The Wait

You found what sounds like the perfect Workamping job. You send your resume. Then, you wait. Sometimes it is weeks; sometimes you never hear back. How frustrating!

Often the hiring process for a Workamper job drags out much longer than you would like. There are two spots particularly – acknowledging your application or resume and after an interview – where the process can bog down. Why might this happen? Is there anything you can or should do?

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak



You’ve sent in your Workamper resume. It has been two or more weeks with no acknowledgment. Looking at the employer’s perspective, this could happen for several reasons:

  1. Many applicants: An employer who receives dozens of resumes may not have had time to sort through them all. In that case, he may not even look at them all and instead deal with the first few he receives.
  2. Slush pile: Employers often sort the resumes they receive into two or three piles: looks like a fit, definitely not under consideration, and possibly a “maybe” pile. If your resume did not make the first one, you aren’t likely to get a call unless none of those people get hired. Even then, the employer may re-advertise.
  3. Not ready: In spite of having advertised, the employer isn’t ready to hire. They may have jumped the gun in advertising. Other tasks may now have priority over hiring or they may have a crisis to deal with.

What can you do? First, to avoid the slush pile, make sure your resume is related to the advertisement – the objective matches and you show skills and experience that relate to the position. Make sure your resume is neat, readable and that the employer can easily spot the information he needs to make a decision. And, make sure you have sent a cover letter with your resume, and that both have your contact information on it.

Secondly, if you haven’t heard anything in two weeks, follow up. Find out who to contact and then phone or send an email to find out the status of your application. If you can speak to the person doing the hiring and your resume is being considered, follow up by asking the time frame for making a decision. If you are not under consideration or need to line something up sooner, you won’t waste time and energy on this position.


Ideally, at the end of an interview you have a job offer or a clear indication of where you stand and what the process is. If your sense is that you are under consideration, but time stretches out without a call, it may be for similar reasons as above: the employer has a number of candidates she wants to interview and is not finished, no one candidate stands out, or she is not in a hurry to make a decision – or you didn’t make the cut.

Unless the interviewer is very clear about your chances and when they’ll get back to you, find that out before you end the interview. If you are not a strong candidate, ask for feedback about what you did well and where you could improve for future interviews. If you are in the running, ask about the time frame for making a decision and get permission to check back if you haven’t heard by then. In that case, call the day after that deadline.

In addition, send a written thank-you note after the interview. This gives you a chance to once again express your enthusiasm for the job and to restate your strong points. If you are interviewed by two people, send each a note. A thank you helps keep you in the forefront of the interviewer’s mind and could be the edge that gets you the position.

Keep in mind

  1. If you contact an employer to follow up, watch your tone or you could sabotage your efforts at getting a job. Do not sound demanding. Be polite and use the opportunity to express strong interest in the position and mention your strengths again.
  2. Your idea of timing in the hiring process may not match the employer’s plan. And, circumstances can change priorities so hiring is put on the back burner.
  3. The employer’s decision-making style may not be a fast one. While some people know what they want and take the first thing (or person) that matches, others are more methodical. They want more information and may want to interview x-number of candidates before making their choice. This draws the process out.
  4. An employer may feel a loyalty, or be happy with, an employee from the previous season and want to give them the first opportunity. If that employee does not respond in a timely manner, you may have to wait to find out if there is an opening.

Wait or move on?

Much as we would prefer a definite yes or no to our resume or interview, that does not always happen. Ultimately, not hearing anything IS an answer. While the occasional employer calls with a job offer two or more months after silence, that is the exception. If you haven’t heard back after a couple of weeks and can get no response to your followup, move on. Maybe that #1 choice will come through eventually, but in the meantime, other good opportunities could be passing you by.

It’s not worth wasting energy getting annoyed with employers who don’t respond. They could very well be doing you a favor; it might not be some place you’d want to work anyway. Just as the appearance of your resume says things about you, lack of response on an employer’s part could be speaking about their organizational skills or how they treat individuals. Or lack of response could be because your resume is an obvious mismatch.

Job hunting is a numbers game. It’s sifting and sorting through job possibilities, narrowing them down to a dozen or so that look like a match. The employer too is sifting and sorting through resumes to find one or more Workampers who might be a match for his position. If you line up, you’ll get a job offer. If not, then one of your other possibilities might be better.

That is why I also recommend having a number of resumes in the works so you increase your opportunities to have one or more job offers when the season starts. Rather than stressing over one, enjoy and learn from the process of talking to a number of employers and then picking the best one. There are tons of jobs out there; there is a good one for you!

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