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March 6, 2009
Patience in the Job Hunt – A Virtue?
 
“Good things come to those who wait.”
“Patience is a virtue.”
“The waiting is the hardest part.” (Thank you Mr. Petty for that one)
 
Many adages revolve around the idea of having patience and that you will be rewarded for it. But how virtuous can you be when job hunting? And when do you show your take-charge and aggressive side that so many employers seem to value?  When you're the one waiting for the feedback, interview times, decision, offer - any part of it - the time crawls. You can go crazy trying to guess what your next move should be and when to make it.
 
I am here to tell you to first, to hang in there when you're waiting. Just because you haven't heard anything yet about your resume or portfolio, or feedback from an interview, or next steps, that doesn't mean that all is over. I have talked with 2 jobseekers just this week who are finally hearing back from employers regarding initial interviews conducted back in December. It's now March.
 
Most of you won't feel comfortable sitting back and waiting and I sympathize a great deal. You've probably been told that your take-charge attitude is an asset in the past. So let's use it to your advantage. But, some guidelines regarding how frequently to 'check in' and attempt to receive updates should be followed. First though, always attempt to nail down a date when you can expect to have feedback or next steps. You now have a reason to check back in if you haven't heard - the date passed. If you can't get a timeline commitment, this should help:
 
Daily check-ins are an obvious no-no. If you've just recently interviewed or had contact and are expecting a relatively quick turnaround for feedback, every 3rd day is appropriate. If it's been more than 2 weeks without any communication, take it to one time per week. If it's been more than 6 weeks, go to a 3-week rotation.
 
Alternate your methods. Phone, then email, then back to phone using the schedule above.
 
Alternate your contacts if possible. If you have both an HR and Management contact, communicate with both until you're directed to only one specific contact.
 
If you don't feel like your attempts at contact are enough to give you the edge you seek, here are some additional ideas to stay 'top of mind' without becoming a pest.
 
·         Send pre-written letters of reference, in addition to the reference names you already provided
·         Determine if any of your references know a decision maker at the company and ask them to call on your behalf
·         Send additional writing or work samples to help them come to a quicker decision
·         Call and ask if there is anything more you can provide to help them in their decision-making process
·         Send a note stating that you believe, with no uncertainty, that you are the person for the job and are looking forward to proving it
 
With a little patience, strategic planning, and some interesting hobbies to pass the time in between actions, you will receive the information you're seeking.

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Amy Hoover has been with Talent Zoo for more than 12 years. Considered an industry expert in employment practices and trends, she speaks often at events and is frequently interviewed by industry publications.

 
Amy was also widely read as the premier blogger on Hiring-Revolution for many years where she earned a reputation for wit, entertainment, information, and no bull. You can find her on Linked, friend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
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