Why You Never Heard Back After Hitting that “Apply Now!” Button

Being on the job hunt isn’t fun. Besides the financial concerns and the creeping uncertainty about your future, putting your whole life down on a sheet of paper and letting strangers judge you is hardly anyone’s idea of fun, so it’s especially discouraging when you stumble across a job listing that you’re optimistic about, and send in your resumé and the best cover letter you’ve ever written, only to get back…nothing. And then it happens again. And again.

While it may seem frustratingly inexplicable from your point of view, there are often reasons why you never heard back from a number of companies.

  • It’s crowded out there – Right now, it’s a buyer’s market when it comes to many jobs, with far more applicants than available positions. If a job has a couple of hundred applicants, the company may consider it a waste of resources to take the time and contact everyone who was turned down.
  • Are you sure you’re qualified? – You graduated with honors. Your internship went so well, they brought you on full time. Your four years with the company have been filled with success and praise, and you know you can step up to a management position, so now you’re testing the waters to see what’s out there. Unfortunately, when a company specifies they want someone with ten years and prior management experience, they’re not willing to take a chance on someone who doesn’t meet that criteria.
  • Beaten by the system – With so many applicants to sift through, many companies have turned to electronic assistance. Resumés are scanned and screened by computers, and if yours is formatted differently from everyone else’s, an automated program will have trouble reading it.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to increase your rate of return.

  • Follow up – It never hurts to be thorough. After you’ve sent your resumé, get in touch. While you don’t want to annoy the person with your future in their hands, there’s nothing wrong with an unobtrusive email or quick phone call that lets them know that you mean business. And doing so allows you to…
  • Find and fix your weaknesses – If they turned your application down, ask why, and how you can improve. If you’re lucky, the hiring person might remember your proactive approach to the process, and that could help you if you apply for a position with that company in the future. Worst-case scenario, you get some constructive criticism from someone who knows what companies are looking for.
  • Put yourself out there – Networking is the oldest tool a professional has, and one of your most potent. Knowing recruiters, both in real life and online through social media, can give you a head start. Alternatively, starting a blog related to your field is a great way to both create contacts and demonstrate your passion and expertise.

Looking for work? Let us help you get that call back and connect you with the jobs that need your skills. Don’t wait, get in touch with us today.