Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why Don't Employers Call You Back?

(This is great advice, BUT, whatever you do, don't give up hope. I didn't get a call back the first time I applied for my job at Second Helpings.)

By Anthony Balderrama writer

Is there any worse confidence killer than rejection?

I think it goes back to childhood, when you want a new bike for your birthday but you end up getting a pack of tube socks instead. You immediately wonder if you did something wrong and that's why you didn't get what you wanted.

Go forward a few years when you end up taking your cousin to the prom because everyone else turned you down. And the college years? Basically a parade of rejection that feels like an endless line of Rockette kicks to your confidence.

Or maybe that was just my experience.

Still, that same game of "Is it me or them?" continues well into adulthood as you begin searching for a job. You make a list of your best qualities, send them to employers, get dressed up and try to woo them in an interview. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. The phone never rings.

Job seekers want to know why they can seemingly do everything right, and yet, still they don't hear back from employers. We're not talking about getting turned down for the job -- we're talking about not even hearing a "Sorry, but the position has been filled." So we went to the source to find out.

Submitting the application

For a job seeker, the application process is full of anxiety and excitement. When you're looking for a job, each available position represents a possible new beginning.

Before you've submitted an application, you've already daydreamed about your first day on the job. The problem is that to some employers, you're just one in a dozen. Or in some cases, one in 500.

"In the current market, if you post a job, you will get buried with résumés," says Matthew McMahon, partner at staffing firm McMahon Partners LLC. "Maybe 5 percent are in the ballpark."

This means plenty of hiring managers spend their time reading irrelevant applications that don't help them find the right candidate. As a result, they have less time for you. "You simply don't have time to respond to [all applicants]."

To many job seekers this attitude may sound cold and impersonal. After all, behind each of these applications is a person waiting for a return call. McMahon cannot possibly respond to each one individually, but he does take the time to reach out to applicants who show promise.

"If somebody is close, but slightly off target, I will usually take the time to give them a call, learn about what they are looking for, tell them about the sort of roles I fill, and keep the notes for future use," he says.

How about the ones who miss the mark completely?

"If the person isn't even close (or has not read the description), I don't bother spending the time because they are obviously applying for everything," he says. Take that as further proof that throwing your application at every open position and hoping to have some success is not the way to conduct a job search.

Read the rest of the story here.

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