Although the labor market is considered to be strong, many job seekers say it’s difficult to get a job right now.

In May, surveyed 738 recent job seekers who had found employment within the past six months to find out how challenging it was for recently hired workers to find jobs.

We found that in fact many job seekers are finding jobs rather quickly and are even juggling multiple offers.

Key findings:

  • 26% of recently hired workers found a new job within a month
  • 72% applied to 10 or fewer jobs
  • Two-thirds got multiple offers
  • 93% were very satisfied with the offer they accepted
  • 46% used AI to support their job search

1 in 4 Recently Hired Workers Found New Employment in a Month or Less

The majority of recently hired workers, 70%, secured a job within three months of their job search, while 26% did within one month. A notable portion, 22%, found employment within four to six months. A smaller percentage, 5%, took seven to 11 months to find a job, while 3% required a year or more to secure employment.

The time it took for recently hired workers to secure a job varied by industry. Below are the percentages of recently hired workers across the industries we surveyed with at least 25 respondents who say they found a job within three months.

  • Food and hospitality (87%)
  • Retail (84%)
  • Construction (80%)
  • Computer and information technology (71%)
  • Health care (66%)
  • Software (58%)
  • Education (50%)
  • Business and finance (44%)

“Job seekers’ perceptions of the current job landscape are shaped by various factors, and it’s evident that many find it challenging. One significant consideration is the ongoing organizational adjustments being made by companies, particularly those that aggressively expanded their workforce during the pandemic. As these companies adapt to current market conditions, some industries are undergoing rightsizing efforts, resulting in layoffs,“ says Resume Builder’s Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller.

“While media coverage often focuses on these layoffs and portrays a sense of overall market instability, it’s important to recognize that specific industries are affected differently. Our survey data illustrates that individuals seeking positions in industries with robust hiring trends are experiencing a strong job market and finding a new position quickly. Despite the mixed nature of the job market, positive stories of hiring opportunities in certain sectors often receive less attention compared to reports of layoffs.

“As job seekers navigate this landscape, it’s essential to remain vigilant for opportunities and recognize that promising avenues for employment exist, even in the face of broader economic challenges.

“It’s also important to acknowledge that many job seekers encounter obstacles in their job search due to ineffective resumes and a lack of understanding about modern hiring practices. This often leads to frustration, with job seekers mistakenly attributing their challenges to market conditions rather than recognizing the need for resume refinement.”

72% Applied to 10 or Fewer Jobs

Most workers didn’t apply to too many jobs. In fact, the plurality (44%) say they only applied to between two and five jobs, and 72% applied to 10 or fewer jobs.

On the other hand, some respondents did apply to a large number of jobs: 19% applied to 11 to 50 jobs, 6% applied to 51 to 100 jobs, and 3% applied to over 100 jobs.

The plurality, 46%, received two or three responses to applications they submitted, and only 11% received a single response. Further, 23% received four to six responses, 10% received seven to 10 responses, and 10% received more than 10 responses.

Similarly, the majority, 54%, of respondents say they interviewed for two or three jobs, while 19% only interviewed for a single job. Additionally, 16% interviewed for between four and six jobs, while 11% interviewed for more than six jobs.

“The belief that casting a wide net by applying to numerous positions increases the likelihood of receiving a job offer is a common misconception among job seekers. In reality, the key determinant of success lies in the alignment between your qualifications and what the company is seeking in a candidate. While you may not need to meet every requirement listed and check every box, possessing the majority of the necessary qualifications and bringing unique strengths to the table significantly enhances your candidacy and cuts down on rejection emails, says Haller.

“Quality outweighs quantity when it comes to job applications. Instead of indiscriminately applying to countless positions, it’s essential to focus on roles where your skills and experiences closely match the job requirements. In my experience, many job seekers who express frustration at receiving no responses to their applications often overlook the importance of crafting a standout resume or apply to positions where they are not well-suited, leading to minimal traction.”

Two-thirds got multiple offers

The majority of recent job seekers say they received multiple job offers. Specifically, 34% of respondents say they received one offer, while 38% received two offers, 20% received three offers, and 7% received four or more offers.

The vast majority, 93%, were very satisfied (65%) or somewhat satisfied (28%) with the offer they ultimately accepted.

About half (46%) of respondents utilized AI in their job search process.

In terms of specific tasks, 65% employed AI for resume creation, 54% for interview preparation, 45% for cover letter writing, and 41% for composing emails.

Individuals who reported using AI in their job search were less likely to secure a job quickly. Specifically, 66% of AI users found employment within three months, in contrast to 73% of non-users.

“Understanding how and when to leverage AI in the job search process is crucial, as it can either greatly benefit or hinder your efforts. Mastering the use of AI tools to tailor and optimize resumes for specific job postings can significantly expedite the application process and yield more positive responses. However, it’s essential to ensure that the final document does not come across as robotic or generic, but rather showcases your unique skills, experience, and suitability for the role,” says Haller.

4 in 10 listed AI as a skill on their resume

Most workers claim to possess AI skills, with varying degrees of proficiency.

Of those surveyed, 27% consider themselves highly skilled in utilizing AI, while 50% regard themselves as somewhat adept. Conversely, 18% admit to having limited proficiency, and 6% claim to lack any skill in this area.

Only 39% of respondents reported listing AI as a skill on their resume.


This survey was commissioned by and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish in May 2024. In total, 738 respondents completed the full survey.

To qualify for the survey, all participants had to answer that they were engaged in a job search within the past six months, and, as a result of the job search, found a new job.

Learn more about Pollfish’s survey methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.