Smart Employers Don’t Let Job Applications Disappear Into a Black Hole

Harrison Priest estimates he’s applied to about 200 jobs since graduating from Skidmore College two years ago. He’s gotten replies from about 10, he says.

“It gets so you don’t expect it,” said Priest, who finally found a job working at an Apple Store this summer. “It’s almost a bit of a treat if you do hear back.”

Not that long ago, unsuccessful applicants could count on getting a rejection notice in the mail. Often just a form letter, it was a small courtesy that gave job seekers a measure of closure. With the advent of online job listings, however, that analog practice has gone the way of record stores and travel agents. Applicants now may get an automated email telling them their applications was received, but for most job seekers, that’s the last they’ll hear from a company. Even candidates who receive interviews may be left twisting in the wind.

That’s a mistake, says Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse, a career site that caters to millennials. Companies that don’t notify applicants aren’t just being disrespectful, they risk damaging their reputation. Frustrated applicants might share negative experiences with friends, colleagues, and on online forums such as Glassdoor, Minshew says.

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