Why Didn’t HR Call Me Back?

Out in the dating world it’s a common complaint. “Why didn’t he or she call back?” But the same thing happens in the job market, as job seekers are left wondering “Why didn’t HR call me back?”. The interview went well, you think they liked you, but then you never hear from them again. It’s hard not to take it personally.

This problem has always existed, but it’s even worse now with so many people out of work and for much longer periods of time. Here are a few reasons they may not be calling back:

  • They are overwhelmed – One reason they may not be calling back could be that HR departments are completely overwhelmed right now. Many of them are barely able to handle the applicants and interviews they have, and they just don’t have the time to respond to everyone that applies. It should be up to you to follow up. Start with a personal, hand written thank you note and follow up a couple of weeks later with a quick email. If you don’t hear back after that you can probably guess that they have either found someone else or decided to delay filling the position.
  • Position was eliminated – With the way things are changing so quickly these days, they may have even eliminated the position. It’s also a possibility that their position was eliminated or they were moved into another department or transferred.
  • Your contact information was wrong – It’s also possible that you had the wrong email or phone number on your resume. A couple of times I have looked for someone’s resume because I wanted to contact them and the email or phone number was wrong. That’s why it’s especially important to follow up so there is no way they won\’t have your info right there and handy.

Whatever the case, to the job seeker, who is putting in so much time and energy into finding a job, a quick email would at least let them know that the job is no longer open and they can move on to something else. It’s up to you not to wait too long for that to happen. Keep moving, and eventually the numbers game will be in your favor.

The Job Market is Still a Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market is when supply exceeds demand. This means that purchasers have an advantage over sellers and can negotiate lower prices. We usually hear this term applied to the housing market when the buyers have the advantage over sellers in the market and have their pick of choices at lower prices. Like the housing market, the term buyer’s market can also apply to the job market and right now the job market is still a buyer’s market.

This means that employers have their pick of the best of the best to choose from. And they don’t have to pay top dollar for them. With the rate of unemployment to remain high for quite a while, it’s still a buyers market out there for employers. Many employers are simply overwhelmed by the shear number of resumes they get. Some employers can get up to 1,000 resumes, making it impossible to read all of them. If they are using automated screening systems they may be missing out on some very good, qualified candidates. These systems are initially only screening for certain keywords. If you don’t happen to have those keywords you may never even get the chance to get pass the front door.

Since employers know they hold the upper hand, they will often write up a complete fantasy description that no normal person would fill. I’ve seen job descriptions that almost seemed like a joke. “Looking for super model with a Phd, 30 years experience, must be proficient in advanced computer skills, highly organized, and provide 3 pages of referrals for receptionist position.” Okay, so that wasn’t a real job description. But I have seen ones that are pretty close.

As long as the job market is a buyer’s job market, job seekers must work harder at standing out and staying up to date on as many relevant skills as possible. Actively networking in person will help you skip over some of their initial automated systems and get them to see you face to face as a human being before tossing you out based just on keywords.




What Job Seekers in the U.S. Can Learn From Job Seekers in China

  • Don\’t be the first to name a price – This is simple negotiating 101. If you name a price too high you may not get the interview. If you name a price too low, they will negotiate from there and try to get it even lower. I know, it\’s kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don\’t situation. Let them start the negotiation.
  • Start at the bottom – Yes, I know you just spent a small fortune and years of your life in college getting a degree. But it\’s a buyer\’s market. Look at it this way, if you really work hard to prove yourself you won\’t be at the bottom for long. And you will also learn more about how the company works. Use the time to your advantage and learn as much as you can.
  • Develop empathy – By starting at the bottom you get a chance to know how it feels to step inside the shoes of the people who are the heart and soul of a company, grinding it out every day and making the company work. As you work your way up the ladder, you will have a better understanding of what they go through on a daily basis and you\’ll have skills and knowledge you wouldn\’t have if you just stepped in at the top.
  • It\’s perfectly fair to ask the interviewer upfront about what kind of job opportunities you can expect from the company. It\’s fine to start out at the bottom. Just make sure it\’s not a dead-end job.    

    Getting a Job with a Criminal Record

    It’s hard enough these days to find a job, but for those with a criminal record it can be even worse. An estimated 65 million Americans face that problem when they’re looking for a job. New laws prevent blanket discrimination against this, but if you’re dealing with that problem, there are some things you can do to help prepare yourself as much as possible.

    While serving your time you will have nothing but time on your hands. This is a perfect opportunity to further your education any way you can. If you didn’t get your high school degree, now is the time to start working to get your GED.

    It is also possible to get a college degree while in prison. There are also plenty of opportunities provided by non-profits for training while serving time. Read everything you can get your hands on that will help you in the real job world. Learn new skills that will help you in a trade. These days a plumber may be just as employable as a marketing executive in the current job market.

    There are also programs to help you once you get out as far as training and job skills. Take advantage of these. Get help in putting your resume together and practicing for a job interview. If you have a parole officer that will help you, reach out and get that help. In fact, seek out help from anyone you can. Find a non-profit that fits your needs and get in touch with them. Let them know you are willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to become employed.

    You will more than likely have to start at the bottom and work your way back into the system, especially if you are looking for a job that has a lot of responsibility. But these days even people that don’t have a criminal record are having to do that. Just concentrate on getting your foot in the door and proving to your employer and yourself that you can, not only do the job required, but you can go above and beyond what’s needed to get ahead.

    If you find that you are going nowhere in a job search, you might want to consider creating your own job. It worked for Alfred Lomas. He was a member of one of the largest and most notorious gangs in L.A. He decided to radically change his life and became a Christian.

    He started as a director of a food program that delivers food to warring gang neighborhoods. He now risks his life to bring peace to the same neighborhood by negotiating with rival gangs to stop the violence. He also started L.A. Gang Tours, which is a successful tour through those same neighborhoods and brings jobs to the area.

    The main thing is to stay focused on keeping your attitude positive and keeping your skills sharp. It’s hard enough for those that have a college degree and no record right now, so you will have to be patient and just keep looking ahead.