I receive email messages telling me of job opportunities through my school office of career services, Vault, and so forth. I send in my resume and cover letter. I hear nothing.

Should I follow up? When? How?

Also, to any in the MT forum that interview candidates, please complete the process. If the candidate is not going to be offered the job, please give them a letter, call, or email. It is quite frustrating to interview (for a round or two) and then never hear from that office again.

Further, give real feedback. If the candidate asks for feedback, give it to him honestly. Mumbo Jumbo about "your credentials are impressive..." doesn't help. If I can't string a sentence together, I'd like to know that so I can practice that skill. If there is a big red flag in my resume that I am ignorant of, I'd like to know this before my next interview. If I am not suited for a particular job category, I'd like to know that so I may cease applying for those positions.

Do I sound like a bitter job seeker?

bffranklin's picture
Training Badge


Your complaints have all previously been raised on the forum. You are not alone in your feelings. Don't dwell on the failings of others, though! Focus on what you can change!

- Do you have an MT-style resume?
- Have you used the MT resume review service?
- Have you read Lucht's Rites of Passage?
- Are you building your network? Job opportunities in your network will generally have much better response rates.

AManagerTool's picture

[quote]Do I sound like a bitter job seeker?[/quote]

No, but you do sound as if you have never sat on the other side of that interview desk. Interviewing is HARD WORK if done right. You have no idea what a hiring manager goes through...rightly bring a candidate in.

I am going to put on my harsh industry voice now:
[quote]"We are all really sorry for not writing you a personal letter and critiquing your resume or interview style for you but we actually have to fill a position and there are DOZENS of other candidates who are probably more qualified than you for the position. Next time, try to be one of those candidates. We don't have time to be your career coach."[/quote]

That sounds harsh but it is honest. This is what you are facing. Accept it and roll with it. This site offers scads of help on how to get a job for free or for a small charge. See the interview series and other free casts.

[quote]Should I follow up? When? How?[/quote]


1 Day via Thank you note expressing what a pleasure it was and how interested you are in an offer
1 Week via phone call
2 Weeks via phone call
3 Weeks via phone call
4 Weeks via Thank you note again...this time more of a parting "thanks for the time" tone to it. I will usually try to add the interviewers to my Linked In network as well for tons of other reasons.
Give up, assume that the answer was no.

My pattern used to be:
1 Day via phone call
2 Days via phone call
3 Days in person at business address
4 Days in person at the interviewers house
7 Days in court for the restraining order
Give up
LOL....Just Kidding

You have heard nothing because they don't have the time to worry about your feelings. You should be the same way. You have work to do too. Your mission in life is to find a job. You don't have time to feel sorry for yourself or worry about rejection.

All the time.....KEEP INTERVIEWING, KEEP APPLYING, KEEP NETWORKING, KEEP MOVING. Don't wait for the last interview to come through with an offer. Do a quick "What went well/Things to take a look at" review of the last interview and adjust for the next one accordingly. Make sure that you follow up on the interviews that you did and keep moving. Outlook RULES for keeping a job hunt organized.

You got to shake off the rejection. It was not personal don't take it like it was.

HMac's picture

edmund -
My opinion is yes, you should follow up. If you can make a genuine and strong case that you're a great candidate - [i]because you've already successfully done what they describe needs doing [/i]- you can call and follow up with great confidence.

Some disclaimers:
-Everybody tells me that the job boards are a "low percentage shot" because a lot of the postings are out of date. I've had just enough success with them so I won't give up on them - but I try to make this portion of my job search efforts much smaller than my networking.

-I understand that these postings can generate hundreds of responses each day. So remember: the recipients are overwhelmed by, maybe even bothered by, all the resumes they receive from people who COULD do the job, versus people who've ALREADY DONE the job
-Find other people to call besides HR (remember Mark's characterization of the hiring process: it's all about screening people OUT, not IN). My suggestion: use LinkedIn and other networks to see if you know somebody at the company - or knows somebody who knows somebody at the company. I was in a seminar yesterday where this person was called your "B level contact." That's somebody on the inside, who you can talk to, to learn more about who's actually doing the hiring (the hiring manager) - so you can contact the hiring manager directly.

Good luck!


tomas's picture


I have been a hiring manager, and also a candidate. I agree that you don't have time to provide detailed responses to everyone who sends in a resume, but I do think that many interviewers exhibit very poor behaviour when it comes to communicating with candidates.

[quote]Also, to any in the MT forum that interview candidates, please complete the process. If the candidate is not going to be offered the job, please give them a letter, call, or email. It is quite frustrating to interview (for a round or two) and then never hear from that office again. [/quote]

I have seen this a number of times myself. It is my belief that simply hoping that unsuccessful candidates will go away because you either can't be bothered or don't want to make the call is unprofessional. I have always taken the view when hiring that if I have interviewed somebody I owe them a phone call to let them know if they are unsuccessful.

As a candidate I have been strung along with what must border on untruths ("The manager is really busy but as soon as he is available we'll get you in for a second interview") when they had no intention of taking me any further. Looking for a job is incredibly stressful and being fed a line for weeks leaves a bad impression with candidates.

For the record I am about a month into a new job that I absolutely love. The fact that HR was communicative, and expressly told me that they were informing the unsuccessful candidates once they had made me an offer gave me a very positive impression of the firm.

HMac's picture

tomas - Belated congratulations on your new position.

Meanwhile, let's hope that when we're the hiring managers we remember how we, as candidates, would like to be treated - and act accordingly!

- Hugh