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No response on a job inquiry

Posted by Pattie Hunt Sinacole  August 5, 2013 07:53 AM

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Q: I'm looking to relocate, but jobs in my field are slim. I applied for one in July that I am very interested in. It took 6 weeks for them to download my resume. A month later they outsourced to an executive recruiting agency. I applied to the agency thinking they'd start from scratch, and followed up by email a week later, but the recruiter did not respond. It's still posted on both the company's and recruiter's websites. It's a small company but growing rapidly, so HR may be overwhelmed. Advice?

A: Welcome to the job market! I call this phenomena "the black hole" because it often feels like you have submitted your resume to a giant black hole, never to hear back from the company and/or the executive recruiter.

First, you have shared that "jobs in my field are slim." To me, that means you need to consider expanding your search. Are there are related fields, where jobs are more plentiful, that you should consider? For example, if you are looking at a sale rep role selling electronics, perhaps you should consider a sales rep role selling medical devices? Targeting growth industries is one way to improve your chances of landing a role in New England. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified roles expected to grow. Visit http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2012/01/art5full.pdf to read more about occupations expected to grow over the next few years.

There could be a number of reasons for why the company and the executive recruiter have not called you. You mention one possibility: that they are a small, rapidly growing company and may not have the appropriate resources in-house to handle the search. However, if the recruiter thought you were a strong candidate, they would probably have contacted you.

You should not focus solely on this opportunity. You also need to continue to pursue other opportunities. Many job seekers have been burned after they have become enamored with a specific role and/or company, only later to have found out they are not being considered as a serious candidate.

Remember to spend time networking within your target field but also related fields. Join Linkedin and review the groups related to job hunting, networking and your fields of interest. Research professional associations within your field as well. Many professional associations post jobs for their members.

Good luck on your search. Don't let setbacks slow you down. They are part of the process!


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Meet the Jobs Docs

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.

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