What To Do When You Don’t Hear Back After Submitting A Resume

One of the most common complaints from people who are looking for jobs is that they rarely hear back on time or at all for the jobs they apply for.  Regardless of whether they are new graduates, junior employees, or senior executives, a timely response from a company is quite rare.

follow-up phone call

You may be wondering why this happens.  Here are three reasons why companies give the cold shoulder to applicants:

1.  Volume of responses

The majority of companies, particularly large ones, get bombarded with resumes.  It is not uncommon for a company to receive upward of five or six hundred resumes for a single job opening.  The simple limitations of time and space make it nearly impossible for a recruiter to personally contact every individual applicant.  This situation is even further complicated by the fact that all of the applicants have been told to send a copy of their resume and follow up in a week.  You should not expect a call back if you do contact a company.  They simply do not have the time.

2.  There is no job

Why would a company post jobs when there are no openings?  Here’s the reason:

  • They are required to post the job for governmental or legal reasons.
  • They want to gather resumes, so when there is a job opening, they have candidates to consider.
  • They forgot to take down the posting from the last opening they had (this happens more often than you might think).

In these situations, you will probably never hear back from a recruiter.

3.  Bad business

At some companies, recruiting becomes a very low priority.  Companies have many obligations, such as meeting client needs, business meetings, emails, coworker issues, etc.  Because of this, the task of recruiting often falls to the bottom of the list.  As a result, you send a resume, you may even go to an interview, but you never receive a response.

So, given that you are not likely to hear back from most recruiters, what should a job seeker do?

1.  Try not to take it personally

This is going to happen.  You should just assume that no one is going to get back to you, then you can be pleasantly surprised when someone does.  Try not to get discouraged; rejection is a part of the job search game.

2.  Allow your friends to do some of the dirty work

If you have a friend or acquaintance working for the company, ask them to check into the job for you.  It will feel like less of a nuisance to the recruiter if one of his own employees asks him about the job.

3.  Be persistent, but not obsessive

If you are applying for a job by sending your resume in person or online, make a follow-up call after about one week to ensure that your resume was received and see if they want to talk.  Do not expect a response, and do not call them again.

If you have been interviewed for a job, it is acceptable to be a bit more persistent.  Following every interview, ask when you should expect a reply, and then follow up if you have not heard back within the allotted time frame.  Call, then send an email, then call again.  Feel free to contact them every three to four days until you get a response, but change up the way you try to make contact.

4.  Know when to take a hint

There, eventually, comes a time when you need to move on.  You need to think to yourself, “Do I even want to work for a company that doesn’t have enough decency to call me back and let me know whether or not I have the job?”  You may also wonder how they treat their current employees if this is the way that they treat their recruits.

Unfortunately, the job search process is much like dating; you will likely have to deal with a lot of rejection before finding the right match.


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