I have been applying to a bunch of jobs, but it seems like I never hear back. What should I do?
This is a question we hear a lot in our business. Understandably, job seekers find themselves frustrated when they are applying to multiple jobs and not hearing back. If you have found yourself out of work unexpectedly, or if you desperately need to make a job change it is already a stressful time and not hearing back can feel incredibly defeating. While we cannot guarantee that you will hear back from every company you apply to, we do have some tips that will help you get noticed and increase the likelihood of being called back.
Be More Selective About What You Are Applying For
Yes, you want/need a job. And you are likely willing to do just about anything – only, it really isn’t that simple. When an employer is looking to hire, they are looking for people that have both the direct working experience and skills necessary to do the job. The world of work moves at a rapid pace and it leaves little time for training staff. So if you are applying to a ton of jobs, it is likely that you are not being as selective as you should be and carefully applying to positions that are a match for your skills and experience.
When searching for work, be sure to thoroughly read through the job description. Pay close attention to the skills and experience they are looking for. Can you clearly describe to this employer what you bring to the table and how it will help you be successful in this role? If so, great – continue on to the next step. If not, you should probably spend your time looking for another opportunity.
Take the Time to Modify Your Resume for Each Job
As noted above, every ‘good’ job advertisement is going to clearly outline the skills, experience, and qualifications that they are looking for in a candidate. They may use different terms or acronyms to describe what they do. They may call special attention to a certain quality that they are looking for. Before you just send off that same old resume that you have sent to every other employer, take the time to ensure that you are including that information.
The reality is, most employers do not have the time to fully read every resume they get due to having other responsibilities as well as the sheer volume of resumes they get. This means that they are likely scanning through resumes to look for those key attributes that they listed in their job description. From there they will quickly identify a couple people that they are interested in speaking with. The others will likely get placed in the no pile, never to be revisited again.
Double-check Your Contact Information
As simple as this may seem, you would be surprised how often this is an issue. In our line of work, we process hundreds of applications and resumes each month. Common issues we see for contact information are: the wrong/disconnected telephone number, an outdated/out of area address, a less than appropriate email, a lack of voicemail access, and transposed numbers. All of these missteps could quickly move you out of the running for a job that you would be a great fit for.
You also want to be fully aware of the information that can be gathered by simply googling your name. Before you dive right in and start applying for your dream job – make the time to do a simple internet search on yourself and adjust settings on your social profiles if there is any chance that it could negatively impact someone’s perception of you.
Follow Up On Your Application
It is perfectly acceptable to follow up on your application for a job that was advertised within a reasonable time frame. We don’t recommend a high-pressure approach though. All too often employers are eager to get a job out there to start accepting applications, but may not have the immediate capacity to follow up on those applications – so a little patience is encouraged. Most employers we know would be okay with an applicant calling to perform a simple follow up 1 week after they submitted their application.
Again, you should take a soft approach when making this contact whether it be through email or over the phone. Simply say something like, “Good morning (hiring manager’s name), I wanted to take a moment to reach out to make sure that you received my application for your (insert job title). Given my experience and what I read about this position, I am very interested in learning more.” This approach let’s the hiring manager know to look for your resume and demonstrates that you are still interested and engaged in the process.
As you can see, while there are pieces of the hiring process that are out of your control – there are still many things you can control.
About Manpower’s General Application Process
Due to the large number of businesses we work with and the wide variety of skills they are looking for – Manpower offers a general application process. What this means is that you can apply directly to Manpower and one of our recruiters will reach out to talk with you about all the skills and experience you offer in order to consider you for many different jobs we are hiring for.