Why You Are Not Hearing Back After Applying

Why You Are Not Hearing Back After Applying

Are you generating job leads, but not getting any further in the process?  Receiving no reply or a negative reply after submitting your resume for a job opening is generally a sign that you did not stand out or not a clear match. Here are the three main reasons resumes and job applications fail:

Resume does not fully bring out match and qualifications. A generic resume does not cut-it in today’s job market. Every resume must be customized to the opportunity. Irrelevant experience and accomplishments should be removed. Achievements and successes that directly apply to the challenges of the job opening must be front and center.  Action Items:

  • Make a list of the job requirements, both obvious and subtle
  • Weigh each item on your resume against the requirements, modifying if you can better show a match and eliminating if it’s unrelated
  • Use your cover letter as an additional opportunity to bring out the match in a concise manner

Resume lacks keywords needed to pass software-driven screening. It’s a myth that most companies use applicant tracking software (ATS) to screen resumes. However, many large companies do, and keywords are critical to getting past that screening.   Fully qualified candidates may be ignored if their resume lacks the keywords the recruiter is using to sift through incoming resumes. Action Items:

  • Use the job description along with standardized descriptions for similar jobs to come up with a list of keywords that apply to the opening
  • Utilize those keywords, particularly early in your resume
  • Make use of keywords natural enough that  your resume reads well when a human looks at it

Resume submitted without a warm or insider introduction. Nothing advances a resume more effectively than an insider recommendation. Without it, even a great resume may be overlooked or fail to stand out. With it, the resume may go right to the top of the pile.   Action Items:

  • Scrutinize your network and LinkedIn contacts for any connection to the company or hiring manager
  • If possible, ask your connection to submit your resume directly to the hiring manager
  • Apply through the channel stated in the job listing as well so your materials are coming in through two different channels

Customizing your resume to bring out your match, introducing your resume through an insider connection, and assuring your resume is keyword rich will definitely improve your chances of receiving an invitation to interview for a position.  If you don’t hear anything after applying, be sure to follow-up, showing your interest and productivity.

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