The Application Abyss

Posted: May 18, 2011

"I haven’t heard anything from my applications!"

We hear this often. Occasionally, employers will alert ECS to something notably bad, but fortunately that’s rare. (We’ll let you know if we hear something about you!) The only feedback we regularly get is from kind-hearted employers who give us interview feedback from time to time – that’s generally couched in terms of interview improvements that could be made. (Again, we’ll let you know.)

Years ago, employers did send out rejection letters. (But that was when students actually sent – by mail – cover letters and resumes for each job.) Today, employers are simply not going to take the time to let rejected applicants know why they didn’t match. (So…you clicked a “submit” button and selected your resume from a pop-menu, but think the employer should send personalized notes to all 120 unsuccessful applicants?) At the very least, doing so would generate unwelcome replies such as “but I really, really want that job!”

Yes, a letter would be nice for closure, but that letter [email , today] might not be as satisfying as one would hope, and would still leave lingering questions. (What did I do wrong? Why didn’t they like me? Why do I keep getting rejected with these impersonal letters?).

If you’ve been applying for a lot of jobs [more than 25], with no response, consider the following questions.

  1. Take a good, close look at the position description compared to your resume. Does your resume match most of what the job calls for? Employers can’t and won’t guess [or assume] that you might fit.

  2. Did you do everything the employer requested? Did you apply on their website if asked as well as just clicking “submit” in your ECS account? Did you go to the information session before the interview?

  3. Did you do anything extra to stand out in a crowded field of applicants? That could include customizing your resume, writing a strong cover letter, and really preparing for the interview, including having strong statements for why you’re interested in this position, this company, and how your career interests are relevant .

  4. Is your resume perfect – spell-checked and formatted correctly?



Keep in mind that professional ECS staff will gladly meet with you to analyze your job search and suggest ways to improve your results.

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
-James Bryant Conant


Authored by Rosemary Hill.

Category: Resumes