Not Hearing Back from Jobs? - Here's What to Try Next
Molly Hitchens studied business for years before launching her career as a journalist and analyst specializing in original and innovative business planning. She shares her expertise through her work with The Idea Trader as well as through in-person speaking engagements at universities around the country.
For many of us, searching for a new job can be a long and laborious process, and sometimes it can feel as though there’s no end in sight.
In many cases, it’s a good idea to apply to as many job listings as possible, provided that you feel qualified for each of them.
But if you’re not hearing back from jobs, then it may be a sign that one or more aspects of your application need some major tweaking.
Below you’ll find an overview of just a few things to consider when applying to job listings online. So take a deep breath, dust off that resume, and let’s get started.
Review Your Resume
I think we tend to see a resume or CV simply as a requirement, a necessary step of the job application process.
And it definitely is, but it may also be helpful to think of a resume as your opportunity to introduce yourself to potential employers.
It’s your chance to say as much as you can about your skills and experience, all while being as concise as possible.
While there is a basic resume format that can be applied to most industries and professional backgrounds, you should also look for ways to personalize a resume.
It’s important to know your audience when creating a resume. If you happen to work in finance, for example, then you should most likely keep your resume straight-laced and professional throughout.
But if you’re involved in more creative work, then you may want to have your resume reflect your artistic style in some ways.
Using color and formatting to draw attention toward certain past roles or projects can be a great way to make your best work stand out.
Make Sure You’re Qualified
It could be that you haven’t been hearing back from jobs simply because you’ve been applying for jobs that are well above your pay grade and experience.
And while there’s nothing wrong with having great ambitions, they may be leading you to apply for jobs that you won’t be seriously considered for.
Be sure to check the listed prerequisites on every single job posting that you want to apply for. Do you meet or even exceed those expectations?
In general, it’s best to apply for jobs whose prerequisites you meet. If you want, you can also apply for some more advanced roles, but these applications should be few and far between.
Ask for Advice
If your resume is looking great and you’re still unsure of why you’re not hearing back from jobs, then it may be time to ask for some outside help.
Chances are, everyone else you know has had to search for a new job at some point in their lives. And as a result, everyone has their own advice to give.
Share your resume with a few close friends and family members, asking for their input. You can also provide them with a sample cover letter, or maybe a cover letter that you wrote for one of your past applications.
Follow-Up After an Interview
Many job applicants forget that sometimes a follow-up email or phone call to a potential employer can help bring your resume back up to the top of the pile.
Typically speaking, it’s best to send a follow-up email after you’ve gone in for an in-person interview or taken a phone interview.
But if you haven’t even been getting interviews from your many job applications, then you should try to start sending a follow-up message about a week or two after submitting your application.
Make the message brief and simple. Say that you submitted an application for a specific role and that you haven’t heard back yet.
Even if an employer has chosen not to move forward with your application, you may at least get a friendly message that lets you know you should focus on other applications.
Improve Your Interview Skills
Job interviews can be highly stressful situations for many different reasons.
For one, the stakes are very high. Being able to find employment quickly is necessary for maintaining financial security.
The stress of the situation may also affect how you act during the interview, making you more likely to provide answers that are too long or too short, hurting your chances of being offered the position.
But the good news is that job interviews tend to follow a similar structure, and many times even involve the same kinds of questions.
And as such, you can prepare extensively for an upcoming job interview, either alone or with the help of a friend or family member.
Prepare for Common Questions
There are several questions that are quite common in job interviews, mainly because they can apply to many different industries and give employers a chance to get a feel for how you see yourself, how you see their company, and what your plans are for the future.
You certainly don’t need to memorize answers to any of these questions, but thinking about them ahead of time and coming up with sample responses will make it easier to perform well during an interview.
Some common interview questions include:
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
“How do you think you could improve on your past job performance?”
“How much do you already know about our company?”
“What projects did you spearhead during your time with [past company]?”
Hold Practice Interviews
Once you’ve got a feel for general answers you might give in an interview, feel free to hold practice interviews with a friend, especially if you have a real interview coming up in the near future.
Let your friend choose questions from a list or from various job interview websites. Then you can sit down with them and do your best to seem professional and likable in an interview setting.
If you can stay in the moment and not lose your composure, you’ll be more likely to succeed in a real interview.
This can also be a great way to motivate someone else to find a job, as described in this helpful article.
It’s ok to feel discouraged and fatigued during the job search process. In fact, for many people, it’s only natural.
The most important part is to stay determined and not give up on yourself until you’ve found a great new place of work.