Career Rx: Why You’re Not Hearing Back from Companies (And How to Change That)|
One of the most frustrating parts of the job search process is what many call “the resume black hole.” This refers to the fact that many times you will apply online for a job and never hear anything back from the company recruiter. You’re left hanging out there, wondering what ever happened to that application.
While you may never really know, here are a few common reasons why you may not be hearing back from a company — and what you can do about it:
Problem No. 1:
Your application hasn’t been seen. It’s possible that the role is posted online but no one has gone through the applications yet. There might be a lot on the recruiter’s plate or perhaps they are focusing on reaching out through their connections first. Either way, if your resume hasn’t been seen, it’s impossible to get to that next step.
How to fix it: If you truly feel you are qualified for the role based on the job description, get yourself in front of the right people! To do this, first take a look on LinkedIn and find contacts that you feel might be connected to the job opening. This can be someone on the company’s recruiting team or someone in the department that the open job is in. Once you find them, do what you can to get in touch. Whether that is sending a message through LinkedIn, sending a “cold email,” or calling the front desk and getting transferred to HR, find a way to let them know who you are.
Problem No. 2:
You’re not qualified. It depends on the company, but many have a “you’ll hear from us if there are next steps” approach. In this case, even if someone has reviewed your resume, you won’t always receive a formal rejection note if you don’t qualify for the role. Many times, this is why you’re not hearing back.
How to fix it: Take a look at your past applications that you’re waiting to hear back on. Are you close to meeting the qualifications? If not, there’s not much you can really do about this one other than go back to the drawing board, spend some time looking through new postings, and find roles that are a better fit. It’s great to reach a little, but if a job is asking for 5 years of experience and you just graduated college, its probably not worth trying to pursue it any further.
Problem No. 3:
The company has other candidates they are considering. Depending on the timing of your application, there may already be other candidates interviewing with the company. For example, say the recruiter goes through 20 resumes on the first day the job is posted and brings in the top three candidates the next day. If they feel they may have met “the one” for the job, they may hold off on reviewing additional candidates.
How to fix it: To be one of those first applicants, set up job alerts for yourself so that you can always be in that first batch of applicants. You can do this on sites like indeed.com and also even on individual company sites. You can set alerts for job types (“email me anytime any assistant marketing role opens up”) or for companies (“email me any time Nike posts a new job”).
Problem No. 4:
The role looks “open” but it’s not really. Sometimes a company will post a role with all the best intentions of hiring someone but then something changes. Perhaps someone within the company decided they wanted to transfer to that role. Perhaps there was a freeze on the budget. You can never really know what goes on behind closed doors at a company, but there are many reasons why this could happen.
How to fix it: Again, there is no way of knowing this unless you reach out. So again, if you are qualified, don’t be afraid to do so!
The good news in all of this? Now that almost all applications are done online, your resume will likely remain in the company’s online database for many years. Most recruiting databases allow recruiters to search certain keywords, which can include skills, education, past titles, and more.
Instead of being frustrated that your resume is lost in the abyss, know that your resume is being held onto, cataloged, included in search results, and more. When the right job pops up, don’t be surprised if you finally hear back. Recruiters won’t hesitate to reach out, even if your application has been sitting idle for months!
What do you do if you haven’t heard back from a job you applied to? Tell us in the comments section.