Thank you for the amazingly detailed advice! I need to be aware of these "disclaimers" in the future, on company websites. I also need to be a little more patient.
Hi Robin! Many of my applications have been sent in online, via the company's internal website. If a response isn't heard within 2-3 weeks time, do you assume that your resume / CL went to a "black hole"? It's not relevant to send a thank-you note if no contact has been made. Do you have any suggestions on a tactful way to find out if they have received it?
Ingrid, It really depends on the company/position/etc. There can be a number of reasons for not getting a response. 1) The company already has an internal hire they plan to promote into the role and are posting as a formality 2) They are overwhelmed with applicants and your application didn't fall into the first few hundred they scanned 3) Some companies will post in advance of when they are ready to interview applicants, and it could be a month or two before you hear anything back 4) They pivoted in their needs for the position and never took the posting down The list can go on and on.... You might try to sleuth if they are actively posting this position in other places on-line. (Chances are if they are spending money to post in many places, they're actively trying to fill it or haven't found the right fit.) As for what to do when you've heard nothing back after applying you have many options. First I would weigh if this is an employer you really want to work for. If it is, your best bet is to have an internal connection. Go through your network or outreach to others and build your network to make a connection who can either refer you for the position internally (which could make a recruiter give your application a second look) or who might be able to provide insights on the process, if there are delays, etc. Another option would be to try to land an informational interview to learn more about the company and make a good in person impression with team members within the company. It may provide insights to how to present yourself on your resume and application to be successful in the future when applying to jobs at that company or competitors. Also, you can place an inquiry by phone or email to the HR or Recruitment department. But, be aware of any disclaimers when you applied. Some application process state specifically do not contact on application status, that it has been received once you hit accept....you get the idea. So contacting them after this could take you out of the running. Sometimes it can depend on the size of the company too and understanding their hiring process. If it's a large company that may be using an ATS and/or a resume parsing software, make sure your resume had key words relating to your industry and job and expressly showed that you fit the requirements of the job description, (this is what recruiters are going to start using as their guide for keyword searches) otherwise it may have never come up during a search of applicants. Also, some smaller companies may be overwhelmed or not have staff adequately trained in the recruitment process, so your application could very well be lost in a sea of emails. There is no one right answer to how to follow up. One hiring manager or HR person may be delighted that you called and are interested in the position and give you another once over, whereas another may be sick of dealing with applicants and blacklist you. Sometimes, you do have to give up and move on to bigger and better opportunities. But, in the future, there are two paths I can express that have worked well for many people I know: 1) Always have your materials ready and be on the look out for job opportunities so that immediately when they are posted you are one of the first to respond. This provides you with a higher chance of getting your resume seen. 2) Network and build a relationship with someone in the company prior to applying so that they can alert their HR department that their referral applied on X date and can follow-up on your behalf, so instead of you being an application stalker, they become the interested party internally with more accountability. I hope others will also provide their own insights as to what they suggest a candidate do. Thanks for the question!