How many jobs should you apply for to get hired?

Updated on March 30, 2023
How many jobs should I apply for

When job-hunting, it is important to achieve a balance between how many jobs you apply for and how much time and effort you put into each application.

You should apply for a minimum of 10 jobs during your 1st week of job-hunting. Then you should reduce or increase the number of job applications during your 2nd week of job-hunting based on the response rate you get from recruiters.

Based on our research, here is what you should keep in mind:

  • Every job ad gets 100s of application responses.
  • Job-hunting could take you weeks or even months.
  • You might have to apply to 50-100 jobs in one month.
  • You might get responses a week or two after applying.
  • About 20% of applicants are contacted for job interviews.
  • New York is possibly the most competitive city for job-seekers.

Job-hunting can be incredibly time-consuming. On top of that, you are not getting paid despite all your efforts. So let's see how you can approach the job application process in the most optimal and time-efficient way that increases your chances of getting hired.

Is it OK to apply to multiple jobs?

Is it OK to apply to multiple jobs
It is perfectly okay to apply for multiple jobs. In fact, it is highly recommended to do so because usually hundreds of candidates apply for the same job. You stand a better chance of being noticed by recruiters when you apply for multiple jobs.

Keep in mind that there are other people out there who are also job-hunting. Some of them are applying for the same jobs as you. So you are dealing with some level of competition.

For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the US is usually 3 to 4%.

This means that every year there are 6 to 7 million people who are not working for one reason or another. But some of them are actively looking for employment and applying for jobs.

That is why you should apply for multiple jobs to have the best chances of finding a job soon.

Job application protips:

  • Craft a neat resume that highlights your professional competencies.
  • Write a unique position statement for every position that you apply for.
  • Make sure to outline what makes you a perfect fit for each position.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs even if you have no previous work experience.

How many jobs are too many to apply to?

Applying for 10 jobs or more per day during your first week of job-hunting might be way too many. This means that after a week, you’d have applied to over 70 jobs, and you might end up being contacted by way too many recruiters, which is stressful and self-sabotaging.

Applying for too many jobs is a common mistake among rookie job-seekers. In HR lingo, this is referred to as “resume bombing” or “resume spamming” and it is a major red flat.

Don't fall into this trap of thinking that more is better when it comes to job applications.

Instead, take the time to carefully tailor each application, presenting yourself as a promising candidate and using a lot of relevant lingo for the specific role.

This way, you increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters, especially if they use AI to sift through resumes.

How many jobs should you apply for per day?

You should apply for at least 5 to 10 jobs during your first day of job hunting. Then you can apply for 3 to 5 jobs per day for a week or so. This way, you should be able to gauge the job market and determine if you should increase or lower the number of job applications per day.

It all comes down to how soon and how often you are getting responses to your applications.

Keep in mind that the responses from employers might start to come a few days or a whole week after your first batch of job applications. If you have a hard time finding a job, consider applying for seasonal positions.

How many jobs should you apply for per week?

You should apply for 10 to 20 jobs per week in cities where the job market is highly competitive.

This way, you should be able to get a decent response rate from recruiters and still have enough time to tailor each application for the specific role you are applying for.

The best part about applying for many jobs every week and having lots of options is that it allows you to negotiate salary without fear of losing job offers.

How many jobs should you apply for at once?

You should apply for at least 10 jobs at once when you begin job-hunting. You should apply for 15 or even 20 jobs at once if you won’t be able to apply for more jobs during the next few days. This way, you will increase your chance of getting responses from employers.

If you are only able to apply for jobs once or twice per week, then make sure to apply for at least 15 to 20 jobs on a weekly basis.

If you are not getting many responses, then you can adjust and increase the number of applications.

How many jobs should you apply for at one company?

How many jobs should I apply for at one company
You should apply for up to 2 jobs at one company. You can get away with 3 in some cases but even that might be seen negatively. The main concern with applying for too many jobs in one company is that you might be seen as somebody who doesn’t know what they want to do.

Applying for as many jobs as you can at one company is usually a red flag for recruiters. You will be seen as either desperate or poorly qualified to do any of the jobs you applied for.

Applying for 2 jobs at one company is reasonable because there might be some similarities between the two positions.

Of course, there might be a third position that is somehow similar. So in that case it would make sense to apply for the third one as well.

Applying for more than that is where you start to communicate the wrong message. Eagerness to start working for a company in itself is not a bad thing.

But applying for too many positions is definitely not the right way to show it. Also, if you are interested in landing an office job, then check out our complete guide on how to get an office job that you actually love.

How many job applications does it take to get a job?

If you have never applied for a job before, you might be wondering how many jobs do you apply for before getting one.

Research shows that, on average, candidates need to apply for 20 to 80 job openings before they get a job offer. Your first priority should be to apply for jobs that you are well-qualified to do and take the time to tailor each individual application to improve your chances of getting responses.

After that, apply for as many as you can on a weekly basis until you get a good response rate from employers. Usually, you can expect a job offer from employers who have said that they will call you.

If you are not seeing any success, then you should move on to job options that you can approach with your transferable experience and professional skills.

If you have no previous work experience, consider volunteering to acquire some experience and useful transferable skills.

My advice for keeping track of job applications

At some point, your job-hunting efforts will come to fruition. The calls and emails from hiring managers will start to come in. You will be getting job interview offers. Possibly lots of them.

In situations like these, my experience has taught me to keep a job application spreadsheet. So my advice to you is to create columns with direct links to the job ads and keep track of the various stages of interactions. Did you get a call yet? Do you have an interview scheduled? That sort of thing.

This way, you will avoid responding to the same job ad twice, and you will keep track of your progress.

One more thing that you should anticipate is that the calls and emails from recruiters might continue for a while after you have found a job.

This might lead to some awkward conversations and message exchanges with recruiters. So here are some tips on how to respond to recruiters and explain that you are no longer looking for a job.

Written by:
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galin office topics square
co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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