Have you ever submitted more than 50 email job applications and felt frustrated when none of them replied? A coder in the U.S. shared on Reddit that it took him more than 80 job applications and several interviews before he actually got a job.

Whenever a job advertisement gets posted online, it is not uncommon for recruiters and employers to receive hundreds of job application emails within the first few days. Companies that have an attractive brand may even receive thousands of applications for just one role.

why does it take so long to hear back from a job application?

Specialist recruiters and hiring managers do their best to look at every application and will connect with candidates who fit the role they are recruiting for to further understand their skills and experience. After the recruitment consultants have a better understanding of your competencies and ascertained you will be a right fit, they might also make some edits to your CV to boost your chances of securing an interview with our clients.

Besides having a keyword-optimised CV and being equipped with the right skills and experience, your application must also reach the recruiter and HR professionals at the right time of the day to get noticed.

the best time of day to apply for jobs

The time of day you apply for a job matters. It can have an impact on whether your resume will be read by the recipient or not. For instance, if you apply for a job at 10pm, the recruiter would likely not get to it until the next morning when they start working. By then, they might have received another 100 applications, and your CV will get buried at the bottom of the pile.

Send it early enough and you may stand a chance to be shortlisted for an interview. Send it too late and you missed out on the exciting opportunity to work with a great employer. So when is a good time to apply for jobs?

Here are the times of the day that you’ll have a better chance of getting the hiring manager’s attention.

1. during commute

If you are not driving to work, going to and fro work every day via public transport will take some time, especially during peak hours.

Use this time to browse for new career opportunities or apply for a job. Job portals such as LinkedIn have an ‘easy apply’ function that makes it convenient for you to submit your application on the go. A majority of the job sites also have mobile applications, which offers you a seamless and stress-free application process. These mobile apps will also send you updates of your job application, so you’ll know when you are shortlisted or need to apply for more roles.

If you are unable to submit your CV while on the move, then save the link to these open roles on your phone and apply for the job once you’re back home from work.

2. during work

You’re not feeling particularly motivated at work and have been itching to move to a new environment, so you start browsing for jobs at your work desk. After all, you may think that it’s a better use of your time for job hunt.

However, if your boss or colleague finds out, it will reflect poorly on your professionalism. You risk losing the trust that you’ve built with them over time. If you’ve not tendered your resignation and have been performing poorly at work, getting caught browsing for jobs can be a good reason for your boss to let you go.

If you’ve been applying for jobs, you should expect a call from a recruiter or hiring manager in the middle of the day. An independent survey commissioned by Randstad Singapore found that 3 in 10 people have taken a call from a recruiter or employer during their lunch break. Another quick poll by Randstad Singapore revealed that people spend on average 35 minutes when speaking with a recruiter on the phone.

how long does it take for hr to contact you
how long does it take for hr to contact you

Recruiters tend to call shortlisted candidates to clarify details in the CV and get a better understanding of your career motivations. Many employers also speak with a candidate over the phone as a pre-assessment before inviting them for a proper interview. However, if your work environment is not suitable for taking these calls, then be sure to state in your cover letter or resume on how and when they should connect with you.

If you need to take a pre-assessment test, such as a writing or coding test, you should probably take time-off or apply for leave so that you can focus.

3. during the weekends or at night

If you are short on time during normal working hours, leave your job hunting for the weekends or in the evenings when you’re back home from work.

Find a dedicated workspace at home so that you can concentrate better. Take the extra time to read each of the job advertisements to understand what type of skills and experience are required to determine your fit. You can also use this time to research and find out more about your potential employer. Visit their company website or review sites like Glassdoor to read what others have to say about their candidate and employee experiences to determine if the culture and organisation are right for you.

tailor your resume
tailor your resume

Being free from any work distractions allows you to concentrate on looking for the right job and writing the right pitch. You will also have more time to customise your CV for each application. Make sure that you are using the right keywords so that companies using HR technology software for parsing CVs would be able to automatically shortlist yours for consideration.

best time to submit resume

Recruiters, just like you, look at their inbox the moment they step into work. So if your application is the first one they see the moment they log on, there may be a higher chance that they will connect with you.

Therefore, it is always best to apply for jobs and submit your CV in the morning, just before you enter the office or during lunch. If you don’t have the time to email your resume in the morning, you can prepare and schedule your email to be sent at 9am the next day.

Most importantly, be patient. A normal job search process takes about two to six months, depending on the role and seniority. If you don’t hear back from the employer or recruiter after one week of application, it could mean that your skills and experience don’t fit their requirements and you should move on to look for other jobs. You can also send a polite note to the employer or recruiter to follow-up on your application.

looking for a job? 

At Randstad, we use several HR technology tools to screen and qualify candidates. These tools help us quickly shortlist the best candidates for our clients and significantly shorten the hiring process.

You can let us know what your ideal job looks like so that when the right opportunity comes along, you will be the first to know. You can also view the vacancies on our job portal to kickstart your search.

related content:

download career guide
download career guide

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