Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Stop ignoring me!! No really, stop ignoring me…

Posted by sweens on January 13, 2009

Have you ever sent your resume into a company or a recruiting agency and not gotten a response?  I’m sure anyone that is actively pursuing a job has been in this position and it certainly isn’t an enjoyable one.  I would suggest there’s a disconnect on both ends that leads to this unfavourable outcome for one or both parties.  Let’s examine both sides of the fence and try to establish some common ground.

Position 1 – I’ve just submitted my resume

Time goes by and you don’t get a call or email back?  What are my next steps?  How far do I need to go in order to get the attention I think my resume deserves?  And really, those are all legitimate questions and unfortunately I don’t have an ‘answer’ for each of them as I’m sure each situation is different.  I think in this instance, a recruiter or company can be a bit blind in the sense that they aren’t aware how important this job could be for any given individual.  It could be next weeks mortgage payment or just another stop in the road for someone.  The person who sent in their resume obviously felt that they were qualified for the position, or else they wouldn’t have sent in their resume (we can at least hope that this is true). 

At the point when you decide you haven’t received a response in the time you thought the process should take, what should your next steps be?  Do I send a follow up email?  Do I call the person in charge?  Do I just move on?  Everyone has a different opinion and each position is different.  I have heard that some sales recruiters won’t consider someone for a job unless they follow up, as they want a candidate to show they have what it takes to follow up and stay on top of someone just like in a sales role.  Like I said earlier, your resume is a reflection of yourself and ultimately you’re selling yourself via a resume.  Perhaps the understanding that a sales person won’t close every deal they set out to close is a good thought to carry forward when applying for a job.


Position 2 – I’ve just received a resume

You post a job online and you get some responses.  Some resumes you see might be a match and others might not be.  Who do you communicate with?  How do you choose?  These are questions a recruiter or hiring manager may be asking themselves when they get a resume.  Yes, we always put in fine print ‘only suitable candidates will be contacted further’ but is that enough?  Perhaps the person you’re dealing with doesn’t like confrontation and has a hard time coming right out and saying ‘you’re just not a good fit for this position’. 

I know I’m guilty of this but a recruiter or manager might be hiring numerous positions all at the same time.  They likely will have posted these jobs on numerous job boards and are generating a high volume of traffic.  Perhaps the time just isn’t there for the person whose name is on the posting to get back to everyone that applies.  Perhaps the name on the application is really just a ‘screener’ and doesn’t really know anything about technology or the position they’ve posted. 


While both sides of this process want the same objective – A SUCCESFUL HIRE – both sides don’t always have the same motivation on each application sent or received.  So perhaps the next time you send in your resume and don’t get a response you’ll think about the name you saw on the application and realize that it is not their intent to leave you unanswered.  And perhaps the next time you receive a follow up to an unanswered application you’ll find a few minutes in your day to explain to that person where you are in your hiring process and where this person fits into your plans.

Happy hunting…


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