You’ve probably had this happen at some point in your career: you e-mail in a job application and you never hear anything back. Maybe you’ll get a standard e-mail response letter, but for the most part, you just hear silence.
Why does this happen? It’s certainly discouraging, and it will probably change how you view that company. Perhaps they just received too many applications — but some sort of recognition would be nice, right?
Perhaps there is still something productive we can learn from this experience. If you’re getting overlooked in the online application process often, there are steps you can take to make yourself stand out. Business Insider Contributor Meghan M. Biro offers “5 Reasons Why You Never Hear Back After Applying for a Job.” She adds a few helpful suggestions to improve your job search. Before you get discouraged, consider this:
You didn’t keyword-optimize your resume. When you use an online search engine, you rely on keywords to find what you’re looking for. A hiring manager does the same. Biro suggests that you keyword-optimize your resume, cover letter, and e-mail. This means looking at the job description closely: match the skills they list to the ones you list. Need to know a certain program? Make sure you have it on your resume.
You were one of the last people to send in your resume. If the posting is older and you sent your application in, there is a good chance the position is filled. Also, if you are at the bottom of the pile, it’s far less likely that they will get to your application. To avoid this, you have to be on top of the job listings. Check back regularly.
What else can you do to make sure you get noticed, even before you send out applications? Biro offers five great tips, but one of them is something to consider in this digital age:
Make a presence for yourself online. I’ve heard this from professors and professionals. Build a personal website or, as Biro suggests, start a blog in your area of interest or expertise:
It’s a social world; time to build a trail of breadcrumbs leading to you. Include the blog, and links to any especially relevant posts, in your emails to recruiters with whom you’re working.”
Having an online presence will show your commitment to your personal brand and it will show that you have initiative and drive.
Check out Biro’s article for more great tips. Remember that everyone who goes through the job hunting process faces rejection, and there will be plenty of times when you don’t hear back. And if you receive a personalized rejection letter, don’t feel insulted. You clearly caught their eye, but at this point in time, you weren’t the right candidate. Don’t get discouraged and use these tips to give yourself a boost — you’ll be more than ready when that great job comes along.