Don't Take It Personally!

With the unemployment rate rising, it is apparent that more people are completing for fewer jobs.  And as employers are receiving more resumes than they have positions to fill, they can’t always spend the time coding, classifying and filing all the resumes they receive – electronic or paper – for present or future consideration.
Even though it seems the vast majority of positions are posted and applied for online, more and more employers are taking less time to acknowledge their applicants submissions.  And while we’re long past the days when every applicant received a first class snail-mailed letter from employers acknowledging receipt of your resume and cover letter, these days applicants are too frequently not even receiving auto-response emails regarding their submissions.  If you’re not one of the few selected for a personal interview, it’s most likely you’ll hear nothing.
Could the employer be waiting to see if any of the most qualified candidates will follow up with them?
Sure, that’s a good way for an employer to judge how motivated the applicant is, and to see the strength of applicant’s follow through.  But only those the employer considers to be the most qualified will hear anything back.  Simply stated, if the employer is interested in you, the employer will contact you!
The sad reality is that employers don’t want to invest time or money on applicants who don’t interest them.   With employers typically receiving over 100 resumes for every job posting, the time consumption of reviewing submissions, preparing auto response systems, etc., is becoming prohibitive and impractical from both a financial and personnel standpoint. Even when larger companies use resume-filtering software programmed for keyword searches, humans still need to go over the remaining candidates’ content to formally determine their relevancy.
You know you are really qualified to fill the position you applied for; you wouldn’t have submitted your thoroughly customized materials if you weren’t!  But has the employer recognized you?
Does an employer’s lack of response to your submissions have any bearing on the quality of person you are, the quality of your skills and your experience?
Absolutely not!  The lack of an employer response has nothing to do with you personally.  Sure, you know you are qualified to fill their opening, yet you feel ignored and overlooked.  And when you send out lots of resumes, those feelings are amplified and can turn into frustration, or possibly even depression, when you don’t hear anything from 95% of the employers you’ve contacted.
What can you do?
Don’t take it personally!  The decision an employer makes at this stage is not about any of the individuals applying for the job(s).  The decision the employer is making is about how closely the verbiage in your CV and cover letter match the requirements of the openings.
Can you perform the essential functions of the job as described?  If yes, specify how you will accomplish things.  Provide documentation that indicates that you have directly or very closely related experience to what the employer needs done.  Every line in your resume and cover letter should be answering the question: “How do my skills and experience meet the needs of this position?”.  Applicants can no longer get away with merely stating, “I can do that!” You are more likely to get a positive response when you can succinctly and accurately indicate how your experience directly reflects what the employer needs done.
Always remember that sometimes even the most qualified applicants don’t get the jobs they have applied for.  Sometimes, they don’t even get to interview!
And if you do get the interview, but don’t get offered the job, don’t take that personally either.  Be appreciative of the fact that you were considered for the position, and reward yourself for making yourself the best candidate you can possibly be.  Which, in the end, if all it’s really about; making the best presentation and representation of what you can and will do.  If the employer doesn’t see it the same way, that’s their problem.  Remember that another employer will see you for the quality of your work and skills, and bring you on board.  Until then, don’t take it personally!
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