1 in 2 People Say "Ghosting" Is Their Biggest Job Search Frustration in 2022 — How to Fight Back

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 23, 2024 at 3:46AM UTC

You may have heard that it’s a job seeker’s market right now, but that doesn’t mean people on the hunt aren’t facing challenges. According to a Job-Hunt/FlexJobs survey of 2,200 people between February and March 2022, one of the top obstacles respondents cite with looking for a new job is not hearing back from employers. In fact, half of the respondents called this their biggest frustration.

Every during the Great Resignation, employer ghosting is happening. Usually, it’s because of factors beyond the candidate’s control. Perhaps the organization only posted the position as a formality and had an internal candidate in mind. Or maybe, the details of the role changed. 

No matter what, applicants are left feeling discouraged. It’s difficult to not feel upset and wonder what you could have done differently. Sometimes, you really couldn’t have done anything differently — it’s not your fault in the least. But if you ARE faced with ghosting, here’s what you can do.

1. Be patient.

Recognize that things rarely go according to plan. The hiring manager may have given you a clear timeline, but you should always take that with a grain of salt. Understand that the hiring process could be taking much longer than anticipated, and do your best to exercise patience — perhaps a key team member who needs to weigh in is on vacation or there was an influx of applications from highly qualified candidates. 

2. Follow up politely.

You can and should still follow up politely. Communication can help reduce confusion and keep you on the hiring manager’s radar. Wait a reasonable amount of time (i.e. don’t follow up three days after sending your thank you note) to contact them again, and make an effort to avoid sounding needy or impatient. You may learn important information about the hiring process (see #1).

If you never did send a thank you note, then that could be why you haven’t heard anything. Many employers expect this, so if you don’t send them a quick note, they may think you’re no longer interested in the position.

3. Use an alternate method of communication.

Haven’t been able to reach the hiring manager via email? Consider trying another method of communication. Be careful, though — you don’t want to bombard or overwhelm them with messages because this will reflect poorly on you. If you do try another channel, such as LinkedIn, look for a way to add information so you have an excuse to follow up again, like an interesting article or question about next steps, for instance. 

4. Assess your strategy.

Ghosting can happen to anyone during the job hunt, no matter what their career level or industry. But if it’s happening to you repeatedly, especially after you’ve made it to at least one interview, it’s time to reflect on whether there’s something you should be doing differently. 

Take a hard look at how you come across in interviews. Is there something you’re saying (or not saying) that you should? What’s your body language like? Try asking a friend to practice with you and give you feedback.

Remember, though, that ghosting is often more a reflection on the organization than you — and once you’ve taken these steps, all you can do is keep at it.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice on ghosting during the job search? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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