You’ve given countless interviews over the last several months, sent in even more resumes to be reviewed, and still nothing! It’s easy to get discouraged when looking for that perfect internship or starter job to keep building on your career-related experience, but the search process becomes even more daunting (and, not to mention, confusing!) when you continue to apply and apply and never seem to receive an answer – whether it’s a yes or a no - as to whether or not the job is yours!
Sick of being confused after you’ve left an interview or turned in yet another application and resume and then the trail goes dark, without even a simple “Yes! We want you” or a “No thanks”? HC explores several reasons why your cell isn’t ringing or your inbox isn’t filling up with decisions from HR and hiring reps.
1. They don’t have the time to get back to everyone.
According to the Work Buzz, a site sponsored by the Internet Mecca of jobs Career Builder, employers can now receive 10 times the amount of resumes they did as recently as two or three years ago. One hiring manager quoted on the site says their company can get up to 75 resumes for one position! Seventy-five resumes then, would translate to 75 calls regarding whether or not the company wants to interview you or is considering you for the position that a hiring manager or HR rep then becomes responsible for making. If they’re not interested in having you interview for the position, chances are you may not hear back 100 percent of the time, especially if it’s a competitive job or internship. Even if you have one interview (or even a few!), you still may not hear back right away, or at all.
“This is an employer’s market,” says Alison Doyle, a job search expert for About.com. “Many companies don’t take the time to let applicants know their status after a job interview.”
Louis Gaglini, the associate director for employer relations at Boston College says some sort of acknowledgment when you send in a resume or interview with a company should be expected, however. It may be a form letter or an electronic confirmation of some sort, but letting you know that the company at least got your submitted application and resume is something you can look for. “That’s quite acceptable in today’s market,” says Gaglini.
Bottom line? Don’t expect a personal call, letter, or email every time you apply for something. It’s simply not realistic in today’s job market because everyone is crunched for time.
2. They don’t have the personnel to follow up.
This one feeds off of ideas from the last one. Departments often in charge of hiring employees often aren’t chock full of people waiting around to let you know how your interview went. Doyle explains that a shortage of hiring personnel or a slimmed-down hiring department often translates to fewer follow-ups with potential candidates for a position. “Hiring managers may not have the time to do more than let the candidates who are selected for a second interview know,” she says.
Ben Eubanks, an HR professional and blogger based out of Alabama agrees. “Honestly, as a recruiter/HR pro at a small company I am overwhelmed with applications,” he says. “If we interview someone on the phone or in person, they always receive a letter or email from me with a final determination. However, for those that apply on the website, I am not able to follow up personally with each one.”
If the company you’re interested in working for or interning with doesn’t have an HR department, finding new employees often falls into the hands of a staff member in the department that’s hiring, meaning they need to find someone new on top of everything else they’re already responsible for, meaning chances of hearing back about a position could be even slimmer.
3. Too much time passed between your interview and a final hiring decision.
Employers don’t always find their ideal candidate in the first round of interviews they conduct. A gap of time between your interview and a final decision when others might be interviewed could translate into trouble.
Sometimes in this gap, the needs or particular demands of the employer change. Someone comes in for a marketing position interview and brags about their awesome web design and blogging skills when all the company was looking for was Twitter and Facebook experience? These blogging and web design credentials could shift what an employer is looking for in a new hire based on what kinds of skills they now know are available and can be expected.
The needs of a company and the roles people in other departments play are constantly shifting and changing for most organizations as well, meaning a large chunk of time between your interview and a hiring decision could impact what you’ll be expected to do, and, unfortunately, can sometimes knock your resume or experience out the window.
Career coach Bud Bilanich explains, “The hiring process takes a long time. You may be the first of five, six or seven people interviewed for the job. These interviews can be spread out over a period of a couple of months. Schedules have to be coordinated, and this takes time. While you might be on pins and needles waiting to hear about the job, filling it is just one thing on a busy hiring manager’s to-do list.”
Doyle also weighs in about the effects of too much time passing between the two events. “The company may find a candidate they want to hire right away and as the hiring process stretches out earlier applicants may be forgotten or left out of the loop as time passes,” she states.
It never hurts to check in occasionally with an employer if you took an interview with them and it seemed to go well. Most experts across the board seem to recommend following up on a successful interview two weeks after you’ve spoken with your potential employer if you still haven’t heard anything.