Advice: How Long Does It Take to Get Hired?

You prepared your resume, customized the cover letter, applied through the website, and waited…

Are you still in the game? Should you follow up? What do you do next?

First and foremost, breathe. While you are ready to hear back immediately, there is an entire internal process that human resources must go through to properly open up a position, advertise it, receive applications, close the position, review the applicants, contact the applicants and set up interviews. All of this takes time.

Posting-to-interview     37.5
Interview-to-offer           23.6
Offer-to-acceptance    14.0

Source: 2017 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

This is why when we say to prepare early, we are not kidding. Added together, this means 10-12 weeks from post to accepted hire for an entry level position, and even longer when you get into the managerial / executive level. 

The cycles for hiring are very clear for certain industries, especially when targeting college students for entry level positions. Most companies looking to hire summer graduates either cycle applicants through their internship program or begin taking applications in August/September. By October/November they are completing interviews and by Thanksgiving all offers have been sent out/accepted.

Then the cycle begins all over again in late December/January with interviews in February/March with offers released in April for May graduates. After that, we see a steady trend in lower salaries and fewer quality opportunities. 

Our advice: Catch the wave, apply early, and apply to as many opportunities as possible. 
And prepare immediately for the interview process – which include phone screens or Skype or Zoom video interviewing, and may involve behavioral, technical, and case interview questions depending on the position. You can contact the Ferguson Career Center should you need to practice your skills with a mock interview through the appointments section of Handshake.

At the same time, be prepared for rejections – a lot of them. It’s common to apply for 40 jobs, have a phone interview with 10, have 3 in person interviews, and get one offer. Job hunting takes a lot of time, energy, and networking – but it is so rewarding when you start your new position!

Tiger Tip: Alumni are not obligated to help you, but many will try to point you in the right direction, provide feedback on your resume, and introduce you to people. These kinds of relationships are built over time, so be thoughtful and show gratitude towards alumni who share their time, energy and experience.