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What To Do If You Haven’t Heard Back About That Dream Job

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Little can compare — at least careerwise — with the feeling of exhilaration and expectation you get when you’ve nailed the interview for your dream job. You leave the interview anticipating a call very soon, but a few days later all you hear is crickets.

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Any number of things could be delaying the hiring manager’s response — many of them that have nothing to do with you. For instance, the employer may still be interviewing or dealing with an internal crisis. Or maybe your information got lost in the shuffle.

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But rather than wasting time speculating or feeling rejected, why not take some steps to increase your chances? Here are six things you can do when you haven’t heard back about that dream job.

Last updated: August 9, 2021
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Continue Applying

Even though you may have your heart set on a job you applied for, you can’t count on it coming through. If your objective is to become employed sooner rather than later, it’s vital to keep your job search rolling. And there are plenty of jobs out there. According to data from Indeed, 9.8 new jobs are added to its platform every single second.

And there’s another benefit to keeping your job-search momentum going: “Once you’ve put forth your best effort, switch your attention to other opportunities. Having multiple options will help you stay motivated,” said Sandy Sanders, career strategist. 

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Check Back

While it can border on emotionally painful to have to wait what seems like forever to hear back about a job you long for, it’s important to be patient. Consider giving your interviewer five business days before inquiring if you didn’t discuss during the interview when you might hear back.

Ideally, it’s better to be proactive. Before the interview ends, ask your interviewer when they expect to make a final decision. Then, follow this advice. “Follow up with the interviewer a few days before they say they’ll be contacting you,” said Brandi Frattini, talent acquisition lead at CareerBuilder. “Then, if you don’t hear back from them by the time they stated, feel free to follow up again. If you still don’t hear back, it’s time to move on,” Frattini said.

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Find a Way To Separate Yourself From the Pack

No matter if you’ve only just applied or you’ve already completed an interview, make the extra effort to stand out among the other candidates. Doing so can show that you’re passionate about and invested in the opportunity at hand, which can make a difference to those who are hiring.

“In your note, reiterate that you are still interested in the job,” said Sheila Murphy, business development coach. “Second, lay out how you could help the company if you were part of its team. Also, if you have thought of something that would strengthen your candidacy that you failed to mention before, raise it now. Moreover, if anything in terms of your experience or the company has changed, address that.”

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Connect Via LinkedIn

Asking to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn could be risky, but it might work in your favor.

Consider this advice from Kylee Brown, vice president of human resources for Wisper Internet, “Add the employees you speak with via LinkedIn. It is important to build your network. If they decide to go with another candidate, there is always a chance it may not work out. Regularly posting on LinkedIn will help to keep you top of mind. Plus, it is an easy way to interact with your contacts. Be sure to not overdo it.”

If you feel that attempting to connect with a hiring manager on LinkedIn is premature, you can opt to follow them instead, “Follow, NOT connect with them on LinkedIn. Following them does not require acceptance, and it is less intrusive,” advised Miriam Spinner, ICF Certified ACC Career Coach.

From there, Spinner recommends that you comment on the hiring manager’s posts to “demonstrate your thought leadership.”

Find Out: 22 Ways To Get a Jump on Your Job Search

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Consider Another Role

If it becomes clear that you’re out of the running for your dream job that you interviewed for, think about whether you’re willing to take a different position so you can get your foot in the door, so to speak, at the organization. If you are willing to make getting that dream job part of a long-term plan, this might be the way to go.

“Consider entering the organization through a different role. It is faster and easier to switch roles internally. Place emphasis on what you like about the organization, and how it aligns with your values,” Spinner said.

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Increase Your Qualifications

Even after your best efforts, you still may not get a response to your bid for your dream job. But that doesn’t mean that you should resort to obsessively checking your phone or email to the point of distraction. Instead, work on yourself.

“You can also use any extra time to strengthen your skills and extend your network. Take certification courses online. Do volunteer work, seek out mentors or hire a career coach,” Sanders said.

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