I have applied to hundreds of jobs and all I got was a handful of “thank you, but we decided to go with someone else” responses. Why am I not getting calls for job interviews? Sound familiar? You are not alone. This is actually a very common complaint I get from job seekers. This can be very discouraging if you are mentally and emotionally ready to leave your current company. It can be extremely stressful for people who are unemployed and looking. Let’s look deeper into what could really be going on in the workplace.
There is nothing wrong with you as a candidate.
The first and the most important thing I want you to get and really believe is the fact that you are good enough. Seriously. I know you think I’m just saying this to make you feel better, and I hope you do feel better. But it is also the truth. When your resume goes into a “black hole” and you never hear from anyone, the easiest and most common explanation is that the hiring manager didn’t like your resume.
Here is the fact, unless someone tells you specifically why they didn’t call you for a job interview, you don’t know the reason. And, unfortunately, companies almost never give you the real reason for either legal or personal reasons. So, all you are left with is guesses and assumptions. It is so easy to assume when you so desperately need an answer. However, any assumption you make is nothing more than speculation. It is not the truth. As long as you applied for a job you believe you are qualified for and your resume is strong, the reason why you didn’t get selected rarely has anything to do with you.
Why didn’t you really get selected?
There are many reasons why they didn’t pick up your resume and call you to schedule a job interview. One of the most common ones is the fact that the person in charge of hiring never actually saw your resume. This may sound strange, but it happens a lot. Sometimes the hiring team gets overwhelmed with the number of resumes they get for one role. If they only need to interview 10 good applicants and they receive over 100 resumes, they will stop looking after they find those 10 people. Many companies work with external recruiters who do all the sorting work for them.
Internal applicants and employee referrals always take priority. If the hiring manager personally knows the applicant or the applicant has been referred by someone they know and trust, those applicants will be shortlisted first and foremost. Only then, if the company is desperate and cannot find the right people, will they look at who applied online. Many times, companies already know whom they want to hire before they even post the job. However, by law of equal employment they have to post the job online and make it publicly available.
What can you do about that?
First of all, understand that applying for jobs online is the least effective method and it rarely works. There are some exception jobs, of course, where it is much harder to find people than employment. Emergency room nurses would be one example of that. But for most jobs you have to learn your unique search strategy and understand what works best in your industry. You have to get to know the community and get yourself known to them. In other words, you need to start networking. Your network is the key to a successful job search.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who want to discover their passion in life and build careers of their dreams. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.