Are you stuck in that awkward time period where you’ve applied for a job and still haven’t heard back from the company? This waiting period is sometimes worse than being turned down. Or what about the time period after your interview and waiting to hear back from your interviewer? When it’s time to shift from being motivated to patient, there are a few things you can do and a few things you should not do while you’re waiting to hear back. Check out the list.


1. I submitted a resume online but haven’t heard back from anyone.

Do: Be patient. It’s a possibility the company you’ve applied to is experiencing a high volume of applicants and its taking more time than expected to review and respond. If you do not hear back within 2 weeks, try sending a follow up email to make sure your resume has been seen.

Don’t: Do not re-apply for the job hoping your resume will land at the top of the inbox. Companies typically use a system that organizes everything by date, so don’t think this will put you in front of the others. Re-applying within a few days or week could be a tip that you forgot you’ve already applied for the position.

2. I received a “thank you for your interest” note and still haven’t heard back.

Do: Take the note as a courtesy. This may be an email automatically generated by the company’s ATS. This is the company’s way of acknowledging and reassuring you that they have received your application. Take a deep breath and let your application hit the right desk.

Don’t: Do not reply to the ‘thank you’ note with a cover letter of why you would be great for the job. Odds are, the note is automated and your response will not be acknowledged. However, if you have not heard back within a few weeks it is possible something went wrong and if your only contact is from the ‘thank you’ note, you can attempt to reach out and explain the situation.

3. I received the response email 3 days after the company sent it asking for an interview.

Do: Reply to the sender and apologize for the late response, explain to them you did not read the email and would still like to schedule an interview. In the future, make sure you are checking your emails and voicemails on a regular basis.

Don’t: Panic. It is always best to respond within 24 hours in a request for an interview, but sometimes things happen and get in the way. Do not create an elaborate story for why you did not respond or lie about why you did respond either.

4. I had my interview 2 days ago and still haven’t heard back.

Do: Send a follow-up note to your interviewer within 24 hours of your interview. This shows your enthusiasm for the position and that you appreciate their time as well as your own. During your interview ask how long it will be before you hear back from them, this gives you a better perspective on when to expect you will be hearing from them.

Don’t: Send a note informing them of your interview and asking when you will be hearing from someone with a decision. When a company has an open position they are trying to find the best match as far as qualifications go and for company environment; give them some time to sort through all the applicants.

5. It’s past the day I was told that they would be reaching out to applicants on.

Do: Did the company give you a broad estimate like 1-2 weeks or 2-5 days? If so and the day is well past it, follow up with your person of contact. It is possible they are busy, but it is also possible something happened and you were not contacted.

Don’t: Do not have a calendar counting down exactly 2 weeks or 5 days and send them a note claiming it has been the exact amount of time they promised. Remember, the company is busy and things may get in the way such as a higher anticipated volume of applicants or an unexpected strike that would take time away from you being contacted. Don’t panic or overthink it.

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