Our recent Linkedin poll showed that 57% of you are currently hesitant about applying to new roles due to the lack of application feedback you received from businesses during the first lockdown. However this isn’t something new in the job market.
Historically 48% of job seekers stated that waiting to hear back on applications is highly frustrating, which is only made more exasperating when you don’t hear anything back at all in relation to your applications or performance in an interview.
This can lead to you questioning your worth in the job market, and before you know it you are in the middle of a full blown confidence crisis.
With so many job seekers struggling right now, we want to provide you with some real actionable advice on how you can gain application feedback.
Why do I need application feedback?
The desire to get feedback is ultimately about control.
When you don’t have a full-time job or your current one is leaving you feeling stuck in the mud, getting feedback adds another layer to things you can do to improve your situation.
How can I get application feedback?
If you haven’t heard from the prospective company within around 2-3 weeks, the likelihood is you have been unsuccessful. But if you feel you were the perfect fit for the role, you will want to know why.
As a first step there is no harm in reaching out to the employer, either via their HR team or directly to the hiring manager or if you applied via a recruitment agency, the consultant.
We advise you against taking a forceful tone in this approach, instead drop them an email or call which outlines why you are asking for feedback. Consider including elements like why you thought you may have been the perfect fit or which skills you had which could have impacted the organisation, ending with a request for feedback as to why you were unsuccessful.
It is also useful to include a note explaining that as much feedback as they are able to give is useful to help you improve in the future, also be sure to thank them in advance for their time.
Taking this approach instead of just emailing and demanding an explanation, gives the hirer a small prompt to then expand upon your request. Through taking this approach you are more likely to get a detailed and honest response rather than a standard “someone had more experience” reply.
Sometimes however, you are not going to get the detailed feedback you desire or in some cases any at all. But there are still things you can do to take control of the situation.
If you don’t get the feedback you want, take some actionable steps to give some to yourself.
Take your time to compare your CV and cover letter against the job description, really evaluate what you sent in versus what the employer was looking for and consider ways in which you may be able to improve your application for future reference.
Another way to evaluate yourself may be to look at the companies employees on Linkedin. If they are a larger organisation, they may be likely to hire teams with similar skill sets and qualities. Though we strongly advise you don’t get too invested here, it can be a good way to identify what backgrounds and skills may have suited the company and role. This is especially useful to those looking to transition into a new sector, where identifying career paths of others can help to pinpoint avenues for change in your approach to job seeking.
It’s also useful to think back over the questions asked in the application form or interview and how you answered them, hindsight is a wonderful thing and there are likely to be areas that you feel you could have highlighted better or expanded upon. Thinking about these will undoubtedly help you improve for future recruitment processes.
Where you may have exhausted all avenues yourself, reaching out to a friend or family member can be a useful way to gain a new perspective.
Often peers have different experience levels, unique experiences and approaches which can help give a different perspective. Get them to have a look at your application or assess your interview technique and you may be surprised about the things they recommend.
Hopefully this blog goes some way to guiding you to gain a stronger sense of control over getting application feedback. However, if you have taken the steps outlined above and still feel a little lost, feel free to reach out to one of our consultants, who may be able to help guide you in the right direction.