Are you hearing crickets, too?
I get a lot of complaints from candidates about the total lack of communication they experience during the job search process.
One person in particular (I’ll call him Bob) said that it is disheartening to find a job that you believe you are the perfect candidate for, but after applying online, you hear nothing.
Bob said that if he did get a response (which was rare), there was no feedback about the résumé or his candidacy for the position – positive or negative.
Whatever happened to rejection message that provided at least some acknowledgment even though the employer decided to not move your résumé forward?
Now, I know it’s a rejection message, but at least you know that someone actually reviewed your document and might have provided some clues as to why you were not selected.
I totally understand the frustration with the utter lack of communication and would feel the same way.
You are left hanging
When you get absolutely no response of any kind, there’s no “closure”.
You have no idea if the issue was a lack of desired qualifications and/or experience or something else entirely.
You have no idea if there was a disconnect on the résumé – something that wasn’t clear and/or missing from the document that needed to be there to get a positive response.
You have no idea if there was something on the résumé that was a “turn-off”. That could be any number of things like job hopping, work gaps, a hobby that isn’t in alignment with the company culture, plus many other things.
You have no idea if HR saw the résumé and just decided to not move it forward to the Hiring Manager. Annoying, but it happens quite a lot.
But I would say, the most frustrating thing is……
You have NO IDEA if an actual HUMAN BEING even saw your résumé.
There’s always that possibility that your application simply got “lost” in the “system” never to be seen again.
5 Reasons you get the silent treatment
#1: Feedback is not legally required
Recruiters and hiring authorities are not bound by law to give you any kind of response to your résumé submission or any feedback regarding it, positive or negative, so don’t expect any.
#2: Feedback takes too long
With each job posting generating on average 200+ applicants, no one has time to give you a critique about your credentials or résumé. They simply do not have the time.
#3: Employers are not résumé experts
Employers don’t want to answer questions about how you can improve your résumé. They aren’t résumé writing experts and they don’t have the time as I’ve already mentioned.
While they might know what kind of information they want to see in a résumé, they likely won’t know how that information should be presented in a way that will sell your unique value proposition for the job.
The best way to learn how to transform your résumé into a powerful interview-generating tool, is to do one or both of these things:
#4: Feedback creates awkward situations
Employers want to avoid having difficult phone conversations or email exchanges with candidates who become upset or angry because they don’t like the feedback.
If the candidate can’t accept the outcome and demands an explanation, this puts the candidate on the offensive and forces the employer to defend their decision. It never ends well.
By the time you have learned that you were not selected, the employer has already moved on in the process and no amount of convincing them you are the “perfect fit” is going to change their mind.
If anything, not accepting a “No” and expecting specific feedback won’t go over very well. You could immediately be flagged as a “problem” and will not be considered for future openings.
#5: Feedback poses a risk
Hiring authorities are reluctant to give any kind of feedback regarding a candidate’s résumé or anything else because what they say can be used to demonstrate discrimination.
The last thing they want on their hands is someone who gets so disgruntled that they use the feedback (misconstrued or otherwise) they received as ammunition to launch a complaint or worse – lawsuit. It has happened.
To avoid legal implications, employers refuse to provide any feedback and if they do, it’s typically so vague that it isn’t helpful anyways.
The fact that the Employers are very reluctant to provide any feedback is one of the key reasons they don’t respond at all. After you get the “Thanks for submitting your résumé” automated email, they most likely won’t send you any update as to where you are in the process. They simply don’t want to have to “explain” themselves and like I’ve already pointed out – they don’t have the time.
How can you get feedback?
Have a trusted professional review your résumé
If you have a good relationship with a career professional with a demonstrated résumé writing background, you could have them review your résumé against the job posting that you had applied to and get their professional opinion.
It is very possible that the reason you heard nothing or were told you were not selected, was due to your résumé lacking in some way.
Do NOT under any circumstances have a family member or friend review your document unless they actually have proven expertise in résumé writing. The only thing they’ll do is confuse the issue.
Leverage informational meetings
What you should be doing to accelerate your job search, is to set up informational meetings (a.k.a. informational interviews) with Hiring Managers from employers you have identified as being companies you want to work for in a specific role.
Informational meetings are a way to network and to conduct career research to help you position yourself more effectively in your target field.
If you are granted an informational meeting it’s usually because the Hiring Manager believes in the “pay it forward” philosophy and therefore would be more inclined to answer your questions and even provide some feedback.
Since this is NOT a job interview and there isn’t necessarily a job opening, YOU would be the one asking the questions – not the Hiring Manager.
During the meeting, you could ask the Hiring Manager what their opinion is about your résumé and what they feel you could do to improve it for the target position.
While they won’t necessarily know the mechanics and strategies of effective résumé writing, they might still be able to give you feedback that would help you in your job search.
The best way to increase your response rate and job search success is to take control of your job search and reach out directly to Hiring Managers.
You can follow-up with them after you have applied to the position to find out if they actually saw your résumé and find out about your candidacy. If you conduct yourself professionally, they might actually give you some feedback.
I highly recommend you retain the services of a career professional to help you with your job search strategy and résumé so that you increase your chances of getting a response and landing the interview. One wrong move can get you disqualified from the running. Feel free to contact me here.
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.
Need help? That’s what I’m here for!
Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or, are you employed and not actively looking but want to “get ready” in case your situation changes and you need to launch a job search?
Don’t get caught in the endless cycle of applying to jobs, hearing little to nothing, and becoming more frustrated.
I offer both “Done-For-You” and “DIY” options to help you overcome the obstacles and get you on the right track to accelerate your job landing success. You choose the level of service you feel you need that fits your budget.