Job Search Tips

5 Surprising Reasons Your Job Application Isn’t Getting a Response

job-application-isn't-getting-a-response
Written by Peter Jones

Sending out resumes by the dozens, but not getting any calls from hiring managers? You could be a fantastic candidate, but it might be time to ask yourself if you’re inadvertently doing anything that keeps you from making the next round. Here are 5 things you might not have considered that may be the reason your job application isn't getting a response.

1. Online-Only Applications

The vast majority of your queries and applications are through online sites and job boards. But did you know that nearly 80% of all job openings don’t ever make it online? Switch your focus to networking, and find a way to get internal recommendations for positions before they’re even advertised online.

2. A Generic Resume

If you’re not crafting every resume to specifically target the specific job you want, then you’re wasting your time. The extra time it takes to match the resume spec for spec to the job to which you are applying will always be worth it. This shows you’re serious and do your homework. Make it as easy as possible for the decision maker to call you in.

3. Lack of Keywords

For online applications especially, you need to be mindful of the keywords you should include to get past online tracking systems. If you don’t have the right keywords or phrases in your application, yours might never come up in the recruiter’s search.

The best way to figure out what to include is to comb through the job posting itself and make sure to highlight, verbatim, the qualifications you have that match the job’s demands. When in doubt, include the obvious skills and strengths. You never know what a hiring manager might be searching for.

4. Social Media Oopsies

Often one of the final stages in sorting through applicants is a quick scan of their social media presence looking for red flags. Don’t give them any. Scrub your sites clean of anything inappropriate or offensive. But do make sure to have a presence—being totally unfindable can backfire as well.

5. Telling Your Age

Whether you are uncharacteristically young or old for the position in question, don’t disclose this information until you walk into the interview and can control their reaction. Don’t broadcast this information too early or risk being weeded out. (Despite age discrimination being totally illegal...)

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1 Comment

  • the “telling your age” bit always irks me. before social media, it was a cardinal sin to include a picture of yourself on a resume. yet in today’s world, one is encouraged, even shamed into putting a picture on one’s LinkedIn page. so, despite one’s efforts to keep the resume neutral, recruiters can easily use the technology to discriminate.

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