No Response to Job Applications: What Am I Doing Wrong?
Are you doubting yourself because you are just not getting any response to your job applications? Stop right here! It's not you, it's your job search strategy. In this, blog, you will learn the right strategy and approach to conducting a job hunt that will get you hired.
You’re not alone if you’ve been sending out job applications and not hearing back. It can be frustrating to put in all that effort and not get any results. This is especially true if you feel like you’re a qualified candidate and are tailoring your application to each position.
But don’t despair! There are a few things you might be doing wrong that are turning employers off. You’ll find expert tips on how to fix them in this post. We’ll also include options that will give you the kind of experience employers find difficult to ignore.
When can you safely assume that no news is bad news?
If you’ve submitted a job application and haven’t heard back after two weeks, it’s safe to assume that you didn’t get the job. Employers are usually prompt about contacting candidates they’re interested in. So if you haven’t heard anything, it means they’ve found someone else or are no longer considering you for the position.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. For example, if you apply for a job in high demand, the employer may take time to review all the applications. In this case, it’s okay to follow up after a few weeks to see if they’ve made a decision.
Reasons why no one responds to your job applications
If you’re not getting any responses to your job applications, it could be for several reasons. While it’s impossible to know for sure, here are a few possible explanations:
1) You lack a target employer strategy
When job-hunting, it’s essential to have a target employer strategy. This means knowing exactly which type of companies you want to work for and why. Then, you can focus your job search on those companies and ensure your application is tailored to their specific needs.
Employers can tell if you’re sending applications to any and every job you come across. And they’ll likely reject your application because it’s not relevant to their needs.
Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity, highlights that “If you’re blindly applying to jobs, you’ll have a tough time breaking through the noise.”
To create a target employer strategy:
- Start by making a list of companies you want to work for.
- Research each company in depth.
- Find out their mission, values, and what they’re looking for in an employee. This will help you create a custom application that’s much more likely to get their attention.
2) You have not tailored your resume for the target employer
When you’re job-hunting, it’s crucial to have a customized resume for each position you apply to. This means specifying which skills and experience you have relevant to the job.
If your resume is a generic one-size-fits-all document, employers will be able to tell. And they’ll likely reject your application because it doesn’t show that you’re a good fit for the position.
To create a tailored resume, start by reading the job description carefully. Then, highlight the skills and experience that match the requirements listed. Finally, use these keywords throughout your resume to optimize it for both applicant tracking systems (ATS) and human readers.
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3) Your social media presence scares employers away
Nowadays, employers will often look at your social media profiles before deciding whether or not to hire you. So if your profiles are full of profanity, alcohol, or other red flags, it could be why you’re not getting any responses to your job applications.
Max Wesman, COO at GoodHire, suggests: “Hiring managers are looking for signs that you will be a valuable, positive addition to their workplace. If your social media presence is unprofessional, it will give them pause and could derail your application.”
Start by doing a thorough clean-up of your social media profiles to fix this. First, remove any inappropriate posts or photos. Then, make sure you set your privacy settings to “friends only” or “private.” Doing so will ensure that only people you know can see your posts.
You can also try creating a separate professional social media profile just for job-hunting. This way, you can control what potential employers can see.
4) You fail to nail the keywords
When applying for a job, use the right keywords, which means using the same language as in the job posting.
If you don’t use the right keywords, your application may get lost in an applicant tracking system (ATS). These systems filter out applications that don’t match the job requirements.
To make sure you’re using the right keywords, start reading the job posting carefully. Then, list the essential skills and experience they’re looking for. Finally, use these keywords throughout your resume and cover letter. Doing so will ensure that your application makes it through the ATS and gets seen by a human recruiter.
5) Providing feedback has legal and liability implications
When candidates don’t get a response to their job application, they often wonder if they should reach out and ask for feedback. But this can be a tricky situation.
Providing feedback might be complicated for employers. There could be legal implications on their behalf, and may open them to liabilities, such as discrimination lawsuits.
If you decide to reach out for feedback, you can try asking general questions about the application process. For example, you could ask if there were any technical difficulties with your submission. Or, you could ask if there’s anything else you could provide that would be helpful.
6) It is not one person’s decision
In many cases, it’s not just one person reviewing job applications. It’s often a team of people.
Even if one person likes your application, it could still get rejected if the rest of the team doesn’t feel the same way.
David Patterson-Cole, CEO & co-founder of Moonchaser, claims that “most job applications are reviewed by at least three people: the hiring manager, the recruiter, and an HR representative. Each person has their own opinion on what makes a good candidate, so it’s important to make a good impression with all of them.”
You can try reaching out to someone at the company, such as a recruiter, hiring manager, or even someone in a completely different department. Getting your foot in the door this way can make your application more likely to be given serious consideration.
If you don’t know anyone at the company, make sure your resume is tailored to the job posting. If the company or job board allows it, try attaching a cover letter and portfolio. Seeing results from the skills listed on your resume can help swing things into your favor.
7) There was simply not enough time
In some cases, you didn’t get a response to your job application because there simply wasn’t enough time.
This is often the case with smaller companies that don’t have a dedicated HR department. The hiring manager is usually reviewing applications, and they might not have time to get back to everyone.
If you don’t hear back from a company within a few weeks, it’s probably safe to assume that your application wasn’t selected for the next round.
You can try reaching out to the company to see if they have any updates. But don’t be too pushy. The last thing you want to do is make a negative impression.
8) Your CV is not informative enough
When applying for jobs, your CV is one of the most important things to get right. But unfortunately, many people make the same mistakes over and over again.
Here are some of the most common CV mistakes:
- Not tailoring your CV to the specific job
- Not including a cover letter
- Including too much information
- Focusing on responsibilities instead of accomplishments
- Using vague language
- Making grammatical errors
If you’re making any of these mistakes, it’s no wonder you’re not getting any responses to your job applications.
The good news is that these mistakes are all easily fixable. Start by taking a close look at your CV. Then, make the necessary changes to make it as strong as possible.
You can also get some help from a professional CV writer. They’ll be able to identify any weak spots in your CV and make the necessary changes.
9) You’re not qualified
In some cases, you’re not getting any responses to your job applications because you’re simply not qualified. This is especially common if you’re applying for jobs out of your field or you’re lacking specific skills.
To fix this, you’ll need to research to figure out what qualifications are required for the job you’re interested in. Then, make sure you have all of those qualifications before you apply.
You might also want to consider taking some courses in related fields. Not only will it give you the kind of skills you can put in your resume, you may also gain a certificate that could bolster your credibility.
Another option is getting some experience in the field. Doing so could help you stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of getting hired. One great option is an apprenticeship, which is a three-month stint with a mentor to gain real work experience.
10) There might be no obvious mistakes
Finally, it’s important to remember that there might be no obvious mistakes in your job application. Sometimes, you just don’t get selected for the next round.
There are several reasons why this might happen. Maybe the company received too many applications and had to make a tough decision. Or maybe there was another candidate who was a better fit for the job.
There’s no way to know why you didn’t get selected. But don’t get too discouraged. Just keep applying for jobs, and eventually, you’ll find one that’s a good fit.
What if nobody responds to your applications?
To give a summary of our tips:
1) Review your CV and cover letter
First, make sure you tailor your CV and cover letter to each specific job. This will show employers that you’re a good fit for the position.
It’s also essential to avoid common CV mistakes, such as using vague language or including too much information. Doing so will only make it harder for employers to see your qualifications.
2) Get help from a professional
If you’re still not having any luck, you might consider working with a professional CV writer. They’ll be able to identify any weak spots in your application and make the necessary changes.
When looking for a professional, choose one that understands the job market in your field and has a good track record. Acadium Plus offers professional coaching, in addition to in-depth digital marketing courses. You’ll also be in a peer group that will give you feedback, which gives you chances to network and learn what works with other aspiring marketers.
3) Apply to jobs you’re qualified for
It’s also important to only apply for jobs you’re qualified for. If you lack specific skills or qualifications, research what you need to do to get them.
You might also want to consider taking some courses or getting some experience in the field to stand out from other candidates. As mentioned, a great option for this is an apprenticeship.
For three months, and only 10 hours a week, you can gain work experience while learning real digital marketing tasks. A mentor will evaluate your performance every week, and give you feedback you can then put in your portfolio. Finally, you’ll gain certification that you can put on your LinkedIn page and include in your CV.
4) Double-check your social media
Another thing to consider is your social media presence. Employers will often check candidates’ social media accounts before making a decision.
So, if you have any pictures or posts that could be considered unprofessional, make sure to delete them. You should also avoid posting anything that could be construed as offensive.
5) Follow up with employers
Finally, don’t be afraid to follow up with employers after applying. Doing so shows that you’re interested in the job and willing to put in the extra effort.
You can follow up by emailing or calling the employer. Just make sure you’re polite and professional.
By following these tips, you’ll increase your chances of getting a response to your job applications and eventually landing the job you want.
So, if you’re feeling discouraged because you haven’t heard back from employers after applying for jobs, don’t worry. It could take a while before they decide, and there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting the job.
First, work on your CV and cover letter. Make sure they are well written and error-free. Second, keep applying for jobs. The more applications you submit, the better your odds of landing an interview. Stay positive and don’t give up—eventually, you will find the right job.
Editor’s Note: This post is authored by guest contributor, David Patterson-Cole, CEO of salary negotiation platform Moonchaser.
Five years in journalism, two in proofreading, and eight in freelance ghostwriting. Creating content that's entertaining, informative, and actionable shapes my writing. When not scrutinizing my copy, I'm likely watching hockey.
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