Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Aren't Employers Calling Me?

Last week I posted a question to job seekers: "What is the most frustrating part of the job search?"

A common response: "Waiting to hear from potential employers."

The harsh truth: You're not going to hear from most of them. And you just have to expect that.

I applied for a job that was posted on a job board // You have almost zero chance of hearing from them unless they want to interview you. As I mentioned in last week's post, we had almost 200 people apply for one job (many of them were unqualified "carpet bombers" who apply for everything because "you never know"). This is not an uncommon number for a job board posting. The only people who heard from us were those we interviewed. We don't have the people to respond to 200 applicants (remember, we're looking to add someone, so we're already short-handed). That's how it is everywhere.

I sent in a blind resume // See above.

I applied to a job posting on their website // You might hear from them. But most likely it will be a generic "We received your application" auto response.

I sent in a resume because I heard they had an opening // Again, you might hear from them.

No point in being frustrated. You can't change the fact you aren't hearing back from them when they aren't interested. But here's my question to you: why aren't they interested?
  • Did you apply for something you were highly (not just slightly) qualified for?
  • Did you tailor your resume to the job description?
  • Did you write a resume that makes you stand out?
  • Did you list only relevant experience? (We're looking for quality, not quantity.)
  • Did you make sure there were no mistakes in your cover letter and resume?
  • Did you follow all their instructions for submitting an application?
  • Did you send it in on time?
  • Did you sound professional?

Lastly, if you are only applying for jobs that have been posted, that's a big part of the problem. Most jobs are found through networking. We'll talk about that more next time.

The reality is you'll seldom hear back from places you've applied. Just expect that. Let's face it: you only want to hear back from them if they are interested in you anyway.

So make sure they will be interested.

Next time: How to network.


Kevin said...

I have found there to be two key tactics to both getting called and also eliciting a response from me (as a hiring manager):

1.) Completely tailor the resume for the job. Its about relevance.
2.) Write a compelling cover letter that reflects personality and what you can bring to the table.

Hudson said...

Good advice. Looking forward to the next post.

Scott said...

fair enough.. good post.. might as well give the audience the direct answer. Quality over quantity, hmm good idea. I think I will trim my portfolio..

Sgt Gaurd said...

I am a sgt in the national gaurd and as an eight yr member as a deisel/track mechanic i feel that i am fully qualified for any job. I mean what do the hr depts do all day, not having enough man power to respond back to an applicant that has potential is no excuse republicans from the state of s.c. Didnt accept any money from the feds so my unit doesnt even have money to help out soldiers thats in a bind. Its frustrating because bill collectors dont understand and employers just arent hiring.