Bad Job Search Experience: Ignored by Employers

Conducting a job search is hard enough if you get an acknowledgment when you submit your resume for an open position and then don’t hear anything more after that. Not getting any response at all from the employer adds insult to the injury. You probably realize, if you think about it logically, that companies can receive a huge volume of resumes when they advertise a position. However, you also probably can’t help thinking, “There ought to be a way they could at least let me know they received my resume.” You might have heard some of the same explanations (excuses?) for the lack of good communication that I’ve heard. Apparently technical problems with employers’ submission process or systems can make the situation even more frustrating.

How Job Seekers React to a Bad Job Search Experience

An article by John Zappe (on talks about this topic in a forthright way. Titled “When Applicants Hear Nothing, They Talk and You Get Hurt,” it suggests that when you have a bad job search experience, you’re likely to act negatively with regard to that company in a variety of ways. As the article indicates, “CareerBuilder’s ongoing Applicant Experience survey found that 78 percent of candidates said they’d be sure to tell family and friends about a bad experience with a potential employer. Seventeen percent said they’d post about it on a social media site….the “black hole” application process causes 44 percent of those who hear nothing to have a worse opinion of the non-responsive employer.”

Apparently, about half of job seekers say they don’t hear anything back at all, so if that has happened to you, you’re in good company–not that that will make you feel a lot better!

Companies Might Pay a Price for Ignoring You

According to the article, “The consequences of a negative candidate experience go beyond the potential loss of quality talent and injury to the employment reputation. The widely held belief is that there is a direct economic impact from treating applicants poorly. A separate CareerBuilder study from a few months ago found nearly a third of respondents saying they are less likely to purchase a product from a company that didn’t respond to their job application.”

What does this mean for your job search? Although you might be distinctly unhappy about being ignored by employers, how likely are you to translate that unhappiness into an action that bad-mouths or otherwise negatively impacts the employer? I suspect this is a situation that makes for a good article but is going to be discounted by many job seekers, who won’t see any benefit to themselves in spreading a bad word about the employer. Doing so is certainly not likely to increase your future chances of working for that company, if in fact you still want to.

And remember: Things you say to others or comments you post online can boomerang and end up costing you, rather than the company that ignored you. It might be a lot better to search actively for companies that treat their applicants with more care, companies that have earned a reputation for treating their employees that way as well.

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