Career Growth

Getting No Responses to Your Endless Job Applications? Do These 7 Things

It weighs on even the best of us after a certain amount of time. After sending out 5, 10, even 20 applications per day every day with no response, it’s natural for a job applicant to get frustrated, upset, face self-doubt, and give up.

How do you overcome this challenge when you feel burned out but feel stressed to apply for every application that pops up?

First things first: being in this situation sucks. Know you’re not alone and that you WILL get a job that you like. Here’s what I would recommend in the meantime:

1) Give yourself the opportunity to take a break. Not getting any responses is frustrating, and you should give yourself time to recover. If you apply for numerous jobs per day without a break while you’re burned out, the job applications you submit will get worse and worse. It’s better to apply for less with quality applications than more with poor quality submissions.

2) Work on your network. Have you been on LinkedIn lately? What about your college career site or LinkedIn groups for your alumni? Networking is the most direct way to get a job these days. It’s unclear what jobs you want, but when you find a job you want, seek out into your network to see if anyone you know works at that company. Ask for an informational interview or as them to refer you as a candidate. Go to networking events, or reach out to your alumni groups to see if anyone is hiring.

3) Don’t take it personally. You have probably been working on your resumé and cover letter, but it can’t hurt to post your documents on Reddit at /r/resumes or hire a resume writer to improve it/critique it. Companies hire people they want to be around as much as for their skill set. If your personality isn’t a match, then they won’t hire you. Be aware of how you interview, how your personality comes across, and adjust the way you interview. Find someone to help you practice and give brutally honest feedback.

4) Are you currently working? The best thing you can do while you’re job hunting is to improve your position in your current company. Improve your work product. Get involved in challenging projects, work towards a promotion, or ask for a raise based on the contributions you’ve made.

5) It’s never too late to improve. Reevaluate the skills/experience that is lacking on your resume for the positions you want. If there are blatant gaps, consider adding irrelevant experience or volunteering to fill in for the gaps.

6) Ask for feedback. Have you ever asked one of your previous interviewers for feedback? I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone, but it can’t hurt you if they’ve already rejected your application. I’ve definitely seen candidates ask a hiring manager for feedback after receiving a rejection email. Sometimes they respond, and sometimes they don’t. It may give you an idea of their perception of your application.

7) Do it yourself. Depending on what your career aspirations are, you could start your own business or consulting firm. Again, it depends on your skills, but it’s a great way to distract yourself from “failure.” It also provides you with an enhanced resumé, skill-set, and portfolio to show off while you’re not enjoying your current job.

Most importantly, don’t give up. Whether you choose to continue applying for the same positions or try venturing into a new career, you WILL get hired eventually.

With over 8 years of experience helping others improve their careers, I founded Unfold Careers to provide affordable career advice to students and professionals struggling to meet their career goals. Send your resumé to hayley@unfoldcareers.com for a complete resumé makeover or interview practice.