How Long Does it Take to Hear Back from a Job?

How Long Does it Take to Hear Back from a Job?

Submitting the job application is the first step towards your dream job. Getting accepted and hearing back from the employer is the main step. But that is never easy. To get selected for the job and hear from the company the person has to have patience. Because the response is never coming soon. It takes time which might increase the anxiety of some people and there might be ways to brush up your skills during that time. How Long Does it Take to Hear Back from a Job?

Usually to hear back from the employer would take one to two weeks. It ultimately depends on the job and the resume. If the job is high profile or has insufficient employees then the response might be sooner. But sometimes it could take three to four weeks to get the reply. The reason behind this could be the employer is busy with some company work or is still managing the budget before hiring new employees. Let’s get into the details of what a person should do while waiting to hear back from the company.

Here is are some steps to following when you have not heard back:

  1. Review your Job Description and Posting: While deciding to follow up with your employee about the job, the first thing to do is to check the job description along with the post. This will give you some idea about when to expect their response. Like if the description states that the employer plans to respond within three weeks then you should wait for that time. If you still didn’t hear back after three weeks the employer would entertain your follow-up.
  2. Continue the Search for Job: While waiting, keep the search for other jobs open. Apply to multiple places which would increase your chances and calm your nerves. This will also lead you to find more potential options. Keep your bar up and focus on multiple options.
  3. Write a Follow-up Email: After your waiting period is complete i.e. the time specified by the employer, you can write a follow-up email to remind the employer about your application and demonstrate your interest in the job. Your follow-up mail should be precise and must include all the components.
  4. Follow up Through Phone Call: Once you have sent the follow-up email the next thing you can do is get follow-up through a phone call.  Make sure you call during business hours so you can communicate with a company employee. While talking on the phone make sure you placed the following points in your conversation with the employer:
    • Always greet them by their name.
    • Make sure to introduce yourself.
    • Attempt to make small conversation like asking them how they are.
    • State your reason for calling.
    • Keep your tone professional as well as friendly.
    • Lastly, thank them for their time.
  5. Space Out your Follow up Attempts: Make sure you spread out your contact attempts with the employer. So that you might not seem desperate and make the employer feel overwhelmed. For example: if you have sent the follow-up email on Monday then consider waiting to send the second mail or make a phone call on the following Monday if you don’t get a response the first time. 
  6. Know When to Grab Other Opportunities: When making all the efforts to hear back and still getting a response make sure to leave that behind. Let go of that job and grab other opportunities available to you. Have faith and remember your worth that you have something to offer to the right position. 

Reasons For Not Hearing Back From The Employer

Everything happens for a reason and that is why there can be reasons behind no response from the employer. If your application is up-to-date and you have experience then you have the chance to get selected but if you have not heard from the employer there might be some explanation behind that. Here are some assumed reasons:

  1. The Employer is Doing More Searching: The moment you send the application to your employer it is first scanned through the applicant tracking system to navigate keywords in your resume which match the job. Then later it is checked physically by an employee of the company. Then the chain of background checks like your experience in work before, your LinkedIn account, Facebook account, and various other social sites like Twitter describes your potential for the job. This process is time-consuming and thus could delay the employer’s reach to you.
  2. Not Enough Time: Sometimes the timing is wrong for your application to reach the employer. A particular job has more than 100 sets of applications and going through all of them takes time. The hiring process is lengthy and the list of applicants is never-ending so many of them didn’t reach the interview stage since the time for the employer to read all the applications is not possible. So it is hardly a difference of your experience and skills that get you to the next stage.
  3. Not Qualified for the Job: Sometimes it’s the obvious reason to not hear back from the employer. That is you are not qualified for that particular job. This could happen rarely because you apply for those jobs you wish to do. But there might be some reasons like your skills don’t match the requirements of the job, you don’t have enough experience and many others. In this case, the company could not tell you legally so they might use the technique to not respond.
  4. Not One Person’s Decision: When you apply for a job your application goes through various sets of eyes. There is never a single person in the selection process. There is a whole team that reviews your application. There might be some who would make a quick decision and others who are still not sure. The hiring manager might like your application but the higher authority rejects it. Since the manager couldn’t tell you that the authority rejected your application he decides not to respond. 

How to Get Faster Response?

There is no certain assurance that you will hear back from the job soon but there are ways you can get a faster response from the employer. Let’s get in the details:

  1. Customize your Resume: When you apply for any other job various other resumes are competing with yours. The employer receives a lot of resumes and he looks for those who are the perfect fit for the company. So when you tailor your resume make sure you keep the job description in mind and then bring in the updated version. A customized resume will level your chance to hear back soon from the employer.
  2. Improve your Network: When you are working in an organization make a note to build your network through employees and managers. Who they know and what they know about the hiring process of other companies. Make connections, improve your LinkedIn account and search for contacts. Build rapport and trustful relationships they could introduce you to the hiring manager. This will help you to know people who might be the key for you to get a faster response. 
  3. Apply to Selective Jobs: Whenever you apply for any job you go through their description that is when you decide whether you are suitable for it or not. So when you are applying a select few have a higher chance for the requirement of your skills. This will improve your hearing response from the employer.
  4. Include Keywords in Your Resume: When writing a cover letter or making changes in your resume make sure to include keywords related to the job description. When the employer uses Application Tracking Software it enables them to select the application with relevant words based on the job description. 

How to Write a Follow-up Email

When you didn’t get a response from the employer you decide to write a follow-up email. The follow-up email must be professional and consistent. Here are the steps to be followed before writing a follow-up email:

  • First, get the hiring manager’s contact details
  • Check the company’s website for hiring details and email-id
  • Check the details before sending the email.

Components of Follow up Email:

  1. Headline: A follow-up email must contain a proper headline so the person you are writing gets the reason behind the email. The details should be clear and straight to the point. Your name, position you applied for should be included in the subject line.
  2. Reminder: After salutation, the reminder parts come in. Here you must remind the employer of your reason for writing this mail. This helps the recipient to recall what the follow-up mail is about. A reminder provides context to your email.
  3. Purpose: This is the part of the email where you offer your proposal. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, potential employees, for the job and highlight your capabilities so that the recipient reconsider you as a prospect.
  4. Call to action: In this part of the email, you express what you wished to achieve by writing the follow-up email. When you state your intended response it is called a call to action. For instance, your follow-up email is for a job application you could ask the hiring manager when they will respond to you. 
  5. Contact details: After the closing salutation makes sure to provide your contact details this will make it easier for the recipient to contact you. You must also provide your full name and your active number. This is the main part that will lead the employer to contact you.  


You don’t have any prior idea about how long it would take to hear back from the employer after submitting your application. It will always take a bit of time as it depends on factors like the number of applications, the size of the company, and mainly on your resume. So while just sitting and waiting for the reply, keep polishing your resume, work on keywords, and apply in other places that have a higher value for your qualification. Following the points given above along with building your networks is the most effective way of getting a faster response.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. When is the best time to follow up?

Answer: Every job has a distinctive period for selection and the applicant must respect that time. After the selective period is over you can send a follow-up email first and later you can either follow up through a phone call. It is necessary to wait for the time set by the company to get over. If you send an email too soon they might think you are desperate or you doubt their work. After a certain time if you didn’t hear back your follow-up email is all welcomed by the company.

  1. How long does it take to make the hiring decision?

Answer: All companies take a different amount of time to make the hiring decision. In the US it takes 23 days for the hiring decision. Government jobs take an average of 58 days, restaurant and bar jobs might require less time say 10 days. The place matters; it takes 32 days to hire in Washington D.C.

  1. Do employers let you know if you didn’t get the job?

Answer: When you don’t hear back from the employer it might be because you are not selected for that job. Employers usually don’t respond when an applicant is not selected. It is very common for companies to not reply when a certain application is rejected. 

  1. How can I increase my chances of getting a job?

Answer: It is possible that you can increase your chances of getting a job and for that, you must have: An updated resume with keywords based on the job description, emphasize your strengths and accomplishments, have networks, and take advantage of that, do prior research about the company. These are some ways which could increase your chances of getting a job.

How Long Does it Take to Hear Back from a Job?

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