How Many Jobs Should I Apply For? (& How to Make A Job Search Plan to Match Your Goal)

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May 12, 2023
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min read

Most job seekers send out well over a hundred applications during the course of their search. While it's difficult to say exactly how many jobs you should apply for, one thing is clear: If you don't put yourself out there and start submitting applications to multiple jobs, you'll easily get left behind.

Looking for a new job? Take a look at the guidelines below for how many job applications you should submit—plus get insider tips on how to sell yourself to hiring managers.

3 Key Takeaways

  • How many applications you should submit
  • The best time to apply for a job
  • Steps for expediting your job search

How many applications you should submit

How many jobs should you apply to? A strong job searching process will likely include 100 job applications. But this number isn't one-size-fits-all for job seekers. How many job applications job seekers send out depends on individual situations and your timeline. And while it might seem like the more applications you submit, the better your odds, this might not always be true.

You ultimately want to focus on relevance over volume; the quality of the job postings you apply for is more important than the quantity of job applications you send out. So don't feel rushed to apply for as many jobs as possible. 

These 100 applications might be spaced out over several months. Instead of immediately applying to all of the job openings you see, you need to take the time to make sure each opportunity is genuinely a good fit for you. A smaller number of high-quality applications is better than a larger number of poor ones.

But really, how many jobs should I apply for?

How long does it take to find a job? Well, how long is a piece of string? That's a difficult question that doesn't necessarily have a general answer.

While 100 applications is a helpful goal to set for yourself, there really isn't a magic number or benchmark—we promise. It all varies based on factors like the job market in your field, your qualifications, and the types of jobs you're interested in.

If you're wondering how many jobs you should apply for (like actually apply for), think about how soon you need to get a new job. Watch the video to get some concrete ideas and then follow the guidelines below.

@teal_hq A big question we hear is “How many jobs should I expect to apply to before landing a job?” On average we see a 10% callback rate for each step of the process. It also depends on your timeline. A good baseline to expect is to apply for 100 jobs in your search which will get you 10 interviews and ultimately 1 offer. #jobsearchtips #jobapplications #jobapplication #jobapplicationtips #jobsearching #careertiktok ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) - 山口夕依

If you’re hoping to land a job in one month

If you're interested in finding a job fast, set yourself a goal of sending out 25 job applications a week. 

Dedicate time every day to look through job boards and research positions that interest you. You'll want to brush up your resume and cover letter (you can read more about this later in the article). Then submit applications to several positions each day—still focusing on jobs that are highly relevant to your skill set, but bumping up the number of jobs you should apply for to help get a job faster. 

If you’re hoping to land a job in three months

Maybe your ideal timeline for a new position is three to four months. In that case, you could aim to submit 25 applications each month. 

This time frame gives you a little bit of wiggle room to really devote yourself to perfecting that resume and cover letter for your job hunt. Submitting high-quality applications is the best way to position yourself to hiring managers as someone who's qualified and eager to take on the job.

If you’re hoping to land a job in six months

If you hope to get a new job within the next six months, you have some time and space to play with. Send out no less than 15 job applications each month.

Remember, not all companies are looking to hire right away. It can take hiring managers some time to sort through applications and narrow down the field of candidates. So if you want to land a new job in the next few months, you need to start applying to positions right now.

How many jobs should I apply to if I’m unemployed?

If you’re currently unemployed, the guidelines above are most likely the best route to follow. But while you're applying to full-time positions, you may want to look into other opportunities, too. 

Your job search might not move very quickly (for 44% of applicants, it takes a couple of weeks to hear back after applying), and you may need something short-term to fill in financial gaps in the meantime. Freelance or contract work can be a good way to supplement your income and help your money stretch while you search for the perfect long-term position.

In addition to actively applying for jobs, you can also consider spending your time networking and reaching out to connections in your industry; attending job fairs; and, if needed, seeking out career counseling or job search support services to help you in your job search. 

How many jobs should I apply to if I’m employed?

On the other hand, if you're working right now, you can be a bit more lax in your job search plan

There might be minimal need to burn yourself out submitting a dozen job applications a week (especially if you have a consistent paycheck going into your bank account). But you don't want to trick yourself into thinking you can be completely passive, either. All of that to say, you still need to be consistently submitting job applications if you want to get a new job offer rather than stay with the same company. 

Consider how comfortable you are staying in the same job, how soon you want to start a new full-time job, and how much time you realistically have each week to devote to job seeking. Then come up with an ideal number of applications from there.

How to expedite your job search

Knowing how many jobs you should apply for is a helpful way to set and reach goals throughout the job application process. But it's not the only detail that matters. Here are a few other helpful job application tips that can help you quickly land job interviews from multiple applications.

Do your research

Often, research is the key that helps an average job seeker level up to a savvy candidate—researching job postings, researching companies, and researching application and interview best practices.

  1. Start by looking through job boards for positions that interest you. Before applying for jobs, research the same company to learn more about its mission, values, culture, and products or services. This will help you tailor your application materials to the company and prepare for the interview process.
  2. You'll also want to read the job description carefully to ensure you understand the requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications needed for the job. 
  3. If you have an interview scheduled, research the individuals conducting the interview, helping you get a sense of their background and the types of questions they may ask. 
  4. Finally, research the salary range for the position you're applying for so you can negotiate a fair compensation package if the job offer is extended to you.

Optimize your job search assets

The next step in how to apply for jobs is to make sure your job search assets, like your resume and cover letter, are up to par.

Start by brushing up your resume using Teal's free AI Resume Builder. This tool helps you tailor your resume to each separate job application and offers, making it easy to send customized resumes that position you as the best person for the job. Build your resume using a free resume template (that’s easily scanned by applicant tracking systems), use AI to generate more impactful wording, and wrap up with real-time feedback to gain clarity on areas you need to tweak.

The AI Resume Builder can also help you write better, concise cover letters. Your cover letters should be tailored for each application. Highlight your relevant skills and experience and explain why you're interested in the job. Keep the letter to one page, using short paragraphs and bullet points to highlight key points.

Sign up for a free Teal account to create optimized resumes and cover letters quickly.

Apply as soon as a job goes live

If you submit your job application in the first few days or even hours after the job is posted, you have a better chance of hearing back. (Wondering what to expect during the job application process? A study from Ladders indicates that the first 72 hours after a job posting goes live is your best bet.)

Set up notification emails from your favorite job boards or websites. This will give you a daily digest in your inbox of positions that fit what you're looking for, helping you slide in under the wire.

And when you do apply, submit your application directly on the company website rather than on a third-party job board or LinkedIn.

Save your answers to common questions

Applications often include multiple steps besides just submitting your resume—including some common questions. 

Keeping track of your answers to those common job application questions will save time and reduce the likelihood of errors or inconsistencies. 

Keep a document or spreadsheet with your name, contact information, and answers to questions about your employment history, education, and qualifications. This way, you can easily copy and paste or reference your answers when filling out applications. 

Common application questions: 

  • What's your current employment status?
  • What's your educational background?
  • What experience do you have in this field?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation at work?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • Can you tell us about a project or accomplishment you are proud of?
  • Do you have any questions for us about the company or the job?

The fastest way to answer common application questions is by using Teal’s new autofill functionality to apply for jobs (almost) instantly. 

The Teal Autofill Application feature grabs your resume and the job description. Then it populates application fields with the required details and writes responses to any questions with AI using your stored information. 

See it in action below! 

@teal_hq Have you ever wanted to a tool that could fill out job applications for you? Well you’re in luck because Teal just dropped an AWESOME new update. The “Autofill Application” feature will grab your resume and the job description and populate fields with your information AND write responses to the application questions (that no one likes answering). Try it out and let us know what you think! #jobapplication #jobapplications #jobapplicationtips #careertok #jobsearch #jobsearchingtips #jobsearchtips ♬ Chillest in the Room - L.Dre

Track your search

Tracking your job search and bookmarking specific openings is vital during the application process because it helps you stay organized and focused. 

The key is to bookmark anywhere from 15-20 job openings that you're interested in per day. But you won't necessarily apply to all of these jobs. Saving positions that pique your interest will make it easier to submit 5-10 applications each day if you need a new job ASAP.

Storing roles you’re interested in using a tool like the Teal Job Application Tracker will help you keep track of them in one place. As an added bonus, the Job Application Tracker also helps you to monitor your application status one step at a time—from interested in and job interview to job offer accepted—until you’ve secured a new role (and even beyond!).

Maximize LinkedIn

LinkedIn is powerful. And it's a tool you should use throughout your job search process to showcase your skills, network with other professionals, and connect with potential employers.

But to use LinkedIn effectively in your job search—whether searching for open positions or following up with a hiring manager—having a professional, optimized LinkedIn profile that highlights your experience and achievements is vital. 

To maximize your social media presence:

  • Treat your profile like a resume
  • Upload a professional profile picture and professional profile banner
  • Write an impactful, keyword-rich headline
  • Optimize your LinkedIn summary
  • Highlight your work experiences and educational background
  • Maximize the skills and endorsements section
  • Ask for and give recommendations 
  • Post and share relevant content

Follow up with the right people at the right time

Submitting your resume might seem like the final stage of the application process, but you’re not finished quite yet. 

Following up on a job application shows your potential employer that you're proactive and interested in the position. It can also help keep you top of mind with the hiring manager or recruiter—especially in a crowded market. A good approach is to email to the hiring manager to check the status of your application once a week for three weeks. You can also use a professional social network like LinkedIn if you’ve connected with the hiring manager.

If this process sounds time-consuming and a bit repetitive, try using the email templates in Teal's Job Application Tracker and create your follow-up communication in seconds. Then, attach your resume (and, if you'd like, your cover letter), and you're done!

Get strategic with your job search with Teal

Now that you know how Teal can help you strategically take control of your job search and application plan—don't stop here. It's time to get started!

Sign up for your free Teal account today to expedite your application process and save valuable time tracking your favorite jobs (maybe even your dream job!), automating your applications, writing your follow-up communication, and so much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an optimal number of jobs I should apply for each day to maximize my chances of getting hired?

While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, a balanced approach is key. Aim to apply for 2-3 jobs per day, ensuring you're able to tailor each application to the job and company. This focused strategy is more effective than a high volume of generic applications.

How can I ensure the quality of my applications when applying to multiple jobs?

Prioritize customizing your resume and cover letter for each position, highlighting relevant skills and experiences. Use a checklist for each application to ensure you've addressed the job requirements and included keywords from the job description. Quality trumps quantity in job applications.

Should my job search plan change if I'm not getting interviews after applying to many jobs?

Yes, if you're not seeing results, it's time to reassess your strategy. Review your resume and cover letters for improvements, network for referrals, and consider seeking feedback from a career coach. Adjusting your approach can help you better target opportunities that match your qualifications.

Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She writes in the healthcare, digital marketing, education, and pet industries.

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