Exactly What To Do While You Wait To Hear Back About A Job

Lydia Dishman

When Joseph Waites* first applied for a new job in early November, he had no idea it would take over a month before he’d hear from anyone. After six weeks, an email arrived to invite him to his first interview. A second was scheduled within a few days. Waites was hopeful, especially after the employer sent him an assignment so that he could prove he had the right stuff for the job.

“If you haven’t heard back, write and email, she advises, “up to three times over a two-week period.””

Once he completed and submitted it, the hiring manager responded within the hour, saying they would look at it over the weekend. The following week came and went. Then another, and still another passed. Waites was eager to hear either way, so he sent the hiring manager another email–after nearly four weeks had gone by.

“Just checking in on what the results on this test run were. Even if it’s negative, just would like an update,” he wrote. Waites added another line emphasizing something they’d specifically discussed in their meeting, then signed off. The next day, the hiring manager replied with an apology for the delayed response.

Waites is one of the lucky ones. The hiring process now takes longer than ever, according to Glassdoor, and half of applicants surveyed by Talent Board said they never heard back at all after submitting their resumes. No wonder 39% of respondents to a Robert Half survey said they’d lost interest and pursued other roles, while 18% gave up and stayed in their current jobs.

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