5 Reasons Why You're Not Hearing Back About Jobs

By Alicia Geigel on May 16, 2021

For most of us, applying for jobs can be a stressful and overwhelming process. There are so many factors and pieces that make up the application process, such as: polishing your resume, touching base with your references, filling out every line of the application with meticulous detail, and of course, the dreaded waiting game. Perhaps more stressful than the application process itself, the waiting game can completely consume your thoughts and well-being, leaving you constantly thinking of not only if you did or did not get the job, but when you’ll be hearing this news. But what happens when the waiting game drags out and you’re not hearing back about your job applications?

The reality of getting a dragged-out delayed response in regards to your job application is enough to send you into a spiral of stress that may seem impossible to get out of. During this uncertain time of waiting, you may be asking yourself, “What is taking them so long?”, or “What did I do wrong?” These questions are very normal and though you might not always find the answers you want, there are some ways you can avoid mistakes in the application process that will mitigate long waits or even worse, being rejected without notice.

Have you been applying for jobs lately? Unsure of the reason why you’re not hearing back regarding your applications? Here are five reasons why employers aren’t reaching out and how to avoid these issues!

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1. Your Resume Doesn’t Match The Job Requirements: You may be thinking, “what do you mean my resume doesn’t match the requirements?” While you can be and most likely are just as qualified as other applicants in terms of your job experience, qualifications, experience, etc., what separates you from them is the vocabulary in their resume. When applying for any job, especially online, it’s important to include job-specific keywords and vocabulary in your resume and cover letter.

Firstly, many job sites can automatically reject your application if their software doesn’t detect these certain words, leaving you without a chance from the very beginning. Additionally, Lea McLeod of the Muse writes, “Even if you have a targeted job-search strategy, a generic resume and cover letter can quickly stall your efforts. One glance at your resume will tell an employer if you wrote it specifically for the company or if you created a one-size-fits-all document that you emailed to every business on your list.”

2. Your Social Media Presence Isn’t Good: We all are guilty of uploading an embarrassing picture that does not paint us in the best light or tweeting something and instantly regretting it. Everyone makes mistakes, but in the job world, these are the posts that are deal breakers for employers and can be a potential reason why you haven’t heard back regarding your recent applications.

In order to make your job hunting process both easier and more beneficial to you, go into your various social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and remove any unwanted post or picture on your profile. Then, play around with your privacy settings on each account to make sure that the right people are seeing the posts that float around your social media.

3. You Didn’t Follow All of the Application Instructions: For job applications, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ kind of application process. Some job applications are simple and require you to upload only your resume, while others may require a cover letter, an assessment or test of a specific skill, writing samples, etc. If you are speeding through multiple applications at a time and miss the important parts that require you to include necessary documents or follow instructions, the employer will most likely see you as too careless, lazy, or distracted to follow the instructions, and thus won’t be inclined to get back to you.

4. You Didn’t Follow Up on the Position: The idea of following up can seem a little intimidating and scary because after all, aren’t they the ones who are supposed to follow up with you? While that is true, it is also on you to follow up with them as well. Alex Woodward of Snag a Job notes, “Employers tell us that they want you to follow up on your applications. Following up allows you to check on the status of your application and the position. Also, it shows the employer how determined you are and sets you apart from the competition.”

So, when following up, be sure to thank them for their time in reviewing your application and express your understanding of their timing in getting back to you. Regardless if you hear back after this, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did everything in your power to put yourself out there!

5. The Company May Have Hiring Issues or Different Plans: In the simplest and cliche of terms, sometimes it isn’t you, it’s them. Sometimes a delay in hearing back on a job application has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the company and their hiring issues/plans.

In a complicated world, things can sometimes go in an unexpected direction, which can leave not only the company but you in a weird spot. Some reasons for these issues or change of plans can include, according to Alison Doyle of the Balance, “the company may have decided not to fill the position or may have changed the job requirements for the position. Budget issues may have stalled the hiring process. Management may have changed, causing a temporary hiring freeze. An internal candidate could have been hired or promoted.”

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After a grueling job application process, the last thing you want to deal with is not hearing back from the employer. Being stuck in that ‘limbo’ phase is anxiety-inducing and perhaps more stressful than applying for the job itself, which is why it’s good to know a few reasons that you might not hear back in the first place. With this knowledge, you can try to correct any mistakes before you make them and give yourself peace of mind during the application process!

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