Looking for work is frustrating on a number of fronts. You feel like you’re doing everything in your power to find a job, asking and applying almost anywhere you can. And then it’s extra frustrating when you send off an application and in return, hear nothing…not even a call back.
While it might seem as if a recruiter is just ignoring you – and this might be the case – they usually don’t do so without a reason. It’s obviously in their interest to find the right person for the job, just as it’s in your interest to find work.
It’s not so hard to shrug off one or two unanswered applications, but when it happens again and again, and for your dream job, it can become a serious drain on your morale. Take a little career advice and see some of the top reasons why the manager hiring for that role never got back in touch.
You’re not qualified
Always check the requirements for the role before you craft your application. Sometimes recruiters can be flexible, even on qualifications, skills or experience that are said to be “required” – you could probably blag a role that calls for three years’ experience if you have only two and a half, for example. But if you put in your application and it’s clear you fall far short of what’s asked for, the recruitment manager will probably feel you’re wasting their time as well as your own.
Your CV isn’t up to scratch
The core of your application is the CV – it’s through your personal record of work, education and skills that recruiters will decide if you’re a good fit or not. That means if it’s poorly put together, or if something does not seem quite right about your profile, you are seriously damaging your chances of ever hearing anything back.
Your CV could be riddled with typos or grammar mistakes – have someone look over it such as a friend or relative. You can also get this kind of career advice from an advisor at your university or the jobcentre. You should also check that any large gaps in your employment history are accounted for, as recruiters don’t like to see that you were doing nothing for extended periods of time.
You’re asking for too much (or not enough)
Many job applications ask you to give a desired salary. While we’d all like to receive an enormous pay packet, you have to think realistically and work out how much you’re worth. If you ask for far too much, recruiters are likely to think you’re not worth seriously considering. But it’s also risky to ask for too little as this would demonstrate you can’t deliver the quality of work that the employer is looking for.
Many ads do list a salary, so obviously you can just stay in line with what’s stated. If the ad in question doesn’t mention salary, you can check similar job ads in your area to get a good idea of what is realistic.
You need to get in touch first
Applying for work is about more than just sending out applications into the void. You should be prepared to pick up the phone once in a while and check what’s going on. A couple of days after the vacancy has closed is a good time to check in. Many hiring managers are impressed with the candidate who takes initiative in this way.
There’s a range of reasons why the recruiter might not call you back, including others that we’ve not mentioned – it’s always possible that the position was filled before you ever submitted your application, for example. The best you can do is politely follow up on the most desired roles, and to not allow a lack of response to get you down. Your next role could come along sooner than you think!