Getting Through the Unbearable Wait for the Employer's Call


Waiting for that all-important call from a potential employer can be agonizing. You find yourself constantly checking your e-mail or voicemail, desperately picking up the phone for any unrecognizable number, or staring at the company's website to see if the position has been filled. We've all done it; but anxiously waiting by your phone or computer isn't going to make that employer look at your resume and call you any faster. You can't force the employer's hand, or speed up the hiring process. In most cases all you can do is play the anxiety-riddled waiting game. However, it's hard to know how long you should hold out hope, and when you should move on.

When you apply for a job, you may hear from an employer within the first week if they're interested. Sometimes, two weeks may pass before you hear anything. And if three or more weeks have passed some hiring managers will tell you to write the employer off, because they've done the same to you.

"In this day and age, it's all too common for companies not to call back. Give them a week, maybe 10 days," says Karen James Chopra, LPC, MCC, NCC, a career counselor, in a report.

And unless the employer indicated that they won't receive phone calls, it's acceptable to call them to check on the status of the position or to see if your resume was received. But try to tow the line between being persistent and being a pain in the neck. You don't want to bully the employer into giving you any information.

"Do not be a pest" says Jay Meschke, president of search firm EFL Associates, in a report.

"It is fine to seek acknowledgement of application material after a week, but diplomacy is the watchword. A potential employer becomes wary of applicants who become 'stalkers,'" Meschke adds.

If you had an interview with the company more than two weeks ago, and haven't received word, Chopra recommends calling to let the hiring mangers know that you're still very interested in the position.

"Inquire about when you should expect to hear back, if you should proactively contact the gatekeeper and at what intervals, plus what forms of contact would be most appropriate, such as telephone calls, e-mails, etc.,"according to Meschke.

If you don't know your fate soon after the call, then you must give the employer space until they reach out to you. If you don't hear back at all, then it's time to move on. The best way to move on is to stay positive and start looking again.

Don't pin all of your hopes on one job interview or application. Apply to several jobs, even if you've interviewed, and remember that there are several employers out there looking to hire someone with your skills and expertise.

Visit's Job Board to search for veteran-friendly employers. And check out our Veteran Career Network to get intel from vets in the civilian workforce.

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