3 Reasons Hiring Managers Ghost You
This past year, I worked with several women who had been on their job hunt for months. Their frustration was palpable; application after application, interview after interview--and then nothing.
You might be understanding of not getting the position but it's a hard pill to swallow when someone just doesn't call you back, especially if you've spoken to them or come into the office. You have every right to be offended.
Why do companies ghost you?
Short answer: They don’t know how to manage relationships with candidates (whether it’s volume or just ignorance).
But that doesn’t mean you’re helpless. You don’t have to be at the mercy of the hiring manager’s memory. If you can pinpoint where you need some work, you can be proactive about solutions. Here's 3 common reasons you don't hear back from a hiring manager.
1. Your Professional Brand is Weak:
Branding is key, y'all. Recruiters can (and do) read over a hundred applications a day. Most of them will run together. As a recruiter, I definitely went for the candidates with years of experience or past employment at a huge tech company--but I also reached out to interesting stories, catchy taglines and genuinely memorable resumes and cover letters (in content AND design). How do you know if your brand is strong?
It’s consistent and direct: Your brand should be easy to connect to your desired goal.
It’s honest and authentic to the person: Don’t try to be more (or less) than what you are. Maintaining a lie is time and effort better spent hitting your next goal.
It has a strong story: Your professional brand should make sense to your history and lead into the future you’re choosing.
2. The Job isn’t the Right Fit
Sometimes you’re just going for the wrong thing. Either the position or the company doesn’t fit your skill set and capabilities. Honesty with yourself is key in your job search. Diversify the types of companies you apply to, the levels of jobs, and look into different titles and roles that might interest you. Be strategic: Identify who you are as a professional and target the companies that need you.
3. You’re Not Interviewing to Your Full Potential
Interviews are hard. Even someone who is perfect on paper can blow an interview. There are some precautions you can take to improve your interview experience.
Learn: Find out as much about the company as you can before hand and formulate questions that show you already did some research. (Ex: don’t ask when the company was founded, ask about inspiration for the product and it’s future, discuss common issues found in their industry and ask about how they plan to speak to those--and share your ideas if you have any!)
Rehearse: Talk out loud to yourself. There’s no better way to perfect your responses than by practicing. So often, people tell me they walked out of an interview remembering all the things they said wrong. This can be tackled by mastering speaking about your skills and experience and being able to break your pitch down and spread it across several aspects of the conversation. (Hint: This is also part of understanding your brand)
Follow Up: Ask if it’s okay to follow up with more questions (make them good) and connect with the hiring manager on Linkedin or another appropriate social channel. Being deliberate about forming a relationship puts some pressure on the hiring manager to show you respect in the process. You’re more likely to hear back--even if they just let you know they’re going to pass
There’s no way to guarantee every hiring manager will call you back each time. They won’t. But present yourself well and you'll connect with the right people and eventually the right job.