It’s said that silence is golden, but job seekers overwhelmingly disagree. That’s because few things are more frustrating than spending time and effort applying for an open position only to sit around and get zero response.
Did the application not go through? Are you no longer being considered? Was there a technical glitch? These are the questions that can test even the most patient of job seekers.
If you’re sick of the radio silence, we can help. Here are the top 7 reasons job seekers don’t hear back after applying for a job and tips for how you can avoid them.
1. The job is filled: Tons of job listings online are old, expired or filled. This frustrating occurrence is often due to pay-to-post job listings which remain online until they expire and are not actively pulled when a position fills.
How to avoid this: Pay close attention to the date a job was posted. The longer the job has been opened, the more likely it has been filled. Call the company directly to verify if it’s a dated position.
2. The job is a scam: Scam job listings are everywhere and tough to spot. No only a waste of time, job scams are also dangerous. Scammers use online job applications to phish unsuspecting candidates’ personal information. Some staffing agencies will host job listings that look as though they are the actual company. They gather applicant information to bring to these employers for payment, while the job seeker has no idea they didn’t apply with the actual company. Note: there are plenty of great staffing companies, but beware of the bad ones.
How to avoid this: Apply directly on the company’s website which can be verified by the URL. If you use LinkUp to search for jobs, you can apply confidently because all the listings come from employers’ websites and the job listings lead you directly to the employer’s website to apply.
3. You’re not qualified: Many recruiters note upwards of half of resumes submitted for a given job do not meet the minimum requirements. If you’re not qualified for a position, it’s likely ATS computer algorithms will weed out your application before someone ever spends time looking at it.
How to avoid this: Save time and your sanity by only applying to jobs for which you’re qualified.
4. You don’t strategically use keywords: A job description should be your guide when creating a resume and cover letter. If you use different keywords than what is in the description, you may be dismissed. Even if you are saying essentially the same thing, using different terminology can confuse recruiters and ATS software.
How to avoid this: Use industry standard terminology and sprinkle words in the job listing throughout your application.
5. You didn’t stand out: Up to 80 percent of jobs are landed via networking; you can’t just simply apply and anticipate a reply anymore. You have to go the extra mile these days.
How to avoid this: Leverage your professional network and use it to your advantage. Connect with existing employees and take special care to ensure your resume and cover letter make you shine.
6. Your resume contradicts your online profiles: Social media is a powerful tool for job seekers and recruiters. In fact, 97 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, according to a Bullhorn survey. If your resume doesn’t match what your social media profiles state, you’ll be instantly dismissed. The best case is recruiters will think you lack attention to detail; worst case is they’ll think you’re a liar … both reasons for no response.
How to avoid this: Check all social media accounts to ensure your information matches perfectly.
7. You’re not the best candidate: Though the job market has improved remarkably over the past year, there is still fierce competition in many industries. Sometimes you haven’t heard back because you’re simply not the best match for the position.
How to avoid this: Whether you’re currently employed or not, always strive to improve your skills, experience and portfolio of professional work.