Five reasons you didn’t get a response to your job application

13 June 2016

Waiting for responses to job applications

It can be very disheartening to receive no response when you’ve applied for a job that looks perfect for you. It may only be that your application was sent a bit too late, but it’s worth checking a few key points to see whether your application was as strong as it could be. One of these five points could have affected your chances of success.


1. You live too far away


If you apply for a full-time job in London, but the address on your CV says Edinburgh, then you need to explain why you’re applying for a job that you cannot currently commute to. Hiring managers and recruitment consultants can’t read your mind, so won’t know if you’re just about to move to London, or that you’ve already got a place to stay as your family live there. If you have a good reason for applying for a job over an hour’s journey from your home address, then it is very important to explain why. Simply add a line to your covering letter to mention that you have just moved or are looking to relocate, and stress your serious intention to work in that location. Otherwise, hiring managers may assume you’ve made a mistake.

Sometimes you may see job adverts that don’t state the exact postcode of the clinic hiring, or the ideal base location for a sales territory. While you may live within a county mentioned in the advert, you may not be ideally situated. For example, a sales territory may be listed as the South West, but the company’s main clients may be centred around Bristol, meaning that it may not work well to have that sales representative based in Truro, despite being in the same region.

You may be someone who enjoys travelling, and you may not mind a daily commute, but employers will also be considering other factors. If you have a long journey to work, you could be more likely to encounter transport problems, and in the long run, if your work/life balance isn’t ideal, then your performance could be affected, too.

If you’re currently living abroad, then read our article on applying from overseas.


2. Your skills don’t meet the minimum requirements


Job adverts state ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ skills and qualities for a reason. For example, if an advert states that you need to have an NVQ3 in Beauty Therapy, this is probably because that clinic needs their therapists to have this for insurance purposes. If an advert states that you must have the V300 Non-Medical Prescribing qualification, then this may be because that clinic needs an aesthetic nurse to perform injectable treatments without another qualified prescriber being present.

There may also be instances when certain skills or qualifications aren’t essential for legal purposes, but the employer has preferences that they are not willing to compromise on. A clinic may not have the time or resources to train a new practitioner from scratch at that given time, so may not respond to underqualified applicants for this reason. A supplier of devices may specify that they want a sales person with experience of selling capital equipment, perhaps because their past experience has shown them that professionals who have previously sold high-value specialist equipment are more successful at that kind of sale.

Always read the advert carefully, and if your CV is missing one or more of the ‘essential’ requirements, be realistic and realise that you may not be the ideal fit for that role.


3. You made a careless error or omission on your CV or covering letter


It’s not uncommon for job applications to arrive with a generic covering letter that has no relevance to the job in hand. Some also reveal a certain carelessness by referring to a completely different job title. If you’re applying for more than one job, be careful with each covering letter, and make sure you have all the key details correct before you press send. While it may seem like a minor error, don’t assume it will go unnoticed or that covering letters count for nothing. A lazy mistake in your opening communications could suggest that you don’t have good attention to detail, or that you haven’t put much effort into your application.

The same applies for your CV. Before you send your application, make sure the facts and figures are all present and correct, and ask someone to proof-read it to check for errors you may have overlooked. At ARC, we’ve seen many CVs, and though we do understand that sometimes small errors can slip through the net, it won’t help your application if you omit key information. Make sure your contact details are up-to-date, check the dates on your employment history to make sure any gaps or overlaps are explained, and state all of your relevant qualifications.

Read more on the importance of covering letters.


4. There have been enough good applications already


You may notice that some adverts don’t state a ‘closing date’ for final applications, as some employers would rather wait for their ideal employee, and will keep advertising and interviewing until they find that person. Occasionally, job adverts are left live online while applicants are already being interviewed. It could be that by the time you sent your application in, there had been a number of good applications already, and yours wasn’t early enough or brilliant enough to jump the queue.

As you won’t get to see who your competition is, or when they applied, you won’t know exactly where you stand. If your application gets no response, don’t be too disheartened, as you may simply have been too late.


5. You didn’t answer your phone


When you apply for jobs online, don’t expect every recruiter to respond to you by email. Some recruiters will want to speak to you in person before arranging a face-to-face interview, to clarify details on your CV, ensure you understand the full nature of the role, and to understand your own needs and wants. Though you may not be able to answer calls on your mobile during work hours, make sure you check your missed calls and messages in your break. If you don’t call a recruiter back, they may assume you’re no longer interested in the role.


Don’t give up!

Hiring managers and recruitment consultants can’t afford to spend their working day sending personalised emails to every applicant, as the volume of applications could mean they’d never get much else done. Unfortunately, this does mean that you sometimes won’t find out why your application was unsuccessful. Stay positive and return to your CV and covering letter, and the job adverts you’ve bookmarked, to see whether there is anything you could have done differently that may help you with your next application.


Read more onĀ putting together a great job application.


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