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.

Proof the Offline Job Search Still Works

The Street Smart Job Search\” I\’ve been telling people for years that you can\’t simply hide behind a computer and email out a resume. You must make a human connection. A business research company called Whale Path recently  conducted a survey to find out how employees found their employees. I\’m happy to say that my gut instinct was right all along and gives me some proof that the offline job search still works. According to Whale Path\’s findings, the majority of job seekers under the $50,000 pay range found their jobs through offline search. The new number of 46% of people found their jobs that way, which is up from 2008. This proves that your search must become a more referral-based job search. Anyone who has grown up with the Internet might not be able to imagine what the job market was like before it came along. It was much more personal. The thing is that people hire people they know and like. Period. As an employer at a small startup company, I can tell you that this is even more important. I can\’t afford to hire the wrong person. And a resume or email alone doesn\’t tell me anything about their personality, their problem solving skills, or anything about how they will relate to other people. A job interview is like a first date. You\’re always on your best behavior. It takes really knowing someone for a long time to get that information. And since you don\’t have years to get to know someone before hiring them, the next best thing is a referral from someone who has known that person for a long time. The things that I look for in an employee can\’t be determined from a resume or email. This comes from knowing a person\’s work ethic and personality, neither of which translate on paper. So, it seems if you\’re looking for a job, and especially one under $50,000 a year, tooting your own horn to everyone you know through an offline job search just might help you land a job.    

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.    

    How Different Generations Conduct Job Searches

    When a baby boomer friend was searching for a job, his elderly dad said \”Look in the newspaper classifieds\”. Since I haven\’t picked up a newspaper in quite a while, I\’m not sure they even still have job listings there.

    With so many people unemployed in all age ranges, it made me curious how different generations conduct job searches. I was surprised to hear that Boomers use social networks more than Gen X and Gen Y, who tend to go with Google +.

    All generations value job security, which seems to be harder to come by these days. Boomers tend to gravitate towards more meaningful work, while millennials value a higher salary and more flexibility.

    Job seekers in all generations spend between 5 and 20 hours a week looking for a job. As a small business owner and freelancer I spend twice that amount of time looking for work, because the minute you finish one job you have to start looking for the next one. You\’re always juggling the clients you have, and at the same time you\’re always looking for more clients and customers.

    What surprised me the most is that 95% of all job seekers in all generations were searching online, while spending only 5% searching offline. This leads me to think that we\’re losing the ability to connect to a real, live human being. People are actually surprised when I call on the phone. I like to make some kind of human connection first.

    I still believe the best way to get a job is by meeting someone face to face. The one thing you can never get across in a text or email is personality. If I\’m hiring someone, that\’s the number one thing I want to see.