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What Are 7 Immediate Signs Your Resume Was Not Selected For An Interview?

Have you ever found yourself waiting for a reply from a potential employer only to never hear anything back?

If you have, you’re not alone – 79% of job seekers say they never hear back after sending an application. That’s a problem when you’re trying to plan your life around getting a new job, as it could leave you having sent dozens of resumes without ever knowing if (or why) your resume was or wasn’t accepted.

So, let’s clear things up.

These are seven signs that an employer hasn’t accepted your resume, regardless of whether they get in touch or not. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you could also treat them as a signal that you may need help from resume writers in Denver, CO, to help you spruce up your resume.

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Sign 1 – Your Recruiter Leaves You Hanging

When you first start working with a recruiter, you’ll usually find that they’re inundating you with information about your job hunt. They must be. Many get paid commission, so they make more money if they help you find a job. So, you can expect to get a lot of messages and emails about open positions and potential applications.

In other words, your recruiter will be communicative.

Once you’ve applied, that communication should continue with messages about what an employer thinks about you and the next steps you can take. But what if the talking stops? That’s a sign that your recruiter knows something you don’t – your resume was rejected, and they don’t have what it takes to tell you.

So, consider a communicative recruiter suddenly going quiet a sign that you need to apply for another role.

Sign 2 – The Employer Cancels Your Interview

While a recruiter going quiet can feel painful, it doesn’t compare to having an employer cancel your interview. You had so much hope, only to have it all dashed. Worse yet, even landing that interview in the first place suggests that the employer saw something worthwhile in your resume.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough.

A cancellation – especially one without an offer to reschedule – usually means the employer found somebody else for the role. Or they opened the role to a wider audience and have now rejected your resume because they have others flowing in. Either way, take it as a sign that you need to keep looking.

image of a man and a laptop with the words "If Your Resume's Been Rejected 20 Times Or More It Means Your Resume Is Failing ATS Software scans employers use!"

Sign 3 – The Company Is Still Accepting Applications

Job postings have a shelf life.

On Indeed, for instance, a posting will stay active for 30 days, after which time it’s usually taken down unless it’s reactivated by the employer. You’ll see similar restrictions in place on other job sites, and therein may lie a sign that your resume was rejected.

Keep an eye on the listing that enticed you to apply for a job.

If it reappears after being taken down, the employer is still looking, which means they’ve likely rejected your resume. The same applies if the listing never goes down after you’ve applied and is still active several weeks after the fact with no content – the employer is still looking and has likely already rejected you.

Sign 4 – No Responses to Follow-Ups

It can take hiring managers several weeks to get around to reviewing the resumes sent in for an open job, which can lead to some people considering sending a follow-up note to check what’s happening. This is common practice post-interview, but following up merely sending a resume is rarer.

Still, that follow-up could indicate the status of your resume.

For instance, let’s say you follow up with a recruiter. That could bring Sign 1 into play – if they’re slow to respond, it suggests your resume was already rejected. As for sending follow-up messages to employers, a lack of response isn’t a surefire sign of rejection. The hiring manager may just be snowed under. But if you send a note after a couple of weeks and don’t hear anything back for a couple more, your resume is likely on the trash pile.

Man at a desk stressed out with the words "Applied for hundreds of jobs but never got a call. Why?"

Sign 5 – The Job Listing Was Taken Down

“Hold on a second,” you might be thinking. “A company that’s still accepting applications is a sign my resume was rejected? How can a company that is no longer accepting resumes also be a sign?”

It’s a good question.

And the answer comes into play if a job listing is taken down several weeks after you first applied. Unlike the listing being reopened – which implies the employer hasn’t found what they need – a closed listing can indicate that the position was filled. You’re left with a catch-22 situation, as either action could indicate your resume was rejected.

Sign 6 – The Company Keeps Reaching Out but Doesn’t Get Specific

Here you’ll find one of the subtler ways that an employer has likely rejected your resume. They’re still staying in touch – perhaps even sending regular catch-up messages – but every attempt you make to move forward is met with an excuse.

“It’s too busy to schedule an interview right now.”

“Our hiring manager is away.”

“My boss is in a meeting right now, but I’ll get back to you when I have a chance to speak to them.”

Sometimes, this reasoning can be truthful. You’ll know if the employer gets back in touch with a concrete interview offer. However, constantly getting these excuses tells you the employer is stringing you along, keeping you available as a last resort if nobody they deem “better” comes along.

Sign 7 – You Got a Message That You Weren’t Selected on the Job Site Itself

Let’s end with the most obvious sign:

You’re told that your resume wasn’t selected.

Sometimes, that message doesn’t come in an email from a recruiter or even the employer themselves. If you’ve applied on an online platform, such as Indeed or Monster, they often attach a status label to a failed application. It usually goes something along the lines of “Not Selected by Employer,” and – barring direct contact from an employer – is usually the clearest sign your resume was rejected.

What Can You Do About Your Resume Not Being Selected?

First, write off the job for which your resume wasn’t selected. It’s likely gone to somebody else, and you no longer have a chance to create a great first impression. That may sound harsh but it’s the reality – employers usually aren’t interested in giving you a second bite at the resume cherry.

Once you’ve dusted yourself off after that unpleasant experience, your next step is to start working on your resume. Look for top companies that write resumes – and work with them on turning your resume into something irresistible to employers.

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