5 Reasons Why you Haven’t Heard Back on the Job Application

5 Reasons Why you Haven't Heard Back on the Job Application StepVue Career Blog Wisdom Series

5 Reasons Why you Haven’t Heard Back on the Job Application

You craft a perfect resume, cover letter, meticulously fill the details in the online application and hit the send button. Instantly, you receive an automated email thanking you for your interest followed by weeks of absolute silence. You anxiously check your emails and phone hoping to hear back but to no avail. According to a Forbes study only 20% applicants receive an interview call. Without doubt, it’s the most frustrating aspect of job search, only second to waiting to hear back after a job interview.  You are wondering why you haven’t heard back on the job application.

You are not alone in this. Most companies receive hundreds of applications for a single job opening. But still, there must be some sort of explanation to the silence as your job skills, work experience and qualification were a perfect match for the job opening.

In this post, we take a behind the scene look at probable reasons why your job application hasn’t received a response and what you should do if it happens. Let’s get started!

Here’s why you probably haven’t heard back from company about your job application:

1. Company is still open to receiving applications

Many companies put a specific date till which they open the job application and don’t close it just because they received 100 or 1000 applications for the same job. This is true in many public sector companies that have specific closing dates for applications. If you have applied early, then you should wait till that closing date. Unless a company is seeking to fill a position urgently, it’s usual for companies to give a 10-15 days window before they review job applications.

In case there is no closing date, then you should wait for at least 2 weeks before making any wrong assumptions. Irrespective of that, don’t bank too heavily on a single job application and keep applying.

2. Applicant Tracking System

When you click the submit or send button, your application goes into an automated Applicant Tracking System (popularly known as ATS). This software would scan your resume for specific keywords that assess your job application. These keywords are often set by hiring manager and recruiters to create a first layer of filtering in the job application process. If your application is deemed fit by the ATS, then it moves to the next level of screening.

If you are applying to a large organisation, chances are that your resume would meet ATS at the first stage of recruitment. Common ATS solution providers include JobVite, Brassring, Taleo, Workday and SuccessFactors. There’s still debate on using the right tense, plural vs singular and abbreviations when it comes to ATS screening. However, it is rest assured that your resume would be definitely scored and ranked in the ATS against other job applicants.

Many companies allow candidates to apply directly with LinkedIn profiles and candidates should treat it equally seriously. The company has the liberty to view crucial details from your resume and match them with your LinkedIn Profile. It’s important to have an alignment between your resume and LinkedIn profile but don’t just copy-paste.

3. Single recruiter handling multiple openings

Recruiters are often handling multiple job openings at the same time just like all other professionals who multi-task. Each application can be at a different stage of progress and can involve a different hiring manager. In certain start-ups, the constant hiring and firing culture means that recruiters are always biting more than they can chew. In these companies, you can expect the recruiter to take longer to get back on your job application. Depending on the size of the company, it may have just one or two recruiters handling recruitment for the entire firm.

Companies often keep applicants – even the ones who have not been shortlisted by ATS – in the process and only send out the rejection emails once they close a position.

4. Multiple people in the decision-making process

For a candidate its normal to feel anxious after 4-5 days have passed since applying for a job but from the perspective of company, it’s just a regular working week. The recruiter or hiring manager may go on a vacation or be involved in other high priority job openings. The recruiter would discuss all the qualified applicants with the hiring manager and provide a summary of top applicants to the hiring manager. If your application was reviewed by a Junior Recruiter then he/she would pass it to the senior recruiter and subsequently to the hiring manager. This process involves multiple people and takes time.

Especially in larger firms, getting the interview panel dates becomes a challenge and adds to the delay in response. Anyone in the process including recruiter, hiring manager or interview panel may be unavailable. So, don’t lose hope.

5. You didn’t apply through network

Although many companies advertise jobs only when they can’t find internal candidates for the role. However, it’s also true that candidates who apply through referral have a better chance to get interview call. You should always find out connections in the company you’re applying through LinkedIn or university alumni network. Getting recommended for a job requires proper emailing etiquette and your email should be professional and precise.

A study revealed that at least 70% of jobs are not even listed. This makes networking even more important to get an interview call.

What should you do if you haven’t heard back from job application:

If you haven’t heard back from the company after applying, then you should write a follow up email to the recruiter. You can also give a call to the recruiter listed in job posting. In either case, continue applying to other jobs and maintain your focus. It can be taxing on the candidate to apply to 100 jobs and not hear back from a single one. Its natural to feel dejected and lose hope in the job application process. If this is the case with you then perhaps you need to rework your job application strategy.

At StepVue, we work with candidates on their job search strategy and help them achieve their career goals. We provide personalized Resume and CV Review Services, Cover Letter assistance , LinkedIn Profile Review and Personal Branding guidance to help you in your job search.

Good luck with your job search!

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