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Answers: How will I know if an employer has read my resume?

February 15, 2011

One of the Big Five (or so) questions we get asked all the time on’s Answers forum is how you can tell if an employer has glanced at your application.

Sure, it’d be nice to know whether you’re getting rejected or if the employer simply hasn’t seen you. But here I am, raining on your parade: You can’t.

It’s not just some feature we’ve neglected to implement. All of the job search sites we know of choose not to notify applicants when their resumes are read because it puts the employer in an awkward position.

As the No. 1 goal of will always be to provide you with lots of high-quality, relevant internships, we have to offer employers a system that works with their needs in mind. If we gave our users “resume read” notices, we’d be putting pressure on employers to respond immediately to every application – or risk losing frustrated candidates. That would probably discourage many businesses from posting here at all.

The cold, hard truth is that employers don’t owe you anything until they hire you – not even the dignity of a response, though we certainly appreciate those who contact everyone. It’s nothing personal; some just have too many applicants, too much day-to-day work and not enough staff. You’ll find that’s true no matter where or how you apply.

If you haven’t heard back from an employer in a while, keep applying to backup plans … and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you send out more quality applications in less time. The more options you give yourself, the more likely you are to come away with a great opportunity.

Alex Braun, Eye of the Intern editor for