Why haven’t they called? The importance of asking for feedback

Why Haven't they called? The importance of asking for feedback?

So, you feel like you’ve finally found your dream job. Perfect location, great salary, excellent promotion prospects.

You spend a few essential hours prepping your CV, carefully crafting your cover letter and then excitedly clicking the apply button, full of anticipation, quietly confident that the attraction will be mutual.

And then nothing. The next week is spent with your phone on loud, frantically checking your reception and trying to come up with a reasonable explanation. All you want to know is why.

Whether this seems reminiscent of your own experience, or you’ve actually made it through to the interview stage before everything goes quiet, it can be a disheartening moment for any jobseeker not to hear back from a recruiter.


The most frustrating thing about looking for a job… 

Let’s face it, not hearing back from recruiters definitely ranks as one of the most annoying parts of jobseeking.

We spoke to a group of university students to find out what else frustrates them about looking for a job…


Why haven’t they called?

 So, why haven’t they called? Here are a few of the reasons we’ve experienced, and our number one tip for what you should do about it:

1. They’re playing the field

However despondent you feel right now, remember: recruiters will rarely be in a position to get back to a candidate straight away, no matter how many boxes they tick.

They might really like you, but they’ll probably want to assess all the applicants before reaching out to potential interviewees. So, if it’s been a few days, or even a week or two, try and relax. It can take recruiters anywhere from a few days to over a month to respond to your applications.

2. They’re too busy to commit

It’s always important to put things into perspective.

Many hiring managers will have extremely busy schedules and could be looking to fill many positions at once, with hundreds of applicants to sort through for each vacancy. With this in mind, they might not even have reached your application yet, let alone started getting back to people.

Or, in contrast, recruitment might not be their only job, something which is especially applicable for smaller companies. If this is the case, there may be other pieces of work taking precedence over the hiring process.

So, remain patient and try not to panic.

3. They’re just not that into you

Sure, you seemed like the perfect fit for the job in your eyes, but unfortunately it just hasn’t worked out.

There are plenty more fish in the sea as they say (and by fish, we mean recruiters), and many that are already looking for exactly what you have to offer.

Take every application and interview as a learning experience and a sign that, no matter how prepared you may think you are, you can always make improvements. So, whether it’s checking the job description/requirements more closely, getting someone to proofread your CV and cover letter or just tailoring yourself more closely to the position, be sure to take something from the experience.

4. They love you, but they’re not in love with you

The recruiter may have liked your personality and generally liked your CV. Unfortunately, though, this might not always be enough. If you didn’t do enough to set yourself apart from the other applicants, then you probably won’t be offered the job, and, unfortunately, in some cases, you may not even be contacted.

However, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There’s a simple way to learn from your mistakes and move on: you just have to ask.

So, what should I do?

Whatever the reason, the worst thing you can do in this situation is nothing at all.

Finding an explanation can often be as simple as calling the organisation in question and politely enquire as to whether your application/interview has been successful. Not only will you put your own mind at rest, but you’ll also be able to take their constructive criticism on board and improve your chances of success for subsequent situations.

Although not all recruiters will be able to give you individual feedback (especially after 100+ applications), a surprising number of them will give you a little time to help.

Remember: if you don’t ask, you won’t know.

Final thoughts

Employers are under no obligation to get in touch with each candidate who makes an application. But you can demonstrate your pro-activity and desire to succeed by taking the initiative and getting in touch to find out more yourself.

You might be making a very simple mistake which can be quickly rectified.

So, rather than spending your valuable time sitting by the phone, waiting for it to ring, or leaving your errors up to conjecture, take your future into your own hands. You may be surprised by what you learn.

Do you ever ask for feedback after an application or interview? Let us know below, or tell us on twitter @reedcouk