Reasons Potential Employers Aren’t Calling You Back

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By Katie Conroy
February 23, 2022

If you’ve been looking for a new job and haven’t heard from any potential employers, you are doubtless asking yourself one question: “Why didn’t they call me back?” That question leads to a lot of second guessing and can result in genuine mental agony if you let yourself worry about it too much.


As a prospecting individual who is looking for a job, there is nothing worse than that nagging self-doubt and that question of, “What am I doing wrong?”


What’s even more frustrating is when you can’t tell what you’re doing wrong. However, with some introspection, as well as the following list from Batiste Consulting explaining the reasons why employers tend to say “nope” to job applicants, you could turn things around for the better in no time.


The Reasons to Watch Out For


Keep an eye out for these common reasons applicants don’t get invited for interviews and try to avoid them at all costs:


●     They May Not Be Wowed. With all of the competition in today’s marketplace, it's likely that many employers will say no simply because they have someone else in mind that they liked slightly more than you. In some professions, such as academia, there may be more applicants than open positions, especially since the recent pandemic, and almost all of your competitors will be as qualified as you--which means the employer will have many wonderful options to choose from. Accept this possibility and keep prospecting for other employers; you'll find the right one sooner or later.


●     They might not even get to you. If you sent in an application and a resume and didn’t insist on a physical interview, don't be bothered if you don’t hear back. The most popular companies receive literally thousands of submissions a month, and it takes some time to sift through all of those applications. Keep this in mind and be prepared to wait a while for a response.


●     They might be looking for something very specific. Some companies are incredibly specific in what they want in a new hire. You might come close to meeting what they need, and you might have 99% percent of the skills they require, but don’t expect a call back if you aren’t 100% percent who they want. Keep in mind that sometimes the job description is not quite accurate because it leaves something out or is just poorly written in the first place. In these cases, it is not surprising that you--and many other qualified candidates--will not receive a response.


●     You didn’t apply for the right job. If your skill set is for an Office Manager position and you apply at a store that needs a Sales Associate, then you will probably get ignored. This scenario is particularly likely if you apply at a large corporation or one that gets a lot of applications submitted electronically. Don’t count on somebody in HR catching your error, especially if the job is highly desirable and attracts many candidates. Sometimes application materials don’t highlight the relevant training or experience, so be sure to tailor your resume accordingly.

●     You weren’t honest on your resume. As ZenBusiness explains, it’s common for job applicants to slightly embellish their resumes, this can fall flat with a potential employer. Particularly if you use grandiose language or inflate your title. Sometimes a little embellishment is okay, but when you go overboard, you risk losing out on an interview. Instead, ask a friend to carefully read your resume and quiz you on what stands out to them. They might be able to help you determine any iffy items so you can make revisions.


●     Your presentation didn’t blow them away. In the most desirable fields, employers really do have the pick of the litter. Practice your interview presentation and pitch over and over. Get a good elevator pitch in there, (a way you can sell yourself in two minutes or less). Practice your pitch on your friends and family members and have them critique you. Even better is to find someone else, someone who is not that close to you personally, who may be able to provide more objective feedback.

●     You come off as negative. Again, some introspection goes a long way here. If you come off as complaining, angry, irritable or anything negative, potential employers will quickly jettison your resume from the pile. Take a hard look at your wording, and then focus inward. Are you irritable? Are you frustrated? Then consider what’s contributing to your negativity. Is it a cluttered and dirty home? Is it your current job? Maybe it’s a variety of life circumstances that are eating away at you. Whatever the case, it shouldn’t come out in your resume or cover letter.


●     There isn’t actually a position available. Sometimes organizations have already decided whom they are going to hire, but they advertise the position anyway as a matter of policy or habit, which may mean dozens or even hundreds of people waste their time applying for a job that doesn’t exist.


Don’t be discouraged when a company doesn’t call back, either after you apply or after an initial interview. That’s all a part of the game of life that you are playing. Take to heart the above potentialities but keep on “keeping on,” as the saying goes; you will be successful in landing the perfect job soon enough.