Thanks But No Thanks

We’ve all been there. Reviewing the want ads, internet job boards, and company recruiting sites to find a position in which we feel we are the best candidate–hands down.

After reading each bulleted qualification, you’re doing a mental “check” in your head. “Communication skills…check!, Excel proficiency…check!” You feel you can do everything on here! You quickly submit your job application and you know they’ll call you any day now, but days pass and you don’t hear back. Finally you get the ever-so-friendly “Thanks, but no thanks” e-mail in your inbox. What happened??!!

The realistic answer is–who knows! There are so many things that go on that you the applicant aren’t aware of. Maybe the position was cancelled, maybe when you applied the position had been posted for three months, and they were already in the interview process with another candidate, or maybe it was filled internally. The truth is, you’ll never really know. However, if this is happening more than you’d like it’s time to do a resume check. I’ll say it over and over again–your resume is the first thing a recruiter sees and can open doors or stop you in your tracks. Review your resume and be aware of the following:

1. It’s all in your head

Are you applying to positions that you’ve never done before because you have merely an interest in the position? Then it’s all in your head. How will a recruiter know you can do this job if you’ve never had a job that uses the required skills? I know I could probably be a Stylist, but I don’t have anything on my resume that reflects that, so again it’s all in my head!

2. Resume lacks focus

Please don’t list every position you’ve had. If you delivered pizza your freshman year in college, leave it off–unless of course you’re applying to the same type of job.

3. Missing the big picture

The best indicator of future performance is past performance. Your resume should say, “Here’s why I’m the best candidate for the job! I’ve worked in this capacity before and excelled in it!” (include specific tasks and goals you’ve met to back it up) “I have a strong passion for this line of work and industry. You’ll be making a big mistake if you don’t at least speak with me further.”

Don’t beat yourself up about it! Applying to jobs is a full-time job itself. Apply like crazy to jobs that match your interests AND skill set. You’ll get a gig in no time!


Desiree is a University Recruiter at T-Mobile USA. She is currently responsible for developing and implementing effective recruiting and branding strategies related to short and long term needs. She does this by partnering with business line leaders to build relationships and establishing realistic expectations. A big part of being a recruiter at T-Mobile is striving to position T-Mobile as an “employer of choice” and facilitate a world class recruiting experience for candidates. Desiree is also responsible for training managers and recruiters on the University and Internship Program. Desiree spends her free time spending time with family and friends, traveling, and volunteering with various groups. She also loves to read and trying anything that is new and fun.

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2 Responses to “Thanks But No Thanks”

  1. avatar Dan says:

    I’m not so sure apply apply apply is the right answer here. Having a solid resume is extremely important but you said it yourself — there are a million reasons the applicant may never know why they didn’t get the gig. The real truth is in the “underground” job market…also known as NETWORKING. The only way in is through someone you know. Or utilizing resources to get to know the right person.

  2. avatar Desiree Hack says:

    Thanks for your comment! What I mean by applying all over is you don’t want to apply to 1-2 positions and sit back and wait for one of them to call you back. You’ll increase your chances of exposure if you apply to multiple companies and positions. Networking is excellent, but it also helps the person you’re networking with to let them know that you’ve at least been to the company website and applied to a position prior to your convo. They’ll be able to help you out more effectively, rather than just saying “hey what opportunities does your company have open?” It shows initiative and focus.

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