language
  • Closing salutation
  • Full name
  • Contact details

Here is an example of an email using the above format:

Subject: Following Up About Application For The Marketing Manager position

Hello Casey Markham,

My name is Jordan Bailey and I am writing to follow up on the status of my application for the Marketing Manager position within your company. Because the experience, I acquired during my internship and current role match the job description, I look forward to speaking with you at your earliest convenience to further explain the details on my resume.


Jordan Bailey


[email protected]

4. Make A Phone Call To The Employer

After you send a follow-up email to an employer, you may decide to send a second follow-up email after a period of time, or a phone call. 

Be sure to call during business hours to ensure your best chance of speaking with a company employee. 

When the employer answers the phone, be sure to incorporate the following into your conversation:

  • Greet them by name
  • Introduce yourself
  • Ask how they are
  • State your reasoning for your call
  • Maintain a professional, friendly tone of voice
  • Thank them for their time

Below is a perfect example:

‘Hello, is this Casey Markham? 

This is Jordan Bailey, how are you today? 

I was calling to follow up on my application for the position of Marketing Manager. 

I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me, have a great day.’

5. Spread Out Your Attempts To Contact The Employer

Be sure to space out your follow-ups with an employer to avoid seeming desperate or making the employer feel overwhelmed. 

For instance, if you send a follow-up email on Monday, consider sending another email or giving them a phone call on the following Monday if you don’t get a response the first time.

6. Know When To Pursue Other Opportunities

If you still haven’t heard back after your follow-up attempts, allow yourself to move on to other opportunities. 

Remember that you do have something to offer and the right position will come along.

How To Get Responses Faster After Applying A Job 

There is no guarantee that you will get a reply about a job you applied for, but there are ways you can ensure that you tried your best to engage with an employer about your candidacy. 

Here are a few responses that may help you get faster responses about your job application:

  • Only apply for jobs where you meet if not all the requirements. 

This ensures that you spend time applying for jobs that give you the best chance of receiving a reply.

  • If the application asks for your salary expectations, say you’re open to negotiation. 

If you set your expectations in your application, an employer may overlook you due to your specific expectations.

  • Match your resume and cover letter to specific keywords in the job description. 

The employer may use ATS (Application Tracking Software) to pick and choose applications that have the most relevant wording based on the job description.

Why Does It Take Long to Hear Back From A Job Application?

It takes a long time to receive a response to a job application because employers receive a large number of applications and hiring managers to have many priorities other than hiring in a given week.

A hiring manager, for example, may also be managing their existing team, holding employee meetings, setting new departmental goals and initiatives, and so on.

So while finding a job might be your top priority, hiring isn’t always a manager’s top priority in a given week; it’s just one of many.

Recruiters do not have all of these additional responsibilities, but they frequently recruit for multiple jobs and may require several days or more to sort through the large number of applications received.


With this, you now have a better understanding of how long it takes to hear back or receive a response after applying for a job.

While it will always take some time for employers to review your application and respond, you can get responses more frequently and quickly by tailoring your resume and being introduced to employers through networking.

I covered these tips throughout this article, so if you scrolled down to the bottom and skipped most of it, I’d recommend you take a closer look again.

Thanks for reading!!

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