A job seeker recently sent me an email asking my advice on a situation that I’m sure many folks have dealt with. She heard through the grapevine that a local company was looking to hire but did not have a direct contact. She thought she would differentiate herself and decided to not only send in her resume through the website but to also leave a message with HR to let them know that:

1. They should be on the lookout for her resume because she is qualified for the position she was applying for.

2. She would appreciate a reply back to let her know if she were a fit or not in their eyes.

You can guess what has happened. Weeks have gone by and she hasn’t heard a peep. She’s called and emailed several times but has yet to receive a response back. Her question for me - “What is wrong with people? Why won’t they take a moment to just let me know they aren’t interested?”

My take - she’s done a lot of things right in this situation:

- Jumped as soon as she heard about the job opportunity.

- Made a follow up call to introduce herself. (One word here - maybe she could do a little more research to see if she can find the actual hiring manager and follow up with that person instead of HR.)

- Tried multiple times to express her interest in the position.

News flash - these things don’t set you apart. They really aren’t going above and beyond. In fact, this should be the norm. These are all things that an aggressive job seeker needs to do to be competitive in the job market.

In fact, my take on this situation is a little different. What difference does it make if they get back to you and let you know you aren’t a fit for their job? Is this information going to change anything in how you conduct your search? Are you going to use this information to adjust your target list of companies or industries you go after? If your answer to these questions is no, then don’t waste your time worrying about getting feedback. Your focus should be on finding a job; not on why you didn’t get a response.

The reality of the job search market is this - most employers aren’t going to call you back no matter what you do. Human Resource departments and hiring managers have an ideal candidate that they are looking for and will contact that person when they see him / her. They aren’t sitting around looking at resumes all day long, itching to reply to all people who send resumes their way. While conducting a job search is a personal activity, you can’t take it personal when companies don’t respond to you. You must focus, press onward and find companies that can use your skills rather than dwell on those that can’t. Channel that anger and frustration into activities that will lead to additional company leads and you’ll be the better for it. Now is not the time to let the frustration of a lack of response slow you down from you ultimate goal - employment.


Views: 108

Comment by Tiger Patrick on September 23, 2010 at 7:29am
Interesting... I have called the CV's sent to a job listing on the web a victim of the "black hole" for years now. With the use of Key word search software instead of eyes in many cases, a great fit of a candidate with a CV not containing the key words or phrases will get overlooked. I am curious, what advice did you give your friend? I would tell them, go on linkedin, find an in house recruiter (if available) and send them an inmail as a first step.
Comment by Jennifer on September 23, 2010 at 2:44pm
Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned but I don't use keyword searches to identify my candidates through our ATS. I still eyeball every resume that comes in and make my determination on qualifications for myself. I don't rely on the computer to do it for me.
Comment by Duane Roberts on September 23, 2010 at 2:53pm
Tiger - Thanks for the comment. I had a similar suggestion in terms of going to LinkedIn but, since this wasn't a role that was inittiated by a recruiter, I thought it made more sense to try the direct route and advised that she try to identify the hiring manager and other members of the team. At this point I don't think she has anything to lose by going direct.
Comment by Duane Roberts on September 23, 2010 at 2:59pm
Jennifer - I think that is great and if I were an internal recruiter I would strive to do that as well. I'm just not sure everyone is able to manage their time (ie has enough time). Do you also reply back to those candidates as well?
Comment by Jennifer on September 23, 2010 at 3:23pm
I do try to. My ATS fortunately has a feature which allows for instant e-mail notifications once I select "DNQ." I've had others that don't have such functionality. Perhaps my view is different because I'm corporate rather than agency-side. I haven't worked in a typical agency so I don't know if I would do things differently there. I also tend to see resumes that may be better fits for other positions within the organization and apply them into those roles. It's the main reason why I like to review all the resumes coming in.
Comment by Duane Roberts on September 23, 2010 at 3:26pm
Excellent point ---> " I also tend to see resumes that may be better fits for other positions within the organization and apply them into those roles. It's the main reason why I like to review all the resumes coming in."


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