Back to News

Applied, Didn’t Hear Back, And…

February 22, 2021

And…it’s frustrating, demoralizing, annoying, bothersome, and there are so many other words to describe it. Those are all negative words and thoughts about the process of working to land somewhere new. We have some positive ones for you here with some ideas on how to not make it about you, and what more you can do to stay busy and make progress.

Here’s the basics of how it works and reasons you don’t hear back when you apply to a job. First, let’s think about what’s happening inside that company. Larger companies with in-house recruiters will have a small staff of say 4 people and 10s, 20s, 100s of open jobs to fill and all of it has to be done as soon as possible. Say there’s at least 50 applicants to a job, maybe 500. There are 8 hours in a work day, each application takes at least five minutes to review, and each person selected takes at least 20-30 minutes to talk to on an initial conversation / phone interview. Then there’s sharing information with hiring managers, scheduling follow up interviews, all of the necessary communication and paperwork. By now it should be clear why you receive automated responses or no response at all. There’s just not enough time for all of it. If they’re talking to the top 5 and you’re the 6th person on the list you won’t hear back. That does not mean you’re not on the right track, does it.

You never know where you’ll end up against the competition but here are some basic guidelines that can be used to understand where you might stack up:

1. Matching job titles – if they match, there’s a chance you’re in the mix. There are other factors at play with job title though – like do you need to have industry experience too? If so, and you don’t, that makes it less likely to be at the top.

2. Proximity – can you get in your car, ride a bike, or walk to the company’s location? (assuming it’s not remote). If you can’t drive there and the company doesn’t want to deal with the idea of relocation, then you’re probably not at the top.

3. Details - matching responsibilities / experience / software skills, etc. The more of those you have, the more likely you’re at the top. The less those line up, the less likely you’re there.

None of that’s negative. That’s just how it is. You could be right there on all of those things. You could be very close. That’s why you keep pursuing it with intelligence and you don’t give up. You be the constant and let the rest of the world be the variable.

One really useful activity to do after you apply is to connect with people at that company and strike up a conversation. Pick up some useful information, establish a meaningful connection, and keep moving forward.