When You Are the Perfect Match for the Job but Never Hear Back

By Emily Seamone

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A frustrating, yet common occurrence for job seekers: you come across a job listing, and as you scan the responsibilities, tasks, and requirements of the posting, you immediately think to yourself, “Wow, I am the perfect person for this job!” You quickly craft a targeted cover letter, polish up your resume or CV, and then send them off with positive thoughts as they travel through cyberspace and hopefully land on the right person’s desk. Then you wait … and wait … and wait. After some time, you begin to wonder why you are not being contacted for an interview. Can’t this employer see that you are an exact fit for the position? If it is so clear to you, what is wrong with them?

5 Reasons You Didn’t Hear Back

1. Employee referrals

There is a stack of 253 applications for the hiring managers to review, and, unbeknownst to you, they have decided to concentrate on five individuals that have been referred to them by other employees in the organization.

2. Stronger candidates

While you have amazing credentials, so do 16 other people in the pool of candidates. Some of these folks may even have slightly stronger credentials than you. Perhaps one or two of them worked for competitors doing the EXACT same job that is being advertised. Such candidates would be a straightforward choice for a hiring manager to interview.

3. Inexact match

The employer is actually looking for someone or something somewhat different than what you interpreted from the job posting. Sometimes the position and its requirements are not always clearly communicated through the advertisement. Other times the hiring managers are not really certain about what they want or need when the posting is written. Hence, you may not be an exact match after all.

4. Internal candidates

There is an internal candidate, but the job needs to be posted for legal reasons.

5. Budget issues

After reviewing the budget, the department realizes that they will need to postpone hiring for the position, but they continue to gather applications for the next round.

What’s Next?

There can be many reasons for an employer’s lack of response, even when you are the perfect match for the job. But do not despair; you can increase the likelihood that your qualifications are noticed by attempting to network your way into the organization. Find someone amongst your connections with which you can conduct an informational interview, and get to know others in the company as well. The hope is that one of these individuals will refer your application to the hiring manager, and then make its way into the final interview group as mentioned in Reason #1. Then you will be more likely to get the attention you deserve!