What To Do If You Aren't Hearing Back From Employers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 1, 2022 | Published March 30, 2017

Updated July 1, 2022

Published March 30, 2017

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Online Job Applications: What Happens After You Submit Your Resume

Learn how keyword technology impacts hiring, what recruiters look for, what it takes to get to the interview, and tips for what to do while you wait.

The chirping crickets. The deafening silence. You’ve applied to countless jobs, yet you still haven’t heard back from the hiring manager. It’s no wonder people describe looking for a job as one of the hardest jobs a person can have.

Falling into what’s known as the “application black hole” is a common experience, one that often frustrates even the most optimistic job applicants. If you’re applying to jobs and not hearing back, here are nine ways to build your confidence and help your resume get noticed.

Create a Resume

1. Know the rules

To further reduce your chances of falling into the application black hole, read each job description carefully for keywords and include these words in your resume and cover letters. Today, most employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)—a software that allows for automated sorting of applications based on specific keywords, including skills, years of experience, training or schools attended.

As soon as you click “Submit,” your application is evaluated based on the job description keywords, then ranked alongside other candidates in the company’s database. The takeaway? Always consider whether you have the qualifications a job description is calling for before you apply. You are unlikely to get past automated systems or human recruiters without the required qualifications.

Related: Get Your Resume Seen With ATS Keywords

2. Nail those keywords

Rather than revising your resume for each new job you target, include a “Skills” section that you can switch out depending on the role you target. This allows recruiters (and ATSs) to quickly scan proficiencies while you use the bulk of your resume to highlight achievements. Having versions that highlight different work experiences or education to emphasize specific aspects of your career can also be useful for targeting specific jobs. Read more about creating multiple versions of your resume in our Career Guide.

3. Make sure it’s searchable

Employers and recruiters will have increased access to your resume if it is publicly searchable through Indeed Resume

"Public" is the default visibility for resumes created on Indeed, but you can choose to set your resume to “private” if you do not want it to be publicly searchable by employers. Please read through What do Employers see on my profile? for more information on what information Indeed shares.

Once you have created your resume on Indeed, there are a couple of ways it can be surfaced: through Instant Match or through Resume search. Employers who have Instant Match will be matched to candidates who fit their job descriptions automatically. 

Employers or recruiters that have a subscription to search Indeed Resumes can look for candidates by skills, job title or location. After reviewing matched or searched resumes, employers can choose to invite the candidate to apply to their open position directly.

4. Do your research

Have you set your sights on a particular company? Do some digging. Visit their website to read their company blog and press releases. Learn about their mission on their “About Us” page. Keep track of local networking events the company is attending or hosting by following their social media channels. You can also follow the company’s CEO or other leadership on social media. This is a great way to stay up to date on what’s happening within the company and what matters to this organization.

And follow potential employers on Indeed Company Pages to receive updates when new jobs are posted. Be sure to explore the conversations in the Q&A section, too. Company employees and advocates may participate in and monitor these pages and you might hear about the experience of other members in the community.

5. Optimize your efforts

Automate the front end of the job search process (identifying jobs that interest you) as much as possible. Do this by setting up job alerts—email updates about new jobs that match your preferences. You can create a job alert by doing a job search. On the right side of the search results page, just enter your email and select “Activate” to have new jobs containing these search terms sent to your inbox on a regular basis.

Related: How to Set Up Job Alerts on Indeed

Job alerts are email updates about new jobs that fit the criteria you’re interested in, allowing you to see new job postings as soon as employers post them.

Because you can create numerous alerts, use specific keywords from the job descriptions, job titles and company names you’re targeting. Experiment with a variety of job titles and terms until you find searches that match what you’re looking for. By reducing the time you’ll spend searching, you’ll gain time to customize and improve your applications: tailoring your resume and getting that cover letter just right.

Read more: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

6. Consider hiring events

Attend in-person and virtual hiring events. Do a search for local or virtual industry and company events to connect with hiring managers and network. Having that face-to-face (even virtually) connection can help you build relationships and better your chances of getting interviews. 

Indeed allows employers to set up hiring events in which they can interview multiple candidates in a short period. Interviews are conducted through video conference, by telephone or in person at a time you and your interviewer set together.

7. Keep up the momentum

It’s vital that you continue searching and applying for jobs. Fortunately, the job market is filled with opportunities. Set weekly goals for yourself, targeting a specific number of applications so that you don’t get too focused on a particular position. Goals can help you alleviate anxiety and maintain a daily routine. Look for ways to get involved in your community or industry if you’re unemployed, have spare time on your hands or are feeling isolated.

In the United States, about 9.2 million jobs are added to Indeed each month. While your perfect fit might feel elusive at the moment, chances are high the right job for you is out there.

8. Remember self-care

Remember those goals you set for yourself? The best part of goal setting is the reward. Be sure that you take the time to recognize your accomplishments—applying for those jobs, attending that networking event, surviving that five-person interview—and nurture your self-confidence by acknowledging your efforts.

Treat yourself in simple, meaningful ways. If you’re on a limited budget, there are several cost-friendly ways to kick back: enjoy a walk in the park, read a good book, make time for friends and family, and above all, practice gratitude. Whether you’re unemployed, stuck in a job you can’t stand or just looking for something better, it’s easy to feel blue and frustrated.

Gratitude for what you already have can be your foundation for future growth. Write down three things each day that went well and their causes. As your mindset shifts to focus on what you’re grateful for, you will find it easier to relax. In fact, research has shown that even doing this exercise for just one week can increase happiness and decrease depressive symptoms for six months. 

9. Use and build your network

Ask your professional and social networks for help. Find out if anyone in your network already works at companies you’re targeting. If you haven’t heard back about an application and are concerned it’s fallen into the black hole, your connection may be able to find an answer. Also, attend local networking events and join digital communities. These are fun ways to meet like-minded professionals and learn about new job opportunities.

Looking for your next job can be a daunting process and if you aren’t receiving feedback, it can feel like you aren’t making progress. But with a balance of targeted, keyword-rich applications, networking and self-care, you’ll escape the application black hole and find not just the next job, but the right job.

Explore more articles