How long does it really take to find a new job?

Finding a new job is rarely an easy or quick task. Instead, it is a process that can often take months to navigate to conclusion. Unfortunately, many job seekers never bother to think about the amount of time they will need to secure new employment, and that can create unnecessary hardship and stress. Unemployed workers who wait too long to begin their search may find themselves running out of unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, employed workers searching for a better job may end up stuck in jobs they hate for longer than necessary.

To avoid those complications, it is important to consider one question: how long is it likely to take to find a job in 2022? In this post, we will explore that question and attempt to help you set reasonable expectations for your 2022 job search. We will also examine some ways that you can speed up that timeline and hopefully secure new employment even quicker than you might expect.

What does recent data suggest about this year's job search timeline?

One of the biggest challenges to estimating the amount of time job seekers will need to locate a job in 2022 is that recent data may not offer much guidance. Obviously, the lingering effects of the pandemic-based business lockdowns and the impact of the so-called Great Resignation will almost certainly skew that data in a way that complicates any predictions.

For example, the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data on unemployment duration suggests that more than a third of September's unemployed workers had been without a job for more than 27 weeks. That is almost twice the number of long-term unemployed from the previous September and roughly five times the number recorded in May 2020. However, those pandemic-based numbers would seem to have little relation to the actual state of the current job market.

Barring an unforeseen disaster, the worst economic effects of the pandemic are apparently behind us now. As a result, recent data trends for job search duration should probably be given less weight than historical trends. 

Fortunately, that should mean good news for current job seekers and those who are planning to begin their searches in early 2022. A return to something closer to normalcy should translate into much shorter job searches than many Americans have experienced for the last couple of years. Based on those historical trends, here is what you can likely expect when it comes to your 2022 job search timeline:

  • The average job search may take somewhere around five to six months from application to hiring. Prior to the pandemic, the BLS numbers showed that the average search took roughly five months, so it is reasonable to assume that 2022 will look more like 2019.

  • According to Indeed, about 83 percent of candidates receive a response to their applications within two weeks or so.

  • You can probably expect the interview process for each company to require between three and five weeks. Some companies will have quicker processes, while others may be slightly slower.

  • You should expect it to take between one and two weeks for you to receive post-interview job offers. Higher level positions may take even longer.

Keep in mind that your actual job search duration will vary based on the number of applications and resumes you submit and individual employer hiring processes.

What external factors might affect your job search timeline?

Naturally, estimates are just that: estimates. A wide range of factors could impact these estimates. For example, a new round of business lockdowns or an unexpected and deep recession would almost certainly extend the time it takes to find new employment. Local economic conditions can also affect these estimates. Other factors can include how flexible you are in your job search, how much time you devote to hunting for new employment, and your willingness to accept employment outside your industry or in new locations.

It is also worth noting that your search may be impacted by the length of time that you have been unemployed. If the pandemic has left you without employment for an extended period, you may have to accept that finding a new job will take a little longer than you might have otherwise anticipated.

What can you do to speed up your job search?

If you are like most serious job seekers, you may be wondering what you can do to speed up your job search. The good news is that there are specific strategies that you can employ to give yourself the best chance of acquiring a new job relatively quickly. For example:

Focus on expanding your network

According to experts, between 70 and 85 percent of professionals rely on networking for new job opportunities. That means that finding a new job is not as much a function of what you know, but rather who you know. Networking is also a critical resource for tapping into the so-called hidden job market.

Get out of the house and hit the pavement

The internet is a great tool for locating new jobs and submitting applications and resumes. However, there are also many advantages to be gained from taking a more old-fashioned approach to things. When you need a job fast, sometimes the best option is to meet employers in person. This is especially true for jobs in sectors where direct interaction with customers is a core skill requirement, such as retail, restaurants, and bars. As a rule, you should only consider this option when you want to apply at a business that has a “Help Wanted” sign posted outside

Because of the pandemic and lingering Covid safety protocols, it may be wise to call first to inquire about the company's application process. Let the decision-maker know that you are interested in the position and ask whether it would be okay to stop in and submit an application or discuss the role.

Adjust expectations

If you are struggling to secure employment that matches your exact skills and experience, you may need to lower your expectations. Sometimes, we all need to take a step backward or sideways before we can move ahead. That job outside of your current career path may not be the one you have dreamed about, but it could be a necessary detour to get your journey back on track.

Be flexible about location

There was a time when Americans were always prepared to move to anywhere opportunity could be found. That drive helped motivate people to continually move west in search of a better life. These days, more Americans remain within a few miles of where they grew up. As a result, fewer of them are willing to resettle in another city or state to pursue a wonderful job opportunity. If you are flexible about where you live, you may find that it is even easier to locate the job you need.

Enhance your online brand

Your personal brand is a key component of your persona and can be a powerful selling point when you are seeking a job. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile and overall social media persona tells that story that you want to convey to any prospective employer.

Make your job search your job

One of the best ways to secure employment quickly is to treat your search as though it is your job. Set aside a specific number of hours each day to search for open positions, research companies, and submit applications and resumes. You do not need to apply to every position you find, but if you are not continually looking for opportunities, it will usually take you much longer to find the right job.

Polish your resume

Get your resume in order. If you have not updated it in several years, now is the time. Be sure to focus on employable skills and experiences. Look at current and general job descriptions to identify what employers are looking for to build your resume's work experience section with your impressive achievements. 

Learn how to tailor your resume to align with each open position that you seek. As you customize your resume, insert specific keywords from the job description to ensure that your submission gets past the company's ATS. If you need help creating or refining your resume, our professional resume writers may be just the solution you have been looking for.



As America continues to work its way out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that 2022 will feature a return to more normal job seeking patterns. As it does, you can probably expect to see your job search take an average of about five to six months, depending on the industry and job type. With sound effort and diligence, however, you may be able to significantly shorten the time frame needed to get your career back on track.

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