Feedback…ask and you *should* receive?

Published: 26th February 2020 | Author: Kate Howes

Gripe  Time…

It’s a common gripe when applying for jobs, waiting for feedback that often never comes. Whether you’ve sent over a hundred applications or just five…you want to know what the people looking at your CV think. More importantly, you want to know if you’re being considered for the job and if not…why not?

Showing an interest and applying for jobs and never hearing back is understandably frustrating and can get you down if you’ve been looking for a while with limited results. It’s hard to hear sometimes, but most people would rather know why they’ve not been contacted about a job, right?

Even more important is post-interview feedback – which, if you’ve ever been for an interview then not heard back then you have our sympathies. Unless you’ve done something horribly inappropriate then every single person who takes time to attend an interview deserves proper feedback. Fair is fair, right?

But   why  ‘no’ ,   though?!

It’s something we believe in, so if anybody who has applied for one of our jobs wants to get specific feedback we ask them to get in touch and then re-look into their application to let them know why we haven’t been able to consider them. And we always provide post-interview feedback.

Most recruiters and hirers, ourselves included, sadly don’t have the time or resources to respond to each applicant. It sucks because trust me…we’d like to. We really, really would and in fact, we used to respond to every application when we first opened but it proved to be hugely time-consuming, so much so that we just couldn’t do it anymore. We imagine plenty of other agencies and employers feel the same, but would struggle to do so. Many will have a similar policy to our own – ask and you shall receive.

Go   get   it!

So, be PROACTIVE. It’s so critical to any job hunt, but if you’re frustrated at not hearing back after applying then ask hirers/recruiters if they can give you any tips or info on why you’ve not been considered. It can be insightful and really useful for your search moving forward. Perhaps you need a CV tweak or are missing a key qualification for the industry you’re pitching yourself into. Maybe you’ve got a glaring, massive spelling error on your CV and people are too embarrassed to tell you. Ask! Find out what people have to say and utilise that info, then you can adapt your applications where necessary and will hopefully have a bit more success.

We recommend contacting the recruiter/hirer 5-7 days after your application to ask if there has been any feedback provided on your application (or longer, if you’re applying for a job with a specific closing date). Email is often preferable as it allows the Hirer/Recruiter to properly re-review your CV and come back to you in more detail. If you don’t hear back, pick up the phone to ask instead.

If nothing else, you’ll know where you stand. Crossing something off your list means you can move on and forget about it. It helps clear a bit of mental space for thinking about new opportunities and getting a bit of a final answer on your applications can improve your resilience too. It’s easy to imagine why you’ve not been selected for something if you don’t know the real reason why and often the imagined can be much worse than the reality. So, even if you’re already feeling a bit down about limited success with your job search, it’s important to request feedback because it may even make you feel better about your situation.

So,   you’ve   been   ghosted …

There will, however, be some instances where you ask, but…do not receive. Hmm. This is tough. Because there are likely a few reasons, that a company can warrant a refusal to provide feedback after it has been specifically requested. Sadly though, there probably are companies/individuals out there who just won’t provide feedback. There’s very little you can do in these scenarios, and just because it’s not good practice doesn’t mean they’re not a great company to work for. Try not to judge too harshly based on this, as frustrating as it can be!

Some large organisations with high volume recruitment may struggle to provide specific feedback to candidates who request it. There may be other reasons why providing feedback just isn’t possible.

It might be that if you applied over 30 days ago then your data may have been wiped due to GDPR, or perhaps more likely – a breakdown in communication between the person taking applications and the person doing the hiring and interviewing (often not the same person!). It’s frustrating but best to move on if you’re really not getting anywhere with specific feedback. Your time may be better spent looking into different opportunities.

A   little   R-E-S-P-E-C-T

One of the biggest things to remember is to be courteous and appreciative when you receive feedback. Even if it’s a ‘no’, if they have taken the time to provide you feedback then they’re probably quite nice to work for. Or, if you’re working with a recruiter…then they’re one of the good ones, so keep them close!  You want to create a good impression in case they have something else crop up, or they decide to re-consider your application. Also, it’s nice to be nice!


If you’re reading this and have applied for one of our vacancies, but haven’t heard back then check out our Candidate FAQ’s here on how to request specific feedback on your application and we’ll happily oblige.