Reasons why you’re not hearing back after applying for a job

A question I get all the time is “Why am I not hearing back from the company after I apply?”  The most stressful part of the job search process for many is just not knowing where you stand and feeling like your application has gone into the “black hole”.  Here are some reasons why you’re not hearing back after applying for a job:

not hearing back from job application

No one has seen your application:

Many companies post jobs on their website but don’t have the resources to go through all the applications that have come through.  Yes, I agree that it seems weird to put something out there and not bother to look at what comes back… but it is what it is.  If no one has seen your application, it’s impossible that you’ll hear anything back!

If (and this is a big if) you do meet the qualifications outlined in the job description, I suggest applying online since that is the proper protocol, but also reaching out to a member of the recruiting team via LinkedIn or email to make sure you “get seen”.

You don’t meet the qualifications:

If you apply online for a job, many companies take a “you’ll hear from us if…” approach.  This basically means if your background is a match for the job, they’ll reach out.  Otherwise, don’t expect to hear from them.  If you are not hearing back after you’ve submitted an application take another look at the “qualifications” section of the job description.  If the role asks for 5 years of Finance experience and you have 2, that could be the reason for the radio silence.

The job is open but not “open”:

This is probably the most ambiguous of the 3 reasons but I have definitely seen this happen as a recruiter.  A role gets posted with all the right intentions but then for one reason or another aggressive recruiting is “paused”.  This could be because an internal candidate has expressed interest, a referral came through that is a strong candidate, there may not be budget for the role, and a whole host of other reasons.  You’ll never really know if a job is “on hold” but you should know it happens.  You might not be hearing back from a company due to reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you.

Since it’s tough to know exactly why you’re not hearing back, follow up is key.  If you’re qualified for the role leverage LinkedIn, your personal connections, and old-fashioned cold-calling/emailing.  You’re much more likely to get your resume seen and get to the bottom of why you haven’t yet heard back.  If you don’t meet the qualifications, wait to use those tactics on a role that is a better match.  You only get to leverage them a few times without coming across as unfocused, so make it count!

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