5 reasons why you don’t get a reply to your job application…


We are in a world where (Statistic I heard of BBC news) – there is something like 5 million+ job applications made each month in the UK. That is apparently 1/6 of the working population that is applying for a job at any one time. There is a lot of applications out there…

Most get a response – but what about the ones that don’t? We can attribute some of that to poor application management by the recruiters or hiring managers. Especially in times of which you get swamped with more applications than you can shake a stick at.

That said – here are my top 5 reasons why your job applications don’t get a response. And what you can do about it.

1. You’ve not filled out the on-line form correctly!

I’ve worked with on-line portals before – some of which are funny little creatures that have minds of their own. Unless your sat in front of that old thing called a PC – and not a tablet or Smartphone – some on-line portals will lull you into a false sense of security and then spit your application out the other end. Spend time filling out the on-line applications properly and on a laptop/PC. Make sure as you fill it out, you make a note of the comments you make like “Why are you applying for this role?” & “what can you bring to the table if you got this job?” Sometimes we all have awesome answers, when we are in the moment, then get asked again later on the same question – and come up with “I dunno, pay the bills…”

2. You’ve miss read the job advert!

Read this statement – “The cat sat on the the Mat” how many repeat words did you spot? If you like me are, you are a skim reader, and especially when you’re trying to apply for a new job before the boss walks past your desk again. Then you’re not going to read the job advert well. There is a massive difference between a “National Account Manager – FMCG” and a “National Sales Manager – Double glazing” – I think it’s about £30k salary difference. If you have the relevant skills and the relevant ability for that role and it states, it in the job advert. Make sure that reflects it in the cover letter.

Use the job advert however good or bad it is, as a question paper, and your cover letter is the answers – but reflecting your experience.

So for instance –

“We are looking for time served apprentice in Electrical/Mechanical Maintenance”

Then your response needs to be something like – “I am a time served Electrical/Mechanical Maintenance engineer where I got me deeds from Joe Bloggs Industries also I have a city & guilds in Maintenance Engineering”

3. You’re not actually qualified for the role!

This leads me on to something that all recruiters and hiring managers have to face. The CV that is in the applications pile that is not relevant or qualified for a role. I call them the “Punts”. Most people just throw them in the bin and never respond. I ping an email saying unsuccessful. No matter how many applications you are told to make by Job centres, your mother, your Misses/Mr – applying for a job that you have no qualifications or experience for, will be wasting your time.

There is another side to this coin. The people that believe they are qualified. But it’s not apparent on their CV. Make it apparent – you may have to rewrite parts or all your CV to make it apparent. But if you know hand on heart you can do this job, and you need to convince people – then you need to do the next thing.

4. You’ve not followed up with the Recruiter/Hiring Manager!

I’m not going to spout statistical facts at you, just hear me when I say. We get the odd CV, it looks OK, but it’s not quite the star of the applications. So it gets put in a short list or a maybe pile. Sometimes the applicant won’t know about that. Which is frustrating! So what do you do?

If you don’t hear back from an application within 48 hours (I know people that track this information on a Spreadsheet) – then call the hiring manager. And ask them “did you get my application?” introduce yourself, you may go from a “No” or a “Maybe” to a “Yes” and bag yourself an interview! What’s the worst that can happen?

5. You’ve half arsed your job search!

Incomplete CV, poorly written, spelling errors, grammatical errors – Badly written cover letters, hitting apply and “hoping” to get a reply, applying for anything, not reading the job advert, not following up with the hiring manager, not doing your research on the company…. This is a half arsed job search. Are you doing this? Are you doing the above?

That’s why you’re not getting response from Recruiters and Hiring managers. If you are doing the above and getting nowhere, let me know your story – I may or may not be able to give advice on why.

Bonus but philosophical reason!

I will put a statistical fact that I put in my last blog, that was given to me by Indeed job search – 62% of people are looking for a job which gives us more money.

Which roughly translates to me as – when most people are applying for a job, they are more interested in the money, than in the company, values and career prospects. We say these words in interviews, “I want to move up the ladder” “is there training” “I want to learn” “I am hungry” “I am motivated” but we don’t believe the words. We just want more money to buy nice things, go on holiday, pay the child support and mortgage.

That’s what happened in your current role – you applied for the job because the money looked good, but job satisfaction is low?

So this time you’re trying to get more money in the next job application phase – and because it’s made easy with Job application sites like Reed, indeed (other Job sites available) – the click and send culture happens – and we just keep clicking and sending – with every application we get more and more frustrated, because you’re not in a job you love or your unemployed and under pressure to pay the car finance…

Stop it, if this sounds like you. Start planning your job search.

  • Create an elevator pitch of who you are, what your experience is, and why your calling. Focus on one or 2 key abilities you have “Sales Engineer” & “Electrical Components”
  • Research all the agencies that specialise in the recruitment of “Sales Engineers” or “Care workers” whatever your background.
  • Research who is advertising on all the websites. Find the companies number. Pick the jobs you like the sound of, research the company, Google search people that work there, connect with them on LinkedIn – see what they are saying, read their blogs – try to gauge – is this the culture you want to work in?
  • Update your CV, then spell check it 3 times. Get someone to read it. Spell check it again.
  • Call those companies/agencies.
  • Send your CV with cover letter – outlining why your relevant, but send it to the hiring manager/recruiter direct.
  • Follow up within 48 hours. Find out why you’re not successful. Don’t argue with them, if they like you, you’d have an interview. Take on board the feedback, learn, adapt… sleep, eat, repeat this list.

Take your job application seriously, after all, its your lively hood that it will effect.