So You Applied For a Job

What do you do when you don't hear back?

Job Search Hiring Motivation

Ketan Anjaria

So you applied for a job or sent out your resume but didn't hear back.

What should you do?

Well typically like most people ( including myself in the past), you start asking yourself, wait did I make a mistake? Was my resume good enough? Oh I should have talked about this project, oh did I have enough experience....

You start spiraling. You start questioning your worth. You go down this rabbit hole of all the ways it might not work and it's honestly not healthy and you know that but you keep doing it because you really want this job.

Let me lay out a different plan of attack.

  1. Before you submit anything, ask someone to look it over. Either a job search buddy or a coach or a friend. Another pair of eyes doesn't hurt and your first/initial messages can be really helped with some great editing.

  2. After you submit, immediately move on the next job. Why? Well a watched pot never boils and also all that hand wringing and second guessing doesn't actually help you land a job. Focus on your goals and increasing your chances by finding more opportunities. There are no perfect jobs, it's what you add to it that matters.

  3. People don't get back to you for a variety of reasons. They may most likely be busy, they may have lost the budget for this job or they may be juggling multiple candidates.

And one of the most likely is they think you aren't a good fit but due to American cultural norms, we aren't good with saying outright no immediately.

Also because declining a candidate can have legal ramifications they have to make sure they are saying the right thing in declining.

Basically the people who are hiring, guess what, are human just like you.

I wish everyone got back to everyone immediately, I wish we were all capable of honest direct conversation but barring that, your best path forward is focusing on what keeps you healthy.

When you don't hear back, the best thing you can do is move on.

Don't get stuck on a single potential job. You find way more opportunities with your head out of daydreams.

Do things that make you feel happy, like walks, talking to friends and improving your skills. Don't let the waiting time be filled with angst. Use our limited time on this earth to enjoy what it has to offer.

And lastly, share your struggles with us. I got choo HireClub.



Sabrina Chikh Brilliant! Ketan thank you for your words perfectly found. As a French student in her final year of a Master's Degree I've sent over 75 application to find an internship in SF/ US with no results although I speak four languages and I've been working in different fields in different coutrnies. But that's part of the game and perseverance is the key word I guess.. So thank you for giving back some positive vibes over here !


Lisa Tsering Great advice Ketan. It’s about the process!


Sara Madanat I love this! I read it yesterday and it made me wait before sending a follow-up message (I wanted my sister to look over my email) and I got a response this morning for a phone interview! Thank god I read your post and waited!

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