How Many Applications Does It Take To Get A Job? [2022]

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 9, 2021

Research Summary. Getting a job is no easy task, especially with tight competition and increased challenges during the application and recruitment process. Let’s look at the numbers on how many applications it takes to get a job:

  • It takes 21 to 80 job applications to get one job offer, on average.

  • The average corporate job opening receives roughly 250 applications.

  • 61.7% of job seekers get at least one interview by sending between 1-10 job applications.

  • 51% of job seekers receive a job offer after having three job interviews.

job offer probability by applications sent
Jop Application Stats by: Interview | Demographics | Job Offers | ATS

Job Seeker Statistics

  • The average job seekers uses up to 16 sources during their job search.

    The majority of job seekers use websites and mobile apps to find and apply for jobs. Mobile-friendly job application portals are especially important to millennials, as 1 in 10 millennials would stop considering a company if they could not apply for the position using their mobile device.

  • 80% of jobs are filled through networking.

    Recent research shows that the majority of jobs in the U.S. are filled through networking or personal and professional connections. In fact, according to an article published by CNBC, roughly 70% of jobs are never published publicly on job sites.

  • Job seekers across the nation spend more than 10 hours every week looking for a job.

    Job seekers spend, on average, 11 hours a week searching for jobs. A good chunk of that time is used to craft resumes and supplemental cover letters and portfolios, since 53% of U.S. employers say that a resume doesn’t provide enough information to assess a person’s professional abilities.

  • Job seekers who apply for 21 to 80 jobs have the highest probability of receiving a job offer.

    Job seekers who apply for 21 to 80 jobs have a 30.89% chance of receiving a job offer, according to BLS statistics. Meanwhile, job seekers who apply for 11 to 20 jobs have a 29.48% chance of receiving a job offer, and those who apply for more than 81 jobs have a 20.36% chance of receiving a job offer.

Interview Statistics

  • Roughly 22% of applicants who apply for any given job land an interview.

    On average, approximately 118 people apply for any given job, according to a Forbes report. Of those 118 applicants, only 22% will be invited to interview for the position. Therefore, for every 118 job applicants submitted, roughly 24 people will advance to the interview stage of the hiring process.

  • Job seekers who have had at least one interview have a 36.89% chance of receiving a job offer.

    Job seekers who have submitted a job application and have had a job interview have a 36.89% chance of receiving a job offer, while job seekers who have submitted a job application and have not had a job interview have only a 9.94% chance of receiving a job offer.

  • Applicants with an employee referral get an interview 50% of the time.

    There’s no question that employee referrals are an impactful way to get an edge of the competition. They not only boost your interview chances, but your odds of landing the job as well. 20% of employee referrals result in the referred person being hired for the position.

Interviews Received by Applications Sent

applications send and interviews received

Applications Per Job by Demographics

  • Women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men.

    Most women will only apply to a job in which they meet 100% of the criteria, while the majority of men will apply for a job if they meet at least 60% of the criteria. This translates to women being, on average, 16% less likely than men to apply for any given job.

  • Women are 16% more likely than men to get hired after applying to any given job and 18% more likely than men to get hired after applying to a senior-level job.

    Although women are less likely to submit a job application than men, they are more likely to be hired once they apply for a job.

  • Since 1990, White applicants have received roughly 36% more callbacks than Black applicants with identical resumes and professional qualifications.

    In addition, White applicants also receive about 24% more callbacks than Latino applicants with identical resumes and professional qualifications. Clearly, hiring discrimination continues to exist against people of color in the United States.

  • Job applicants aged 29 to 31 receive approximately 35% more callbacks than job applicants aged 64 to 66 with similar skills and abilities.

    Middle-aged candidates receive more callbacks than older candidates. Age discrimination is also alive and well in the hiring process.

Job Offer Statistics

  • 56% of all U.S. employers reported that an applicant rejected their job offer in 2012.

    Roughly half of all job offers made by businesses in the United States are rejected by candidates, making it even harder to find and hire quality candidates in almost every professional industry.

    top reasons for declining job offers

  • Being unemployed for 27+ weeks reduces yor probability of receiving a job offer by 12.5%.

    Applicants who are unemployed for less than 5 weeks have a 30.94% chance of receiving a job offer, while those who are unemployed for 27+ weeks have an 18.44% chance.

  • effect of unemployment on job offers

  • 23.24% of people who reject a job offer do so because the wage was too low.

    The primary reason job offers are rejected is because of low wages. In addition, 13.25% of people who reject a job offer do so because of personal reasons, and 12.13% of people who reject a job offer do so because the work hours are inconvenient for their schedule.

  • It typically takes job seekers at least two months to land a job.

    Job seekers in the United States usually spend two months or more looking for work before they receive and accept a job offer. The amount of time it takes from the beginning of a person’s job search journey to finally landing a job can vary by location and industry.

Top Reasons Why Applicants Decline a Job Offer

Reason Percent
Low wage 23%
Personal reasons 13%
Inconvenient hours 12%
Commute 10%
Not flexible enough 6%
Too few hours 6%
Job is bad match for skills 6%
Job requires relocation 3%
Bad benefits 1%
Bad promotion potential 0%
Other reason 15%

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Statistics

  • 95% of all Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems.

    Almost all big companies in the United States use applicant tracking systems. Although the trend of using ATS during the recruitment process is most popular among large companies, it is becoming more widely used by mid and small-sized companies as well.

  • Applicant tracking systems weed out about 75% of all job applications.

    Applicant tracking systems, or ATS, are widely used to scan resumes and weed out job applications. About 75% of all job applications are never seen by human eyes.

  • Talent management software weeds out about half of all job applications.

    In addition to applicant tracking systems, a majority of U.S. companies use talent management software to get rid of up to 50% of applications as soon as they are submitted.

    The software analyzes applications for keywords and relevant experience and weeds through resumes and cover letters before a recruiter even looks at them.

Job Applications Per Job Offer FAQ

  • What are applicant tracking systems?

    Applicant tracking systems, often abbreviated to ATS, are computer programs designed to scan resumes, cover letters, and job applications and determine if a candidate would be a good fit for a specific role based on their skills, experience, and professional qualifications.

    Today, applicant tracking systems are used by almost every major company in the United States. The software is used to both organize and streamline the hiring process and, in doing so, typically weeds out about 75% of job applications.

  • How many job applications should I send each day?

    You should send 2 or 3 job applications each day. Ultimately, the quality of your job applications and how well the jobs match your skill set and experience is more important than the number of jobs you apply for.

    Consider the statistic from above that those who apply to 81 or more jobs have a 20% of getting a job offer, compared to those who apply for 1-80 having a 27-31% chance. The takeaway is that it’s better to apply for fewer jobs and put more effort into things like tailoring your resume for each job and writing great cover letters.

  • How many applications does it take to get an interview?

    It takes between 1-100 applications to get an interview. Job seekers who sent between 1-10 applications have a 61.7% of getting at least one interview, while those who sent 81 or more aplications have an 85.2% chance.

    The sweet spot, however, seems to be between 21-80 applications. This gives you an 81.8% chance of getting at least one interview, and the greatest odds of converting an interview into a job offer as well.

  • How many interviews is normal?

    Two to three interviews is normal. Companies typically invite 6-10 candidates per job opening to an interview, and then narrow that number down to the top 2-3 candidates over 2-3 interviews.

    Larger companies tend to have more rounds of interviews, while small businesses often make decisions two rounds of interviews or fewer.

Conclusion

Looking for a new job can be tough, but having a thorough understanding of recruitment, hiring, and job application statistics can help you find your dream role that much faster.

Today, it takes anywhere from 100 to 200 applications for the average job-seeker to receive a single job offer. Making things even harder is that, on average, every corporate job opening in the U.S. receives approximately 250 applications.

No matter where you’re at in the job application process, it’s important to remember that 51% of job seekers receive a job offer after having three job interviews. Although competition can be tense when looking for a job and submitting applications, you’ll be well on your way to finding work in no time with determination and hard work.

References

  1. Forbes. “7 Things you Probably Didn’t Know About Your Job Search.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  2. U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics. “How Do Jobseekers Search For Jobs? New Data On Applications, Interviews And Job Offers.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  3. Career Builder. “New Career Builder Study Unveils Surprising Must Knows For Job Seekers And Companies Looking To Hire.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  4. CNBC. “How To Get A Job Often Comes Down To One Elite Personal Asset, And Many People Still Don’t Realize It.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  5. LinkedIn. “New Report: Women Apply To Fewer Jobs Than Men, But Are More Likely To Get Hired.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  6. Harvard Business Review. “Hiring Discrimination Against Black Americans Hasn’t Declined In 25 Years.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  7. SHRM. “Hiring In The Age Of Ageism.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  8. CNBC. “75% Of Resumes Are Never Read By A Human — Here’s How To Make Sure Your Resume Beats The Bots.” Accessed on September 1, 2021.

  9. Career Pivot. “Employee Referrals — Your Ticket to Your Next Job.” Accessed on December 10, 2021.

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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