A job search can be jarring. The process often takes longer than expected, and most of the decision making is out of your control. However, you can control how you internalize non-responses to your resume submissions and interviews. One of the most common mistakes candidates make is thinking there is something “wrong” with their resume or with them. Please know that, with rare exception, it is NOT you!
If you submit your resume and receive no response after a reasonable period of time, the first thing to do is to objectively look at the job description. Do you have the level of experience and skills sought? If you do the analysis and still think a position is a fit, then you should recognize that there are MANY reasons a company or firm may not select your resume that have nothing to do with your qualifications as a candidate. Here are some examples:
(1) The company or firm may have an internal candidate that they are planning to move, but they need to be thorough and go through the motions of a search.
(2) The job requirements can change or they may not be a fair representation of what is needed for the role.
(3) It can be a “soft” search, where there is not a pressing need, but the company or firm is hoping a “unicorn” will fall into their laps.
(4) The computer or talent acquisition contact may fail to pick your resume out of the overwhelming number of resumes that usually are submitted, regardless of how qualified you are. (Regarding this point…you should be tweaking your resume to add key terms found in the job descriptions. Computers (and sometimes people!) are programmed to look for certain terms. Adding those terms will increase your chances of getting selected.)
Similar issues arise at the interview stage. It is worthwhile post-interview to think about your responses and consider if there is any fine-tuning you can do for next time. After that, if you think you did well but did not get invited back or did not get the offer, DON’T overanalyze. This is another point at which there can be MANY reasons you do not get the position that are unrelated to your performance.
(1) The job may be different than advertised or there may be a shift in focus.
(2) There may be a lack of agreement regarding the skills or level needed for the position.
(3) Someone just might be a better fit.
(4) They decide not to hire.
Unfortunately, companies and firms frequently fail to provide the feedback that will give you closure and that is something you have to accept. If a reasonable amount of time passes and you do not hear back, do not let the lack of communication shake your confidence. Only when you continue to pursue opportunities will you find the company or firm that values all that you have to offer.
Feeling frustrated with your search? Call or email me for a consultation.
Amy Goldstein is the founder of Grayson Allen, Inc., a New York based attorney search and career consulting firm. She has been providing career advice and recruiting attorneys for in-house and law firm positions since 2000.