Waiting Is the Hardest Part

But the important thing about learning to wait, I feel sure, is to know what you are waiting for.
Anna Neagle

If you’re in a job transition, chances are you have been waiting for something — a response to a résumé, a call for an interview, or a job offer.

In her column Where, Oh Where, Has My Application Gone?, New York Times columnist Phyllis Korkki suggests that it’s understandable that one might not hear back from an employer once they have submitted a résumé.  This could be due to any number of obvious factors such as too many resumes and too few staff to follow up, your resume got lost in the shuffle or in cyberspace, or … a lack of interest in your candidacy. So, should you follow up and if so, when?

As a nonprofit executive recruiter, I add this advice   1)  wait at least two weeks before following up, 2) follow up by email first and if necessary by phone, 3) seriously consider if you would be a strong candidate for the position before you do anything, and 4) keep your follow up short and simple.

Although few and far between, there have been some strong résumés that have been lost in a SPAM filter or in some other virtual location.  In these cases, I was delighted that the candidate followed up to determine if their résumé had been received (our search firm acknowledges receipt of every résumé received).  I’ve also had the experience of hearing from the most unqualified candidates (this usually comes in the form of a long voicemail explaining how qualified the candidate is for the position).

Respect the judgement of a recruiter or hiring manager, and defer to their expertise in evaluating if you are a perfect candidate.  If you do follow up, make it a simple question “Did you receive my resume?” and/or “Did you receive my resume and did you determine if my background is appropriate for the position”, and leave it at that.

2 thoughts on “Waiting Is the Hardest Part

  1. Randy Pena

    You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  2. Pingback: Waiting Is the Hardest Part – by Jill Sarah Moscowitz, NonProfit Career Advisor | TheEssayExpert.com

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