Here’s How Long It Really Takes to Land a New Job


If you are fishing for a job lead without a bite from recruiters, take solace in knowing that you are not alone in this frustrating waiting game.

A new survey by recruitment agency Randstad US looked into the job-hunting experiences of 2,000 Americans and found that it takes, on average, five months to finally land a new job.

Woman job search latop
Woman job search latop

Here are the steps that the average job hunt entails:

  • four different edited versions of a resume

  • seven applications submitted

  • five job interviews attended

  • four cover letters written

These numbers may seem high or low depending on the circumstances of your job search. It helps to already have a job when you are looking for a new one. If you have been unemployed for longer than six months, your chances of finding a job decrease significantly, Northwestern University researchers found. When you have already have a job, your search can be less urgent as you wait for the right opportunity.

If you are not within the average of job-hunting time periods, do not despair. It is normal to feel disappointed when you see colleagues land jobs quickly. Recognize that you do not know the hours of work they put to get that job behind the scenes.

Accepting that these feelings of disappointment, though unpleasant at the moment, are temporary is one of the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. To get in the right mindset for a job hunt, do not compare your job-seeking timeline to others. Learn that someone else’s success is not your personal failure.

Looking for a job can be a surprisingly long journey of dead ends and unforeseen roadblocks. This survey brings comfort with the knowledge that we are all on these bumpy journeys together.

What are your best job search tips? Share them with us @BritandCo.

This post was previously published by Monica Torres on

(Photo via Getty)