How to Handle the Waiting Period After Submitting an Application

Let’s face it…there is a lot of waiting involved in the job search process. These waiting periods can be even more stressful than the actual application or interview. The initial waiting period comes after you submit your application. During this time, you are probably waiting by the phone, checking your email multiple times a day and asking yourself questions like

How long should it take to hear back after applying?

While it would be great if there was one set answer, some companies fill certain positions very quickly, while others take a longer time. Every company has a different hiring process and therefore operates on different timelines. It all depends on things like urgency, company size, number of applicants, etc.

According to this article,

“Depending on what’s happening within a company, the urgency to fill the role can vary. In fact, during a job search, people report a wide range of experiences…

  • 44% hear from employers within a couple weeks of applying
  • 37% hear back within one week
  • Only 4% hear back within one day…”

What should I do if I haven’t heard back after applying?

If you haven’t heard anything for a while – don’t panic! It doesn’t necessarily mean that you did not get an interview…give it a couple of weeks. During this time, apply to other positions and continue your job search as usual – it is always good to keep your options open.

Don’t get too in your head about it or take it personally if you have not received a timely response. It is easy to overlook the fact that hiring managers are often very busy and have many applications to sort through before they can reach out and offer interviews.

If a couple weeks go by and you still haven’t heard anything, feel free to send a follow-up email. Doing so will further express your interest, get the conversation going and help you stand out as a candidate. If you have the hiring manager’s contact information, you can reach out to them directly. These articles have some great templates for follow-up emails for when you are waiting to hear back after applying:

These limbo periods can be frustrating; however, it is important to not stress over the things you can’t control. To get through this difficult time, just remember that you gave your best effort and things will work out the way they are supposed to!

Sad businesswoman leaving office after being let go

Termination vs. Layoff – How Does it Impact your Job Search?

We associate being fired from a job with unsettling words like ‘terminated’ or ‘laid off’. These anxiety-inducing words are often believed to be synonymous. However, they have distinct differences. Keep reading to learn about these key differences and what you should account for as you move forward in your job search.


What Does it Mean?

Termination means that the employee was let go by the company as a result of performance issues (low quality work, insubordination, stealing time/resources, harassment etc.). In other words, termination occurs when the employee is at fault.

How Does it Impact your Job Search?

Understand the reason for your termination and ask for constructive criticism

The ‘silver lining’ is that it will be a learning experience that will allow you to identify your weaknesses and determine how you can improve in your next position.  

Plan how you are going to explain the situation to hiring managers in future job interviews

This is not something that you want to try to hide – honesty is crucial right off the bat. Ensure that you have a poised and professional response prepared. When explaining what happened, put a positive spin on it by showing all that you have learned from your mistakes and how you are going to improve upon them if hired.

Secure references in case they are needed during future application processes

Think about your past positions…do you have previous employers who would vouch for you? If so, it is a good idea to reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to write you a referral if needed.

Look for a new job that is the right fit for your skill set and a company culture that meshes well with your personality

In certain cases, an employee termination can simply be a result of the fact that their personality did not mesh well within the work environment. That’s okay – some cultures are not the right fit for everyone. Take some time to evaluate and identify all aspects you are looking for in your next company.


What Does it Mean?

Being laid off means that the employee was let go by the company for reasons other than the employee’s performance (downsizing, outsourcing). In other words, a layoff happens when the company is at fault.

How Does it Impact your Job Search?

The door may still be open

In certain cases, a layoff could sometimes mean that you are eligible for rehire by the same company at a later date. Your former employer will likely have mentioned this to you. If this was not discussed, it is safe to assume that door is closed for the time being and that you should go ahead and begin your job search whenever you feel ready.

Apply for unemployment

If you are having trouble finding a new job or just want to ensure you stay on your feet and lessen some of that job search stress, it is a good idea to apply. As a laid off employee, you have a high chance of approval!

Explain your situation in your cover letter or interview

A layoff is something that is easily explainable to potential employers, there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is better to address your situation rather than making hiring managers try to fill in the gaps themselves. This will ease their minds and increase your chances of getting an interview/getting hired.

Keep a positive attitude and remain hopeful

Remember, a layoff has nothing to do with your performance…don’t be too hard on yourself. It is just an unfortunate situation that happened to affect your position at the company; you should not take it personally.

Whether you were terminated or laid off, you are still out of a job. Here are some additional things you can do to facilitate your job search:

Network as much as possible

Explore LinkedIn and connect with hiring managers of companies that interest you. Send messages expressing your interest and selling your skills. Attend networking events and get your resume out there. Once you get the conversation going, you never know where it could lead you!

Engage a recruiting agency

Are you interested in a position in Finance, Accounting, or IT? Xplora will help you customize your search and proactively identify the right companies for you, based on your search criteria.

Apply for freelance/consulting work

If you are having trouble finding a permanent position, there are numerous freelance platforms that allow you to market your skills and connect with companies in need of consultants. If you are interested in consulting work and looking to engaging a recruiting agency, Xplora places countless candidates in temporary and temporary-to-permanent positions. Temporary jobs are a fantastic way to grow your network and explore different opportunities.

Let us help you take that next step to finding your dream job!

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Blog Post #22 Image

10 Tips for Starting a New Job

Starting a new job can be stressful – there’s a bunch of new people to meet, lots to learn and countless new adjustments. We have all the tips and tricks you need to help you get a head start and make a good first impression on the big day!

Plan Ahead

Is your start date approaching? Time to start planning ahead. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to the hiring manager prior to your start date. This will show that you are proactive and organized. It will also eliminate feelings of uncertainty and ease some of those first day jitters.

Practice Your Commute

If you have a commute to the office, consider doing a practice commute prior to your start date. This is a great way to ensure that you show up on time and know what to expect the day of. It will also allow you to determine the best time to leave in the morning and the most efficient way to get there.

Know the Dress Code

Determine the dress code ahead of time to avoid over or underdressing. Think back to how the hiring managers dressed during the interview process. If you aren’t certain – ask! Take your preparation a step further by picking out your first day outfit in advance, that way you have one less thing to think about on the morning of the big day!

Have a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude goes a long way. It will help you make a great first impression and will show that you are excited and grateful for the opportunity. It will also help you feel more confident!

Connect With Your Coworkers

During the first couple weeks, it is important to put yourself out there and establish relationships with the people in your department. Building a rapport with your coworkers will ease some of that new-job anxiety and ensure that you have a smooth transition into the work environment.

Consistently Show up Eager to Learn

Be sure to always show up eager to learn, especially during the training process. You will make a good impression if you show your curiosity and desire for understanding. It will also make your training more enjoyable for everyone!

Communicate Your Learning Style

It is a good idea to communicate your learning style to whoever is training you. Whether that means you learn best from taking notes, shadowing, watching, pictures etc. This will help them, help you! It will also help facilitate the training process for everyone.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

All jobs have learning curves, and no one will expect you to know everything right away. If you are unsure of something and have done everything you could to try and figure it out, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Asking questions is just a part of the learning process – don’t fight it.

Set Mini Goals for Yourself

During training, setting small goals for yourself is a good way to hold yourself accountable and get ramped up as fast as possible. Once you master the small things you will be on the right track to tackle the big things! You will have a sense of pride when you are able to accomplish them.

Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself

Remember, you are your worst critic – minor road bumps at a new job are perfectly natural and expected. All new jobs have growing pains and it is okay to make mistakes in the beginning – don’t beat yourself up for it. Instead, just see every mistake as a learning opportunity.


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Focusing on YOU in 2022

Don’t let this year’s work resolutions fall by the wayside.

This year, look at your career and set some measurable goals that you can track. Here are some for the new year that will make it your best work year yet!

Update your resume

Make it a work goal for the year to review and edit your resume, even if you don’t plan on applying anywhere. It’s always best to update your resume periodically before you lose track of the information you need.

Create a new professional connection per month

There’s no downside to increasing the size of your professional network. Try to find at least one person per month to add to your LinkedIn connections.

Improve your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is crucial to your overall personal brand. Just like your resume, you need to keep the information, tone, and look of it up to date.

Get a new professional headshot

Depending on your career, your profile photo may be casual or professional in its nature. The key is to select a photo that is high quality.

Send a thank-you note each month

Each month, think of someone who did something nice for you. It could have been a LinkedIn recommendation, an introduction to a valuable networking connection, a free lunch, or a small, kind gesture at the office.  

Volunteer for a cause you care about

Find a cause that is meaningful to you and sign up to contribute. If you can get your office to make an official event of it and recruit co-workers to volunteer with you.

Clean out your e-mail inbox

Your email inbox is probably flooded with old, useless emails. Organize your email files, sort those emails, and delete what doesn’t need to be there anymore.

Make it a priority to stay healthier at work

Take the stairs. Get up and stretch every hour. Test out a standing desk. Meal prep the night before so you don’t feel the need to rush through lunch. Think small and you’ll find that those little things add up.

Now that you’ve made your New Year’s work resolutions, let’s get it done!!

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How to Effectively Onboard New Hires

You have already worked with your dedicated recruiter during the hiring process—identifying and testing for must-haves and building a diverse pool of candidates. 

As a hiring manager, you have the most important role in a candidate’s success. No matter how busy you are, it is worth taking the time to think through their onboarding experience. 

Here are some tips for effective onboarding:

Align expectations.

Nothing will matter more for the success of your new hire than your alignment on what they are expected to contribute and accomplish in their role. Help them understand the full scope of their role. Ask your new hire to propose a few goals of their own. Now is a great time to reflect on your preferences, traditions, and requirements regarding communication, relationship-building, and the work itself.

Let them learn and do.

No matter how qualified they are, your new hire (or newly promoted staff person) will need development to excel in their role. Consider how you will support them through an array of learning opportunities. We would recommend frontloading learning and relationship-building as you ramp up the doing.  Be intentional about pacing and sequencing.

Instill good habits.

You only get one chance to start a new relationship. The best part of a new management relationship is that you can normalize the use of tools, practices, and processes from the beginning. Use your onboarding process to create and reinforce good management habits. Scheduling regular checks in’s is a great practice. Share praise and constructive feedback in your check-ins and do debriefs. The more you can normalize feedback from the beginning, the better you’ll be set up for your long-term relationship.

Let them know that they belong.

The more welcomed, respected, and valued people feel, the more empowered they are to contribute their best.  As the manager, you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to cultivate and maintain a sense of belonging for your new staff member. In their first few months, your new employee will need your help to establish connections across the organization and with key client relationships.

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7 Reasons to Consider a Temporary or Contract Job

Discover the unique advantages of temporary employment and why it could be a great fit for you!

Click here to learn about Xplora’s staffing division!

Temporary, contract, or “interim” positions are more plentiful than ever & are a great way for unemployed candidates to get back to employment! What’s more, taking a temp or contract job just might lead to a permanent position.

With so much uncertainty over the past 1.5 years, it is not shocking that many people are reluctant to take temporary jobs. There is a misconception that short-term employment does not provide security and stability that so many people are looking for post-pandemic. Some job seekers believe that temporary work only includes entry-level positions, not realizing that the temp industry staffs for nearly every profession out there including accounting and finance. Many of these temporary jobs require employees to have specific skill sets and training!

If you are willing to consider a temporary job, it can have many short-term and long-term benefits:

1. Builds Your Resume

Companies are looking for a variety of experiences. Taking a series of temporary jobs will show that you have an array of skills and have worked in multiple environments. This will make you look both qualified and adaptable which will increase the likelihood of you getting hired. 

This also allows you the opportunity to gain experience without the long-term commitment; in case that you decide a position is not a good fit. Temporary positions allow you to test out different environments and determine what type of schedule, work culture, and management style best suit you.

2. Faster Hiring Process

Employers who are looking for temporary help may have a more urgent need to fill the position. It can mean that they do not have time to go through a variety of candidates and are therefore willing to be flexible with their requirements. When looking for temporary employees, most companies hire the help of a firm like Xplora Search, which will help you process paperwork, get you on the payroll, and send you to the job in a timely manner.

3. Flexibility

Working a temporary position often offers more flexibility because they are almost always hourly, which allows you to do your job and go home. With the need to fill the position, many companies will be willing to accommodate scheduling requests, if it means filling the role.

4. Competitive Pay

While this may not be the case in every situation, because companies are looking to quickly hire, they will offer competitive wages with hopes of getting candidates in the seat. They understand the importance of ensuring that the job is worthwhile to the candidate.

5. Ability to Build Your Network

When you take temporary jobs, you will meet lots of people that you otherwise would not have met. This can expand both your professional and personal networks. If you do your job well, you will meet someone who is willing to give you a strong reference.

6. Keep Your Skills and Knowledge Current

In a workforce with many moving parts, things continue to change at a rapid rate! Continuing to be employed allows you to learn these things as they come up, which will leave you better equipped for the next short- or long-term position that you take.

7. May Lead to Permanent Position

Taking a temporary job is a definite way to get your foot in the door in an industry that you want to be in – consider it a working interview! It is a combination of performing well and being in the right place at the right time to be offered full-time employment at the company you are working at.

If you are currently in search of a new job, please be sure to reach out to one of our team members and let us help you find the right fit!

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I’m Speaking to a Recruiter – What do I Ask?

Are you speaking to a recruiter? Don’t forget to ask these important questions!

Whether it is a recruiter calling you about the job you applied for directly or a recruiter who found you via LinkedIn or networking, this call or meeting is your chance to make a great first impression. It is also your chance to ask any questions you might have about the job, prepare for an interview, and even seek additional opportunities.

Here are the “go-to” questions to ask your recruiter:

Who is the ideal candidate for this role?

Ask your recruiter to describe the company’s ideal candidate. That way, you’ll be able to use this information to determine if this role is a good fit for you even shape your answers to interview questions.

How quickly are you looking to fill this position?

By asking your recruiter how quickly a company’s looking to fill a position, you can better understand the pace at which the process will move, especially if you have other opportunities in play.

How would you describe the company’s culture?

Before going into an interview, you want to research a company’s culture to see if you would be a good fit. The best way to do this is to study a company’s website and poke around social media (e.g., Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram). A recruiter should be able to provide some additional insight and clarity based on their interactions with the company.

What is the starting salary range?

This question is a BIG NO-NO when it comes to the job interview, but you can feel more comfortable asking your recruiter. The goal of this initial conversation is to figure out if you might be a good fit for the company and vice versa. Try something along the lines of: “I want to make sure this opportunity fits my needs. Do you have information on the compensation range? It is not uncommon for your recruiter to ask you about your salary expectations, so be prepared to answer that question as well.

Who will be interviewing me?

If the recruiter has made it clear you’ve been invited to an interview, ask about your interviewer(s).  
You can better understand the types of questions you’ll be asked. You can also spend some time on LinkedIn exploring their professionals’ backgrounds. This can help quickly establish a more personal connection.

What’s appropriate interview attire?

There are few things more uncomfortable than walking into an interview dressed too casually! It is perfectly fine to ask your recruiter what their recommendation is that you wear for the interview, especially if it’s a virtual interview.

What types of interview questions can I expect?

Recruiters will set up a prep call/meeting with you so you can feel prepared ahead of time! Always, ALWAYS accept this offer. This will help alleviate those day-of nerves and always ask if there are certain questions you should prepare for in advance.

What are the next steps?

The most important question you should continue to ask your recruiter after each step in the interview process is simple: “What are the next steps?”

You will have several other questions about the interview process along the way! The best part about engaging a recruiter is that he/she is your go-to contact for anything you need related to the job search. Having a reputable recruiter in your corner always helps to ensure a smooth interview process (and less stress)!

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You Received an Offer…Now What?

An offer has been extended to you – congratulations! What do you do now? Our team at Xplora is here to help you strategize your next steps to ensure you are set up for success all the way through the end of this process and up until your first day at your new job.

Before you give a verbal or written commitment, keep these steps in mind and make sure you have your professional references ready to go, as your recruiter will check them on behalf of your prospective employer.

  1. Be prepared for the offer call

Talk to your recruiter beforehand so that you know the best way to handle this call if you are speaking directly with your new employer and an offer is being delivered directly to you. A lot of employers have been delivering offers via video nowadays, so it’s also important to remember that, even during this call, you are STILL INTERVIEWING! While you are not required to give an answer on the spot, you certainly can, especially if you’re excited and the offer is in line with your expectations! If you need time to talk to your circle of influence, let your recruiter and/or the employer know this and confirm when the deadline is to give an answer. Thank them for the opportunity and let them know you will be back to them timely; this shows your enthusiasm but gives you time to make a well-informed decision. Also, take advantage of this additional conversation as an opportunity to ask any additional questions.

2. Negotiate your offer, if necessary

Once you receive the initial offer, talk to your recruiter if you think you want to negotiate the offer. This is the time to voice any concerns and negotiate what is fair, but ONLY if you are serious about taking the offer with this company. If this step is necessary, work with your recruiter on the best way to handle it. Our team will offer you some professional & proven strategies to ensure you are receiving a fair and competitive offer.

3. Review your written offer

Once you have verbally accepted/committed to the terms of the offer, you will receive a written offer letter where you can review the salary, bonus, benefits, and time off. Make sure your offer includes all aspects of the offer that you discussed with both your recruiter and prospective employer.

4. Background check & drug screen

Your prospective employer will likely require a background check and/or drug screen as a condition of employment. If you suspect there to be any issues with either, it’s imperative that you let your recruiter know immediately.

5. Pre-planned vacations? Once you accept your offer, let your new employer know if you have any pre-planned vacations or scheduled PTO for the remainder of the year.

6. Inform other prospective employers that you’re interviewing with

If you have other interviews going on, extend the courtesy of letting those companies know that you have already accepted another job offer or that you are expecting another offer. This is a professional courtesy and employers greatly appreciate this, as it opens the door for other candidates that the company is interested in.

7. Go the extra mile with a thank you phone call

Once you’ve accepted your offer, it’s a great idea to call your new manager to relay your excitement and enthusiasm about coming to work on their team! It’s the little things that go a long way.

8. Give your notice

Do NOT give your notice to your current company until your new employer and your recruiter give you the green light! It’s important to ALWAYS wait for your offer letter in writing before giving notice and be sure you set up a time to talk to your recruiter beforehand to walk through best practices of giving notice. You ALWAYS want to be fully prepared for this conversation and giving your notice prematurely can result in a lot of confusion and added stress.

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5 Reasons you Should Never Join a Video Interview from your Phone

We, at Xplora, are here to help you ensure that your virtual interviews remain professional and that you make a good impression. Many people have gotten a lot more comfortable with virtual interviews over the last year and a half. However, at what point does this level of comfort become unprofessional? This blog post will shed light on why joining a video interview from your phone isn’t the best move and what you should do instead!

  1. Unfavorable first impression

Joining a video interview from your phone when you are the interviewee is never a good idea, especially if it is your first-round interview with a hiring manager. You want to avoid doing anything in your interview that will hinder your credibility or cause the interviewer to question your ability to succeed in the role. Think about it; let’s say a hiring manager was conducting two interviews for the same position and that one person answered from their phone while driving and the other answered from their computer at their desk. Right off the bat they will likely feel that the more reliable candidate is the one who was at their desk, regardless of the content of each interview. When it comes to interviews, first impressions are extremely important!

2. Unprofessional

Aside from giving the interviewer a bad first impression of who you are as a person and/or potential employee, it is also extremely unprofessional and is not standard business practice to join an interview call from your phone. Instead of joining from your phone in a public place or from your car, be sure to join the call from a computer with a minimalistic and well-lit background, if possible. This will start the interview off on a positive note and will set you apart from other candidates who might not have done the same.

3. Shows a lack of respect for the hiring manager’s time

Joining a video interview from your phone usually will make you come across as rude and inconsiderate. The hiring manager will likely assume that the interview is not your priority and that you are disinterested, even if that is not the case. This is disrespectful to the hiring manager because they took the time out of their schedule to conduct the interview and they will probably feel that you did not do the same. Always be courteous and give hiring managers your utmost respect and undivided attention…(from a computer)!

4. Can cause poor connection

We all have been there – when the FaceTime connection cuts in and out or when your Wi-Fi connection isn’t strong enough. Think of the frustration you feel when you are on the other end of that call. Now, imagine that a hiring manager is on the other end of that call. When you join an interview call from your phone, you run the risk of an unstable connection way more than if you were joining from a computer in your home. This can be very disruptive and therefore the interview will likely not run as smoothly as it could. For one, you might miss some of the questions the hiring manager asks, and/or they might not hear your answers. If crucial aspects of the interview get lost in the poor Wi-Fi connection, it could ultimately hinder your chances of being hired.

5. Unenjoyable

Lastly, joining an interview from your phone can simply make the interview unenjoyable for everyone involved. Unlike a computer that would be resting on a desk, when you’re holding your phone in your hand, you run the risk of having a shaky screen or dropping it. A chaotic and shaky screen does not make for an enjoyable phone call, let alone a professional interview.

Bottom line: if you are in an unexpected situation where you are unable to join the interview from your computer, it is better to explain your situation to the hiring manager and try to reschedule instead of simply joining from your phone.

For additional interview tips check out these posts:

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Candidate FAQs

Have you considered engaging a recruiting agency to coach and mentor you through your job search process? Our Xplora team is committed to helping you achieve your career goals. Let us help alleviate your stress and make your job search enjoyable! Mike Krebs and Josline Jose, two of our recruiters, address some frequently asked questions from candidates here:

Q: What’s the benefit of using a Recruiter/Agency?

A: With Xplora specifically, we have a really strong understanding of the industry/market with strong relationships with top tier Accounting and Finance professionals in the area, so you have the advantage of being maybe 1 of 4 or 5 resumes rather than 1 of over 100 people applying directly to a posting from the company itself. You also get the benefit of having an advocate throughout the entire process to help guide and prep you along the way and provide you with detailed feedback. You also have the ability to ask questions throughout the entire process and apply to multiple companies simultaneously. Working with a Recruiter is a great resource to utilize even along with doing your own applying/interviewing and it builds long lasting relationships. I have people I’ve worked with over 5 years ago that still reach out to me! 

Q: What is the interview process like during the pandemic times/moving past the pandemic?

A: Most companies have adjusted to do virtual interviews and continue to do virtual interviews moving forward. It does seem that the market is starting to shift back towards an occasional in-person interview, but most companies who have made the adjustment seem to like the flexibility and convenience of a virtual interview. 

Q: Are there a lot of fully remote positions?

A: Although the pandemic forced companies to adjust and do as much as possible virtually, it does seem that companies are not fully embracing a 100% work from home schedule, long-term, quite yet.  Although we do see more of these remote roles than ever before, it is still not the norm on the market and candidates should expect companies to begin having employees back in the office (even if it’s a hybrid schedule of 2-3 days/week in the office).

As Q2 comes to an end, we want to provide you with the resources you need to succeed in your job search! Visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn to stay in the loop on all of our current job opportunities!

  • On our website, go to ‘Current Openings’ or click here to check it out!
  • On our LinkedIn, go to the ‘Jobs’ tab or click here to check it out!

For more information and additional questions:

  • Give us a call: (215) 568-2300
  • Follow our hashtag on LinkedIn: #xplorasearch
  • Message one of our team members via LinkedIn and let us help you!

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