Your resume was perfectly formatted, your cover letter was tailored especially for the position, you even landed a preliminary interview. So why haven’t you heard back yet? In an age where much of communication happens instantaneously, it can be especially disconcerting for students when a job application or interview is followed by, well, nothing.
But instead of being overly frustrated by the post-application silence, campus experts suggest students take measured, constructive steps to improve their resume and attitude.
The issue of following up usually goes one of two ways: students either don’t do it, or do it when it’s too late and the application window has long been closed. Andrew Casalegno, a fourth-year kinesiology student who recently found work after countless applications, advises that if you are really interested in a position, then let the employer know and follow up within a week of applying or interviewing. “Following up is not only a way to show that the position or company is at the top of your list, it keeps the conversation going and makes it more likely that you receive closure.”
Leverage what you do have
Students don’t have to be just another resume in the stack. Networking and connections can allow students to make their application more noticeable. If a student has had face-to-face contact with an existing employee and expressed their interest, for example, that’s an advantage.
“I take business cards from job fair representatives who I speak to. This way, I can directly contact the person who I spoke with to have my application reviewed. If I don’t get a card and just a name, I can even email the hiring manager, attach a resume, and ask ‘can you please forward this to X, we spoke at the career fair and discussed my interest in the position,’” shares Casalegno.
It’s also important that students’ frustration with the application process doesn’t translate into destructive behavior, like taking to social media to denounce a company. Instead, Casalegno suggests students change their perspective to help move forward
“Sometimes that’s just not the company you want to work for. Maybe it’s not the best fit. But if your heart is set on a company, that’s fine. look for other networking opportunities within that company for the future, but keep pressing forward rather than spend your time being frustrated.”
Review your resume
Whether or not students are experiencing trouble getting replies from employers, Casalegno recommends that students meet with their career counselor regularly to have their resume reviewed and updated. “What I recommend first is always to see if there’s something on your resume that can be tweaked, or if there’s something that you’re missing, and having a counselor to help with that is a big advantage many students don’t have.”