Recently, a few clients have complained about the lack of response from employers. This is what I hear:
I don’t know what happened. I responded to the ad and then I called a few times but no one calls me back.
Or this variation:
The recruiter said she would get back to me on Thursday. I followed up every day for the last two weeks but she never returned my phone call. What is going on?
These comments are not unusual. We have a lot of confused job seekers out there. A few experiences like that can make a job seeker think there is something wrong with him or her. I must be too old, too different, too unqualified, too whatever.
Likely something else is going on. Here is what I know for sure:
- People filling jobs are over-worked – too much to do in too little time. It is easy to eliminate follow-up or even responding to resumes. It is not personal. They just don’t have time.
- There are more applicants than job openings. This labor situation leads companies to think they have the upper hand. They don’t have to respond to candidates or even be polite if they don’t want to. They can always find another candidate.
They aren’t calling you back because they don’t have to. They can find plenty of candidates. They don’t need to talk to you on your time schedule. If they want to talk to you they will call you.
So the question becomes how to get a response under these circumstances?
My advice? Don’t rely on job ads to find a job. People filling jobs are over-worked and there are more applicants than job openings. The odds are stacked against you.
It is not likely you will land your next job from the job ads, much less get someone to call you back. Submit your resume to job ads in the off chance something good happens but don’t spend so much time or energy on that avenue of job search. You cannot control or even influence the folks at the other end of the job ad.
Instead, make yourself a real person instead of a random resume.
Your goal is to find a job. You will find your next job through people, not through job ads. Get out there and meet as many people as you can who 1) already perform the job you want, 2) are the boss of the job you want, or 3) know someone in the first two categories. Odds are, these folks will return your call. They can steer you to opportunities where you won’t be a faceless one in a hundred.