What does the silence mean?

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I don’t know about you, but I find the current job market to be devoid of common courtesy. If you are looking for work right now, I suspect you have experienced the following scenario more than once.

You sit down first thing in the morning with a fresh cup of coffee and search through websites looking for the right next job for you. You spend time emailing and phoning people in your network to look for job leads. Then, after compiling your list of leads, you prepare to apply for each job. You do some additional online research about the companies and jobs, to learn as much as you can. Now, you carefully craft a custom cover letter for each and every submission. You review your resume, and update it to target it for each specific position. Then you begin the grueling process of submitting your applications online. You record all your activities in your job search log, so you know whom you contacted and when. You make notes about when and how to follow up for each potential job. And then, you wait to hear back. You do this day after day. Week after week.

Days, even weeks, may go by. On a rare occasion, a company will send you a quick email thanking you for your submission, and telling you they will only contact you again if they wish to interview you. But most of the time, you don’t get a “thank you for your interest” message. Most of the time you are completely ignored. I find that rude. Where is the appreciation of the effort you put in?

I appreciate the companies that send the courtesy email thanking you for your interest. At least there’s some polite acknowledgement of your work and effort.

Unfortunately, it’s not just rude and discourteous. It can also be demoralizing for you in your search. Having all your hard work and effort be met with so much silence can cause you to question everything. “Is it me? Is it my resume or cover letter? Is it my background? Did anyone even get my application?” These sorts of questions can make you crazy.

So what can you do? You can’t change the behavior of the companies, but what can you do if you feel like the silence is deafening?


Here are 3 questions to ask, and some actions you can take to make sure you are doing all you can to maximize your search results.


1. How many jobs are you applying for?

In order to really know how effective your search is, you need to track your actual stats. How many jobs do you apply for each week? How many calls do you get? How many interviews? The measure of success varies from industry to industry, and job type to job type. But you can get a more objective picture of your actual results by tracking and measuring them.


2. Are you getting calls for interviews?

If you are not getting called for interviews at all, or think your numbers are low, then you need to first see if you should increase your efforts and apply for more jobs. You also need to verity that you are applying for jobs that are a good fit for you.

If you have solid numbers, and are applying for jobs that are right for you, it’s time to assess your tools: resume, cover letter, application. Consider hiring a professional to revamp your tools. Or set up some informational interviews with individuals in your target industry to ask for feedback on your resume and cover letter.

If you are satisfied that you are getting called in for interviews on the jobs that are a good match for you, then feel confident that your tools are working for you in the right way!


3. Are you getting offers?

If you are not getting any job offers, or not getting offers for jobs you really want, then you need to assess your interviewing skills. Consider hiring a professional to coach you on how to control the flow of information and master the interview. My favorite book on interviewing skills is “Knock ‘Em Dead” by Martin Yate. I’ve had a copy on my shelf for reference since I first discovered it in 1996. This book transformed my approach to interviewing.

If you are getting offers, then you can feel confident that you are interviewing well!


It is important to not let the silence of this job market affect your morale. Use these 3 questions to assess how effective your job search really is, and where you have an opportunity to improve.

What other questions does the silence create for you? I’d love to answer them on my blog below.

My clients rely on 1-on-1 support to help them create compelling tools that get results in this job market. If you would benefit from a free review of your job search tools, simply click this link (https://www.timetrade.com/book/2DP9J) and schedule your review now.

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Client Stories

When I first met Lori, I was in a rut. Having spent 25 years in the same industry, I was bored, max’d out and didn't know what to do next.  I was pigeon-holed into an industry that I was not so fond of, and saw no way to get out.  I felt trapped. Lori understood my predicament, as she had seen it all before -- she was sympathetic, but resolute in knowing that she could help me find answers.  I took great solace in that! 

Through several sessions and dozens of exercises, I began to get a clearer picture of who I am, and where my strengths and talents truly lie.  Working with Lori, I was able to translate that understanding into updated, targeted resumes that quickly produced interviews and gave me the confidence to express myself better than ever before. 

Consulting a Career Coach should be mandatory for anyone in today's work force, and Lori is the best at her profession.

Robert J. Norris, Warrenville, IL