Company doesn’t get back to me for months. What should I do?

A Reader Writers: 

Right after graduation, I was aiming to have a job lined up with an offer in hand, but I ended up mistiming everything. I started a month before graduation by sending out resumes to my dream companies where I probably sent out a total of 50, but in the course of a month I only heard back from 10- the rest, NO RESPONSE! I work in tech so I am sure these companies get tons of applications, but why does it take so long? Should I try to call a recruiter and see why the long wait is, or just ‘wait’ it out? I got bills to pay so yeah. – Peter

 

Hey Peter, 

According to Glassdoor, it can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks or 14 days to hear back from a company, however, based on personal experience, I have had times where recruiters reach out a few months after I submitted my application. Coincidentally enough, one was Amazon, a tech company, so your situation is not uncommon. I usually recommend people to start interviewing 6 months before graduation as the process usually takes a lot longer than you may think. As someone who also hires people, I can tell you that the time to get back to the applicant can range for several reasons: 

  1. They may like your resume, but they want to interview other candidates first so they don’t get your hopes up on setting up an interview. 
  2. They received so many resumes that they haven’t gotten to yours yet. I know we do this, as we receive resumes, we set up interviews and if we have too many interviews set up, we wait on the resumes.
  3. They aren’t ready to interview yet.

Hence, I suggest planning for the worst case scenario and expect the recruitment process to take a few months, especially if the position is more senior. As larger companies can have more applicants, the interview time can take longer. However, I also know that larger companies can also have more recruiters who can really expedite the process.

On another note, you hypothesized that tech companies get a lot of applicants…that is 100% correct. During an interview when I was a software engineer, I got ‘buddy buddy’ with the recruiter and asked them, ‘how many applicants did you get for this role?’ She mentioned, ‘500’ and the company only had 50 employees! A few threads on Quora even state that some companies can receive up to 75,000 applicants per job post so yes, your hunch about tech companies getting a lot of applicants is correct!

Now, back to your original question, should you call the recruiter? Most definitely, a no is better than a maybe. If you have their email or phone, sure, but I wouldn’t do that with a hiring manager. A recruiters’ sole job is to find the right candidates for a job. However, I wouldn’t try calling the company if you don’t know the person’s number. A simple email like:

 

 ‘Hey {recruiter name}, 

   I was curious on how the hiring process was going for {x} position. I submitted a resume around {time ago} so I just wanted to touch base. 

Best,

-Peter. 

 

Something like that, neutral, friendly but not needy. 

Keep up searching! Interviewing at companies can feel like a full time job. If you still need help, I suggest you check out the 2 Hour Job Search. The book covers some unique strategies on getting into larger companies. With its unique approach I was able to get some interviews at places like Under Armour and TaskRabbit so it may be worth a look!

I hope that helps, please write in when you land your dream job or need more help!

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Jeff Butler

Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.

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