Not hearing back about your job search? Here’s what to do.

January 23, 2023

Pictured: woman in yellow with her head in her hands, looking frustrated while she waits by her smartphoneJob seekers do a lot of waiting.

They wait to hear back from a recruiter or hiring manager about their resume.

Then they wait to hear back about the interview and whether they’ll get to the next round.

They also wait to hear back from colleagues who said they would refer them.

It’s an anxious process that requires a lot of patience.

During that waiting process, questions start to rise up:

  • Why aren’t they getting back to me?
  • How long should I wait before I reach out?
  • Will reaching out hurt my chances, or help?
  • At what point is this silence a definitive “no”?
  • Why do they do this?! 🤦‍♀️

Is your anxiety rising? Mine, too!

So, let’s back up.

When you hear crickets, what are you thinking?

Do you start to worry about why you are not hearing back?

Or perhaps you are thinking: “I thought I did well during the interview. What did I do wrong?” It’s easy to ruminate about what you did wrong, what subtle message you missed… it’s a scary time and incredibly frustrating.

What can you do to reduce your anxiety and frustration?

How can you better manage these times, and even make them more productive?

First, keep in mind that your sense of time is very different from the people doing the hiring. They are working and very busy with a lot of things. You are just one thing on their long to-do list. If you are not working or anxious to move on from your current position, your sense of time is very different. It moves more slowly, and you want things to move faster… but it’s not in your control.

Second, try not to judge the silence as bad news. When you start ruminating and creating negative stories about why they aren't getting back to you, you create a negative spiral. It can affect a lot more than your waiting period. It can affect the decisions you make and how you show up in the world.

What can you do instead of judging the silence as bad news?

  • Manage your expectations. Be realistic about when will you actually probably hear back from people. When someone tells you a week, I recommend you think of it as two or even three weeks.
  • Remember that not everyone has the same sense of urgency as you. The people looking to hire have a lot more to their job than hiring, and their urgency is different from yours.
  • Spend this time on other job search activities. While you’re waiting to hear back, spend your energy and time making sure that this one opportunity is not your only option!

Finding a job takes time, patience, and an understanding of the process. Try not to judge the silence. Choose to remain optimistic. You never know... on the other side of those crickets might be a job offer!

One more thing... if what you're waiting for is a call back from an interview and you're feeling ghosted, read this article to learn about the steps you can take during your next interview to minimize your anxiety and even stop the ghosting.

What if you could find out about job openings before they were posted?

Download the guide, The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line, and learn how to access the hidden job market.

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