Hello? Hello! Anyone Out There? Why You Never Hear Back

Posted by Dana Fink, Director of Staffing at Glenmont Group

The most common complaint we hear on a day-to-day basis is when a candidate sends out resumes during a search, they never hear back. Applying  to positions through a company’s website or job portal is often compared to sending resumes into a “black hole”.

Some ways to avoid /overcome this are:

  • Do some investigation on LinkedIn. See if you have any personal connections to potential hiring managers, at the minimum get a contact name to send your information to.
  • Use a recruiter to act as your talent agent. They have personal connections and have the ear of hiring managers and HR contacts to highlight your strengths as they apply to a specific job.
  • Have a clear and concise message in a cover email. Lengthy cover letters with broad sweeping statements of how wonderful you are and excited about the opportunity are pointless. Have a few key bullets that DIRECTLY correlate to the opening at hand.
  • Luck and timing have to be on your side. Replying to old postings in hopes that the position is still open will probably not net the best results.

I welcome reader’s comments on their own experiences—

In addition, I found the following tips on Glassdoor.com insightful-

5 Reasons Why You Never Hear Back After Applying For A Job

People  often wonder why they never hear anything back after they hit ‘send’ on the  email with a resume attached or on the on-line job application. If you’re very  lucky, you might have a preliminary email exchange with a recruiter and then  never hear from them again.

It’s a depressing experience, and one which also casts a shadow on the  hiring company’s reputation. So why does it happen? Is it you, is it them, or is  it just something every candidate must prepare for in the hiring  process?

There’s no question job seekers face an uphill climb. High unemployment  nationally means more competition for every position; according to a January  2012 article in the Wall  Street Journal, Starbucks “… attracted 7.6 million job applicants over the past 12 months for about 65,000  corporate and retail job openings…”

An oft-cited recruiter’s complaint is that as many as 50 percent of people  applying for a given  job simply aren’t qualified. Adding to the challenge, most  large companies – and many  smaller ones – use talent-management software to screen resumes,  weeding out up to 50 percent of applicants before a human even looks at a resume  or cover letter. The deck is definitely stacked against the job seeker. So how  do you break through?

Here are my top 5 reasons you’re not hearing back after applying for a job,  with five suggestions for ways to avoid the Resume Black Hole.

Why You Never Hear Back:

  1. You really aren’t qualified. If a job description  specifies a software developer with 3-5 years of experience and you’re a recent  graduate with one internship, it’s unlikely you’ll get a call. Avoid  disappointment – don’t apply for jobs for which you lack qualifications. Most  job descriptions are written with very specific requirements. Yes, the company  is trying to find the most qualified candidate; yes, they are trying to weed  people out. It’s not personal, it’s business.
  2. You haven’t keyword-optimized your resume or  application. Job descriptions are salted with keywords specific to  the skills or attributes the company seeks in applicants. A close read of the  job description is a necessity, as is keyword-optimizing your resume and cover  letter, if you’re using one, or email. If the job description lists words in a  certain order, e.g. a list of programming languages required, use the same order  in your resume.
  3. Your resume isn’t formatted properly. You might think  distinctive formatting will set your resume apart, but automated programs don’t  care if a document is pretty. Help a machine out. Be consistent in formatting – consider using separate lines for former employer, job title, and years  worked.
  4. Your resume is substantially different from your online  profile. LinkedIn, Dice and other online  profile sites can be useful tools, so it‘s important to make sure they match  what’s on your resume. This may seem to be a contradiction – in #1 I advised  keyword optimization – but it’s really common sense. Jobs worked, employers,  years on the job and other details should match. The subtext here is  always tell the truth.
  5. The company received 500 resumes for one job posting, and yours was  499th in. Looking for a job is a  job. Do your research – know which companies you want to work for, organizations  where you sense culture fit. Every morning scour the job postings and jump on  anything for which you’re qualified (and in which you’re interested.) Being  early with your resume or application does matter. Check back  often in the first few days to make sure the listing hasn’t changed. Often a  company will post a job and halfway through the process change the  description.

It’s hard to game the system. Your best bet is still a personal referral, and  even that may not be enough to get a call. A guy I know gave his resume to a  woman who worked at a company where a good job had been posted. He received an  automated email noting his resume had been received but never heard another  word. After a month he asked his friend to check with the recruiter. It turned  out the job description had changed, but the recruiter never bothered to let the  referring employee – or the applicant – know. This isn’t unusual, unfortunately.  So what can you do?

How You Can Get Noticed:

  1. Research interesting companies on social media. Find  out who the recruiters are and follow them. Many will tweet new postings, so  watch their streams and jump on anything for which you are qualified. And if  they tweet news saying the company’s had a great quarter, retweet the news with  a positive comment.
  2. Consider starting a blog in your area of interest or  expertise. It’s a social world; time to build a trail of  breadcrumbs leading to you. Include the blog, and links to any especially  relevant posts, in your emails to recruiters with whom you’re working.
  3. Get professional help with your resume. Either a  resume writer or an SEO expert can help you increase your odds of getting  through the talent management software. If you can’t afford this step, read the  top career blogs for advice.
  4. If at all possible, don’t wait until you’re out of work to find your  next job. I realize for many people this isn’t possible or might  even be offensive, but your chances of finding the next job are best when you’re  still employed.
  5. Network. Old advice, but still true. Be visible, be upbeat,  be informed about industry trends and news in your area of expertise.

Finding a job is tough, no question. I’ve talked to other recruiters who say  they only respond to 30 percent of applicants. The odds are good you’ll be in  the 60+ percent who hears nothing a lot of the time. Don’t take it personally – it’s not a rejection of you, it’s a reflection of the times. If you don’t hear  back, know you’re not alone.

Read more: http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/top-5-reasons-hear-applying-job/#ixzz25bakRF69


Glenmont Group is a boutique search firm that concentrates on Professional Services, with a focus in the Legal & Content space. Because we are a highly focused boutique firm, we offer expertise in the industry that other search firms cannot. Our staff has been trained on, employed in or consulted for these industries so there is no learning curve. This means that you will not see resumes off of "job boards" that seem to have little or no connection to the position you are trying to fill. In fact, just the opposite is true. Our process includes a competitive analysis that identifies the top candidates in your given field. At Glenmont Group, we strive to develop and maintain long-term professional relationships with our clients. We believe in a business relationship based on hard work, cooperation, integrity, trust and a sense of humor. We are also active members in our industries by working on or with the Executive board of our industry trade organizations such as; IQPC, EDRM, LMA, PMA, ALSM, ALA, AIIM, ARMA. This assures constant access to a network of those highest quality candidates who are involved in these organizations.

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Posted in Advice, Employment, Glenmont Group Articles, Hiring, Insights, Interviewing, Job Hunt

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