By Heather Huhman
It happens all too often: After carefully filling out the online application or emailing a resume, job seekers hear nothing but silence from hiring managers. With little to no feedback to work from, job seekers are often left wondering if they're doing something wrong, or if this happens to every job candidate.
Glassdoor recently ran this post covering the top five reasons you never hear back after applying for a job, but these aren't the only ways you may be missing the mark in your job search. Increased competition in the job market means that you can't afford to ignore any aspect of your search, so it's best to cover all your bases before hitting send on that email. Here are five more reasons you never hear back after applying for a job:
1. You didn't reach out first.
Sending tons of unsolicited resumes and cover letters isn't going to make you look like an attractive candidate, but rather a nuisance. Before you send over your application materials, reach out first. Try engaging with the hiring manager -- or even an existing employee -- on their public social media networks first. Starting a conversation can help you to find common ground, and it will show that your interest lies in the company -- not just any open position.
2. Your online brand stinks.
With 2 in 5 companies using social profiles to research candidates, you can't afford to leave your online presence unattended. Run a Google search of your name to ensure all results are favorable, and tailor your public profiles to reflect your career goals. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, and engage with professionals in your desired industry on Twitter by sharing relevant industry news and insights. Hiring managers use online profiles to see whether you present yourself professionally, and it can help them to determine if you'd be a good fit with their company culture. Don't skip this step!
3. You didn't read the job description carefully.
Too many job seekers apply for positions without really knowing anything about the company or what the position entails. If you can't demonstrate a working knowledge of the company and position from the get-go, hiring managers will write you off. Determine exactly what skills are needed for the job, and carefully review your past experience to make relevant connections. Search for keywords in the description that also apply to your experience and include them in your application materials. Remember, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume or cover letter, you have to tailor each document to each individual employer.
4. You never followed up.
With today's shaky economy, hiring managers are likely to receive tons of applications for one position. An easy way to be forgotten is to send an email application and never contact the hiring manager again. While you don't want to pester them, you do want to follow up with a phone call or email one to two weeks after you've applied to further express your interest, determine if they received your materials, and inquire if there's anything else they need from you. Taking this extra step to reach out shows you aren't just applying to any old job you come across -- it shows you have a vested interested in this specific company.
5. You haven't properly networked.
You're much more likely to land a job at your ideal company if you've reached out to existing employees. Forge a connection with an existing employee by reaching out to them on Twitter or LinkedIn to express your interest in what they do and ask any questions. Consider proposing meeting up for coffee or an informational interview to get all the insight you need and really cement the connection. Bring a copy of your resume and follow up with a thank-you afterwards. Your new connection could be just what you need to get a recommendation that could land you the job.
Instead of feeling discouraged when you don't hear back from a hiring manager, use the opportunity to assess your experience and determine where you might have gone wrong. Regularly evaluating your performance – and taking steps to properly prepare for next time – can mean the difference between hearing crickets and landing that interview. Good luck!
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