Q: I apply to jobs online and never even hear back. What am I doing wrong?
A: Very possibly, nothing. It’s an unfortunate trend that employers often don’t respond, even to good candidates. Maybe it’s the press of time, maybe it’s the volume of applicants, maybe it’s just that this has become a common practice.
I recently saw an electronic response that read: “While we regret that we cannot personally respond to each inquiry, trust that we will contact you directly if your qualifications meet our requirements.” An ironic acknowledgement, perhaps foreshadowing future silence, but at least the person knew her application had been received.
Try whenever possible to write a meaningful (though not lengthy) cover letter that will draw positive attention to your résumé when applying for jobs that do match your experience. If you know the identity of the employer, try to network (even online, as through LinkedIn) to someone who might be able to help you get noticed. Follow up only once, if you hear nothing, and then move on. And don’t act surprised when you do get a nod for a screening call or an interview. It does happen.