How Long Does a Job Search Usually Last?

A question originally found on Quora, job seekers want to know “How long does a job search usually last?”. If you’re searching for a new career opportunity, it makes sense that you’d want an approximate idea of how long it might take to get hired.

However, many different factors affect the length of a job search. Here’s a look at several elements that play into it.

Four Factors That Influence the Length of a Job Search


All industries don’t hire at equal rates. For example, the median time to hire for engineering is 49 days, compared with 41 days for management, 34 days for customer service and 33 days for administrative positions, according to a study conducted by LinkedIn. Therefore, if you start searching for a job at the same time as a friend who works in another industry, one of you might get hired faster, simply because you work in different fields.

Geographic Location

Different jobs are in demand in different parts of the country. Generally speaking — and also depending on your field — there are typically more opportunities in urban areas than rural ones. Therefore, you probably have a better chance of finding a job faster in a big city than in a small town.

Professional Experience

While frustrating, many jobs require some degree of professional work history. Candidates with more experience are often favored because many hiring managers perceive them as having more to offer and taking less time to train. Therefore, if you have at least a few years of experience in your field, you might get hired faster than someone without it.

Search Method

There are many different ways to find a job, and some tend to produce faster results than others. For example, if you’re only applying to jobs online at random, it can take a lot longer to get hired than working with a staffing firm. This is because hiring managers value recommendations from people they know and trust. Adding a new member to a team is a big deal, so they prefer candidates a contact stands behind.

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