The Reason You Haven’t Heard Back May Not Be What You Think

You’ve spent probably HOURS submitting the perfect application each time: tailored resume and cover letter, i’s dotted and t’s crossed, the works, then… NADA. Deafening silence. Empty inbox, no call notifications….

WHY? Are you doing something wrong? 

A wonderful client of mine inspired this input, and, for me to share it with all of you. She wrote to me a couple months after we completed her resume together. She still hadn’t gotten a job and was, quite understandably, feeling discouraged.







I sent her some additional ideas and resources, part of which including hard, but important reminders: 

  • Job search can be so trying and sometimes long.  Some of my clients get jobs quickly (and you’ll see testimonials from these clients on my website), some, it just takes longer. That’s just honest, and realistic. Why is this? Read on…
  • Patience + Persistence is needed. Not to freak you out, but 3 months in a search would be considered fast by and for most; 6-12 months is much more common, unfortunately.
  • It’s impossible to know exactly WHY. There are MANY factors at play… But it’s never fun to try and wait. I get that.

Then, a few days later, something else to share dawned on me, so I wrote her this email.

Consider it a personal message to you, too,  if you are also discouraged in (and tired of!) your job search:

Dear (insert YOUR name here) – 

I  thought of you today because I myself just had this experience – twice – in the last week.

I sometimes will apply for part-time gigs as another income/client source. I had TWO experiences within this last week, which I was 1) very qualified for and 2) that *already knew me* to some degree with one gig, and, very well in the other AND I have  high level references  from within the 2nd one, too,  that I therefore really thought would be easy for me to get the gig, and was very excited…..

And then…

NEITHER came through. Turns out BOTH of them had applicants that were even BETTER known to the decision makers/hiring person, and at least equally qualified, so the other person got the gig in both cases. 

HRMPHH. I was so surprised, and of course disappointed.

And it occurred to me I should tell you this because it happens more than we realize in a job search. There’s an ad, because the company is required to post one, but, they already have an internal candidate in mind. Or, someone on the team’s old colleague has applied with her recommendation.  OR, sometimes, those ads just are not filled because other issues take priority on the team, there are sudden budget issues or they decide to rearrange the department/job duties/structure and maybe change what they need to hire someone to do… etc., etc. etc….

So I know that doesn’t help you get selected, but, I hope it does, however, help give you insight about WHY you may not hear from jobs you seem so qualified for, when you know your letters and resume are good, and help you just manage the frustration (to some degree, anyway) about all those unknowns….

I only found out why I didn’t get one of my gigs because the woman was upfront enough to actually tell me (since we already knew each other, but is otherwise very rare!) With the other one, my inside contact found out about 3 weeks later & shared who they actually hired with a note, “with (the selected person’s) connections and background here, you’d have had a very hard time getting hired for that job.”  

So you get the bottom line here, right? Things like this can – and DO – happen to ANY job seeker. Even me. 

I have written a few other blog posts over the years on related topics. Maybe one or two of these might also be some source of solace, explanation or comfort to you, if you are like this client, and me, too, right now:

Timing Your Job Search: Waiting & Synchronicity

Reinvigorate Your Job Search (and Workplace) Spirits

It’s a Bit “Stuart Smalley”, but… (for old school SNL fans!) 

and even MORE posts to help buoy you through the rough waters on my blog in the Job Search Inspiration section!