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Asked by Christian on May 4, 2015

Does a person who applies soon after the job has been posted have any advantage over applicants who apply significantly later? For example, A applies the day of the post, and B applies three weeks after the post. Assuming they are equally qualified does A have advantage over B? Would the potential advantage A might have matter if B were slightly more qualified? How about greatly more qualified?

Answered by John, Hiring Expert at DuPont, on May 5, 2015

Good question.

Applying as early as possible is recommended, mainly because you might not know how long the job posting will remain posted.  If you wait, you risk the job posting period ending and missing the opportunity to apply.  

Once you apply, whether you move forward in the process depends upon the the criteria for the job and how well you and other applicants match up.  Other factors may also come into play, such as the number of positions being filled, the number of qualified applicants, how quickly the company needs to fill the position, etc.   At this stage, applying early or later may not be a significant factor.  It really depends upon the company process to review applicants.

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on May 6, 2015

This will vary from company to company and position to position. I would encourage you to apply as early as possible because you will never know how long a position will be posted. Depending how quickly the position needs to be filled, person A could have an advantage. Some recruiters may review applications as soon as they are submitted and begin scheduling interviews immediately. In that case, person B may apply too late in the process and an offer may have already been made. If the position is not as critical to fill, the recruiter may not begin reviewing applications for a couple of weeks so person A and B will have the same advantage and the most qualified candidate will be selected to move forward.

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Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on May 6, 2015

In my opinion and experience, no. Timing is just that, timing. So many factors can influence when the business is ready to move and how that aligns with the applicant’s submission. It can really vary. I have heard statistics that the candidate is most likely to be a person who applies in the first 30 days of the job posting being up. However in my experience I have seen fluctuate. Best wishes to you in your search!

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Answered by Minde, Hiring Expert at The Schwan Food Company, on May 7, 2015

This isn't the case at my company, but I recently heard a Fortune 100 company speak at an event about interacting with them as a candidate, and they said in some cases their job postings close after 100 applicants.  Their advice was to apply early, and even if you want to research the position and put more thought into the opportunity, to apply first and do your research after.

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