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I Haven’t Heard Back From The Employer – What Should I Do?
‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil,’ or is it better said ‘Silence is golden.’ Many jobseekers are left wondering how to approach the fact that they haven’t heard back from an employer after sending in their application.
The web has provided employers with a wealth of applicants which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Most human resources mangers and recruiters will review every application but they don’t always have time to follow up with each applicant. Some companies have even resorted to utilizing a pre-qualifying online tool to help them narrow down the list of qualified applicants or those who didn’t quite make the cut.
So how are you, as the jobseeker, to know what to think when you haven’t heard anything from an employer? Are you being strung along or is there still hope? It can be hard to tell. Like many things, there is no clear answer on how to handle this situation but we can make a few suggestions.
The first is to consider is how far along in the process you’ve made it. Have you submitted your application via an online tool? Have you been through an interview via phone or in person? Or have you submitted more information per the request of the hiring manager? Depending on what stage in the process you find yourself, will determine the next step you take.
If you’re at the point where you’ve submitted your resume through an online tool, whether that be through a job board, company website, etc., the first thing you want to do is check and see if the job is still live on that site. Anytime you apply to a job online, print the ad or use some other method to keep track of the specific job title, the company who had the job advertized, the date you applied, the job closing date, and any other important information. This will make going back to check on the job much easier. If the job is still live, you can probably bet that they are still accepting applicants and may be waiting until they close the position to review candidates. If the job has been taken down, give it a good solid two weeks then contact the company. Try using Google or similar search engine to locate a human resources contact. Politely call or email to inquire about the status of your application and what their timeline looks like so you know what to expect. If they tell you that you didn’t make the cut, don’t lose your cool and inquire why you weren’t notified, simply thank them and ask if they can provide any insight as to why. Remember you are always making an impression and this hiring manager may soon be the hiring manager that will oversee your next application.
If you’ve made it through an interview, hopefully you inquired about a timeline during your question session of the interview. The best way to do this is to ask “what is the next step in the process and when should I expect to hear from you again?” If that date comes and you haven’t heard anything, stick to the two-week rule and then follow up. You may want to start with an email then move to a phone call, or even a personal visit, if you do not get a response. If you’ve followed this schedule and 4 to 6 weeks have passed, then it may be time to move on. If at any point the employer informs you that they’ve chosen a ‘more qualified candidate’, ask them if they can provide you with any feedback that could make you a stronger applicant in the future. Never pass up the opportunity for helpful advice from someone in the business of hiring people.
The process can be frustrating, especially if you’ve been looking for some time. It’s important to keep in mind that every conversation and interaction you have with a hiring manager is part of the interview process. More than likely, you know what it’s like to have your ‘To-Do List’ overflowing from the piece of paper it’s written on. The courtesy you show during this time may be extended to you when that person is your co-worker. You also have to remember that you must keep your options open and keep applying to job openings until you’ve received an official offer. Because ‘all good things come to those who wait.’
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