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By Sherry Bruck, Career Center Operator

You submitted a cover letter and resume for a job opportunity that fits your skillset and experience perfectly and received an automated email confirming receipt. Two weeks have passed and you still haven’t heard from a real person. It can be disconcerting, but there are many possible reasons for the lack of a human response. What’s most important is to proceed in manner that is professional and respectful to whom could be a potential employer. Here are some tips for next steps.

Don’t Assume You’re Being Ignored

  1. Your application could still be sitting in an inbox unopened.
  2. Some institutions require leaving job postings up for a required amount time period before responding to candidates.
  3. It takes time and sometimes multiple people to go through all the applications to identify strong candidates.
  4. Many HR departments are themselves short-staffed.

Find the Appropriate Contact Person 
Reaching out for an update on your application status is the recommended next step, but be respectful on how you do it. First confirm the contact person listed in the job posting. If the job posting didn’t list a contact, leverage any personal connections you may have at the company to find out who to reach out to. It could be in your connection’s best interest to help you, as many companies have employee referral programs. You can also visit the website and/or search on LinkedIn to review its list of employees for contact options.

Send a Follow-Up Message via Email or LinkedIn 
Hiring experts recommend waiting about two weeks before sending a follow-up message. A written email is preferred over a phone call as a show of respect for the hiring contact’s time. Your message should be succinct and upbeat, confirm your interest in the position, quickly highlight your most relevant experience and skills, and express gratitude for their time and attention. If you don’t get a response, wait another two weeks to send a short and final follow-up to double down on your interest and qualifications. 

Pursue Multiple Opportunities Simultaneously 
Searching for a job is not always linear and its best to have multiple irons in the fire at one time to prevent feelings of frustration when you don’t get closure on a job opportunity that you felt was a perfect fit. Take a break from job searching if you need to recharge your motivation, but realize not all things are in your control and the best remedy is to stay positive and keep busy. Productive activity eventually yields results!