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

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017

A waiting period begins once you have sent applications for job openings. This waiting period may vary depending on the number of applications the employer has received, the resources available to the company for evaluating the applications and the direct need for a new employee. The more proactive you are after sending a job application, the greater the chance you will get an answer regarding your application.

Examine Job Posting

Read over the job posting to find an estimated time period where you can expect to receive an answer regarding your job application. An employer may provide a date, where all applications must be submitted for evaluation. Don't expect to hear from the employer prior to this date, as the employer may not be looking at the applications. It is common that employers contact those selected for an interview after one or two weeks after the final submission date. If you have not heard anything from the employer after three to four weeks, it is likely that you have not been selected for an interview.

Reasons for Delay

Although some people stop hoping for a job after a month of silence from the employer, there are several situations that can cause a delay in response. For instance, the employer may have received hundreds of applications, which can take weeks to sort through. Also, the employer’s decision to postpone the hiring process is also another reason why the interview process is stalled. This does not mean that you are not qualified, so follow up on the application to learn of your status in the hiring process.

Be Proactive

Being proactive will help you learn where your specific job application is in the hiring process. Writing a follow-up letter or email or placing a follow-up phone call will give you an answer of how the employer is doing in terms of reviewing the application. The employer will see your follow-up method as you showing interest in the job, which can put you ahead of the applicants who don't follow up on their applications.

Follow-Up Letter

Follow basic procedures if you decide to write a follow-up letter or email for your job application. Use proper professional salutations and closing, so the employer feels respected. Use “Dear” and “Sincerely,” rather than “Hello” and “From” for example. Thank the employer for considering you for the position and express your interest in this particular job opening. Tell the employer he may contact you with new information regarding an interview, but end the letter by stating that you will contact him within a few days to see if your application has been reviewed.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.