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5 reasons why job applications go unanswered

By Courtney Bousquet, Guest Contributor

Oftentimes, job searching will leave you wondering what happens to your application, why it is that after applying you never hear back? Whoever said waiting was the worst part of the application process wasn’t lying, but today it is rare to hear back unless selected to move forward. Why is this? Meghan Biro of Glassdoor examines this topic further in her Business Insider article, “5 Reasons Why You Never Hear Back After Applying.”

  1. “You really aren’t qualified.” Plain and simple, ask yourself, “Do I meet all the requirements?” If a position states you need a top secret security clearance and you don’t have one, you do not meet the minimum qualifications. Try not to put yourself into situations where you are forced to face the agony of waiting. Make sure you meet the minimum requirements–if “preferred” are mentioned you have a little wiggle room– but be sure to highlight your specific skills that match those that are required.
  2. “You haven’t keyword-optimized your resume or application.” With the majority of people mass applying to positions using one resume and cover letter, be sure to set yourself apart and utilize the keywords employers incorporate into the job description and company’s mission. Show the employer up front that you did your research and want to work for them. That you are not just applying for another job. Grab the reader’s attention and make them want to bring you in for an interview!
  3. “Your resume isn’t formatted properly.” Unfortunately, the resume application process has not caught up with the rest of the world in expressing individuality, so the color and creative formatting you spent a lot of time on may hinder your application. Make sure you concentrate on creating an easy to scan, black and white resume that can be sent via attachment without being garbled. Creating a PDF version is a good way to sidestep many of the potential formatting issues associated with sending your resume as an attachment to, already weary, hiring managers.
  4. “Your resume is substantially different than your online profile.” With today’s use of social media, you better believe that when a recruiter sees a resume they like, it is compared against that applicant’s online profile. How does yours stack up? Make sure that how you market yourself online is consistent with what you present on paper; ensure that dates, job titles and skills match your online profiles with your application materials.
  5. “The company received 500 resumes for one job posting and yours was 499 in.” Although openings usually state when they will close, be sure to send in your application materials early to avoid an early closing due to an abundance of applications and to show your true interest. Set up job alerts on your favorite job search engines and with those organizations for which you want to work most. If something comes up, apply right away, and remember to personalize each cover letter and resume!

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