Have you ever applied for a job and hoped for a response but didn’t get any? You wait for days, weeks, and months and despite all the effort you have put in the job search was still unsuccessful.
It’s by far one of the most frustrating aspects of job searching: after taking the pain of carefully customizing your resume and cover letter to match the specific details of the job description, you send in your job application and then… nothing.
The risk of rejection is part of the list of paints when applying for jobs. But if you are constantly not hearing back from jobs, there’s probably a rationale why employers aren’t responding. There are several reasons why this might be the case.
Some of these reasons do not involve you and don’t have control over them. While you did your best, you can’t do much to change them. Examples of these reasons include:
- There’s simply not enough time for the company to respond.
- Providing feedback has legal and liability implications.
- Most organizations want to hire someone they know or who comes recommended.
Most of the time, however, the reason why you don’t hear back from employers is because of small missteps along the way. While it may be disheartening, it’s good to know that these types of mistakes are something within your control and you can do something about it.
These kinds of reasons are classified into two: External and Internal. External Reasons are mostly caused by the company or how you relate to the company you are looking at. Internal Reasons, meanwhile, are largely caused by you. Here are the top internal and external reasons for job search failures:
External Reasons Why Most Job Seekers Fail
1. You Don’t Have the Necessary Skills
While you don’t have to tick every single box in their demand list, you have to know what you are capable of and what you are not. If you applied for a job that you can’t handle, chances are employers will not waste their time to hire you now and then train you as you do your job.
Significant qualifications are the top priority of these companies and it is usually a futile move to apply for positions that do not fit your current skill set. Even if it is your dream company or dream position, do not apply for jobs that you are not qualified for.
2. You Are Too Focused on the Salary
You know what you bring to the table and you value your worth. That is important. Sometimes, however, in your zeal to get a new job and face new opportunities, you tend to overvalue yourself and focus on a bigger paycheck of higher benefits. You forget that in job interviews, the first mindset is that you need to sell yourself first.
Asking for an off-tangent salary or shooting questions about the compensation before your responsibilities for the job creates an off-putting tone that may just cost you your job offer. And when the right time comes that you have to negotiate your salary, be prepared and know what to say for a fruitful discussion.
3. They’re Looking at Personality Too
Aside from matching your education, skills, and experience with the position offered, employers and recruiters are also looking at your personality and whether you fit into the demands of the job.
Some careers need people who are team players and can work well within a group of people. Even if you are the best at what you do, if the employer discerns that you are a stronger employee when you work alone than working with a group, the recruiter may not think you are the right fit for the job.
This does not mean you have to pretend you are something you are not just to get the job. When you know that recruiters are also looking at personality traits, research job openings, and companies that are more aligned with your personality traits to increase the chance of being hired.
4. Your Employer Looked at Your Social Media
In the age of social media networking sites, a recruiter will not only rely on your resume to get to know you better. Most companies look at your social media profiles to do background checks on you.
If you have lewd, inappropriate, photos on Instagram, or have participated in racist or sexist commentaries on Facebook, chances are the recruiter already saw it and will deduct points on your overall profile.
Any social media missteps can ruin your chances of getting a job or just landing that interview. Regularly check your social media, steer away from controversy, nudity, and profanity, and check your privacy settings.
5. the Competition Is Fierce
Sometimes, whatever you do, there are job openings and companies wherein the competition for a single position is fierce. This is especially true for global and multi-billion companies, as well as for known companies with great perks and benefits.
While there is little you can do to make the competition die down, you can do something to increase your chances of being in the top choices of recruiters: know what unique aspect you bring to the table and capitalize on that. Research the position and the company very well and continue to improve yourself and the skills needed for your career path.
Internal Reasons Why Most Job Seekers Fail
1. Your Job Search Is Not Targeted
You are probably thinking that the more you send out applications to multiple companies, the greater your chances are of getting one to call back right? Well, that is not always the case.
It is not always advisable to go on an application spree and just get to every job vacancy in your line.
This creates problems, bot only does it increase the chance of rejection, but mindlessly sending our resumes also creates little to no time to customize your resume and cover letter based on the needs and identity of the company you are applying to for you to stand out.
If you don’t target your job search, chances are most of those applications will go to waste.
2. You Didn’t Follow Submission Instructions
They asked for a cover letter, you did not submit one; they wanted a printed copy of your CV, you gave them a soft copy; they asked for a word formatted resume, you gave one in PDF.
Yes, these are small things compared to the skills and values needed for work. But if you fail to follow these instructions you’re not only risking a bad first impression, you’re also risking not being included in the list to consider for interviews because your application did not go through their system.
Instructions are there for a reason. Learn to read the fine print, pay attention to details, and follow what is asked of you.
3. You Didn’t Follow Up
While following up is not a requirement in job applications, you might as well do so. Sometimes, an interviewer asks you to get back to them to supply more information like references and sample works. Failing to follow-up on these may cost you your job offer.
But if things go well, following up is still an essential part of the job search. It may be that employers are too busy or have bundled your resume along with other short-listed candidates. Following up may give you the edge and put you on the top of their minds.
The art of following-up, however, requires the proper technique and timing for it to be effective.
4. You Didn’t Double-Check Your Resume and Letter
Your resume and cover letter is your entry point to your future employer. It is the first thing they see about you.
Any grammatical lapses, errors, or inaccuracy can certainly dent your chances of getting a job interview. It is the same thing with your cover letter. You might think that sentence construction won’t matter because they will be looking at your skills but no — presenting a good and clean resume and cover letter is part of the way you present yourself.
Read and check your resume and cover letter not only once but twice before submitting it to any employer.
5. You Lack Accountability
Accountability is the willingness of a person to accept responsibility for whatever task or mission is at hand.
Hopping on a job search journey is not an easy task. It is not a process that requires minimal to no effort. You must be aware of your responsibilities in looking for future employers.
This means that you should remain focused on the demands of the job search journey from start to finish. Learn to follow through and if you need help, have the strength to seek advice and ask for help.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Chances
1. Makeover Your Resume
Your resume is at the frontlines of your job search. That is why it always has to be impressive and it always has to reflect your personality.
It is important to always keep your resume up-to-date with the latest skills you acquired or the latest projects you have worked on. Also, it is wise to customize your resume depending on the values and priorities of the company you will be applying for.
Keep everything brief, concise, and straight to the point. Do not overload your resume with information that will strain the eyes for the recruiter and lead them to set aside your resume for one that is easier on the eye.
Ask for advice on which of your skills are most impressive, which certifications are most relevant to the job you are applying for, and which level of experience do your projected employer value.
Also, when it comes to formatting, and aesthetically pleasing resume is equally important but do not overdo it. Do not fill your resume with too much graphics of text boxes as these cannot be read properly by applicant tracking systems (ATS).
These systems are run by automated software that will screen your resumes first before an actual, human recruiter so make sure your resume is ATS-friendly to make the cut.
2. Explore Local Resources
Arguably, the job search sites have the most number of listings and job openings for you to scour through but they are not the end-all-be-all of your job search.
Due to technology and the rise of these job boards, it is very easy to depend on these types of forums to get your opportunities. However, it is always wise to widen your horizons for better choices and better chances.
Most applicants take the easy road and apply only to openings that are posted on major job forums and boards. Not only does this limit your options, but it also exposes you to positions that are already being applied for by similar-minded people and, therefore, the competition is tough.
An alternative to this is to look for each company’s job boards or some niche boards within their industry to shrink the candidate pool. Another option is to outrightly touch-base with a prospective company and offers what you can do for them.
Prepare your resume, your skills list, and your proposition on how their systems can be made more efficient. Make your pitch and maybe they just might have the job offer for you.
3. Make Job Search Connections
Any career coach would tell you that establishing meaningful connections and building a solid network is key to a successful career path at any stage. This is especially true in searching for a job. The ability to connect with a network of professionals is a crucial part of a job search.
Solid connections are the ones who you learn from, get advice from, mutually benefits from and overall makes you better. They are not the ones who will just back you up in a company or put in a good word for you. They help you assess your needs and wants and try to put in their input based on their knowledge and experience.
These connections are crucial for career development from start to finish. Make connections by being authentic, leading with your strengths, and knowing to strike a balance.
4. Try Temping
Be flexible in your career options. If there is an opportunity to try temping, do so.
Temping means working for a company as a temporary employee. Although most people looking for a job seek permanent employment, temping also has its benefits.
These kinds of jobs will allow you to gain valuable experience that will look good on your resume and will give you an edge over other candidates in the game.
It also gives you plus points when it comes to adaptability and learning and can open doors to future possibilities and employment that is not necessarily available in traditional means like online and through human resources.
It can also be a stepping stone to being hired as a full-time employee. Plus, it keeps the income rolling before you even get
an actual permanent job.
5. Seek Out Other Job Options
If you have tried applying for the same job in different companies and you still do not get results, maybe it is time to consider applying for other job options.
Remember that a career path is not always a straight line. You may be experienced in one industry but, to level up, maybe you need to diversify and get experiences on other employment fronts.
It does not have to be drastic. Small changes would work, too. For example, if you are an accountant who has always worked for retail companies, maybe it is time to look for a firm of different nature like medical centers or media conglomerates.
Or if maybe you are a writer and for so long you have been writing about science and innovation and you are seeking to level-up your career. Maybe one way to do that is looking for a career opportunity in a different field like technology or agriculture.
Shifting your gears does not mean deviating from your goal, it only means branching out for other opportunities. These kinds of changes not only gives your career a breath of fresh air, but they can also give you additional experience to broaden your overall skillset and creates a field of expertise unique to you.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself
As much as you prepare the necessary materials and processes you will go through in your job search, you also have to prepare your mind and heart for the journey. Before going out into the world to try your chances, ask yourself the following questions to keep you in check.
1. Are You Preparing Enough?
There are two extremes you can fall into in your job search journey: One is you becoming crippled with nervousness and doubt that you focus your attention on that and fail to equip yourself with the resources you have.
Second is you become overconfident about your skills and don’t mind the necessary efforts you have to go through to get the job. In both cases, you end up being unprepared for what is about to happen.
Before you start applying for any employment opportunity, ask yourself if you have made all the necessary preparations. Make a checklist on the things you need to prepare: from your portfolio, your resume to the attire you want to wear should an interview arise. Know your resume, your skills, and your edge by heart.
Ready all the documents you need. Update your professional photos. Free up your schedule around the time of your application so you will be ready in case you are called for an interview.
Research on the companies you are applying to — from their core values, mission, vision to the directions to their office. Maintain your motivation and drive throughout the job search and application process. Prepare your head and heart for the outcomes you are about to have.
2. Are You Honest With Yourself?
Sit down and reflect on yourself before going into the nitty-gritty of your job search. Are you honest with yourself? Is this the job that you want? Do you believe you are qualified for the work you are applying for?
Do you know what skills give you an edge? Are the positions you are looking for aligned with your core values and your job search wishlist? Do you know your weaknesses and do you know how to address them when asked in the interview?
Be strong enough to resist the urge of misleading your potential employer into thinking you are someone you are not because chances are, they will know and you will kill your chances in succeeding in your job search. You have to be brave in asking yourself even the tough questions. This way, you will know what you are capable of doing and what you are not.
A huge part of being successful in your job search is being honest with yourself. This way, you can convey your true self to your potential employers and project purity and honesty. Honesty, in turn, builds trust and trust will give you the edge to get the job you want.
3. Do You Believe in Yourself?
The process of searching for a job is exhausting and sometimes, frustrating. It is a tedious process of putting yourself out there and not knowing whether or not everything is worth the effort or not.
However negative sounding the risks might be, you should not let these get in the way of your spirit. That is why it is important to ask yourself if you believe in yourself before immersing in the whole process.
Do you believe in your growth? Do you believe in your skills? Do you believe you have the ability to withstand testing and scrutiny for your career growth?
Believing in yourself is an important key to get the job you want. It is important because it will lay your foundation when the going gets tough. It is important to ground yourself in this belief so as not to let the search eat away and ruin your outlook.
Also, during job interviews, recruiters look for cues in your composure and attitude and consider them in whether they hire you or not. So it is essential that the belief in yourself is established to you will manifest that in your job search. A positive attitude towards yourself goes a long way.
Failure and rejection will always be part of the journey towards building a solid career path that is headed toward growth and fulfillment.
However, there are a lot of ways to minimize having to go through these painful steps to reach your goal. Be aware of what you can and cannot do and be conscious of the factors that affect your chances in your job search.
Do not be afraid to assess yourself and ask questions and most importantly, continue to learn, improve yourself, and believe in the power of your dreams.