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How Long Should You Hold Out for a Job Offer?

There’s a certain point where “soon” is indistinguishable from “never.”

One of the things that makes job hunting such an agonizing process is the absolute snail’s pace it moves at. You take thirty minutes to an hour to fill out an application, then they might write you back in a week or so to potentially set up an interview, and then after the interview they leave you hanging for what feels like forever. I had an interview once that seemed to go quite well, but then I didn’t hear from them again for four months, and by then I wasn’t even hunting anymore!

If you’ve got your heart set on a job, it’s okay to wait a little while for it, but there does come a time where you need to remind them you exist. If you haven’t heard back from an interviewer after a couple of weeks, you should email them to see what the holdup is. If they’re interviewing a large quantity of candidates, fine, but you are definitely entitled to status updates. If they leave you hanging again for several more weeks, it may be time to move on to other pastures.

While there is a chance that the company you interviewed with is genuinely inundated with work that’s keeping them from talking to you, there are companies out there that use a practice known as “breadcrumbing” to try and string along potential hires. This is when they try to drag out the process for as long as humanly possible, though for what practical reason, I honestly couldn’t tell you.

If you’re still job hunting multiple months later, and they finally contact you to say they want to talk to you again, I’d suggest giving the prospect of continuing contact with this company some deep thought. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t exactly be stoked to work for an employer that ghosts people for months on end.

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