Austin Fraser
Why am I being ghosted? Unravelling the mystery of unanswered job applications
Insights>Why am I being ghosted? Unravelling the mystery of unanswered job applications
Austin Fraser
May 23, 2024

Searching for a new job can be an exciting yet challenging journey. You carefully craft &;your resume, meticulously tailor your cover letter, and submit applications with high hopes of landing your dream job.

However, many candidates face an all-too-common frustration: the lack of response from recruiters, often referred to as “ghosting”. 

In this post, we will explore some potential reasons behind this silence to shed light on this puzzling and frustrating aspect of the job search process.

What is ghosting?

"Ghosting" describes the sudden and unexplained halt of all communication with someone. This can happen in various contexts, including personal relationships, dating, friendships, and even professional interactions.

In a professional setting, ghosting can occur when you apply for a job and don't hear back from the employer. Occasionally, candidates might even experience ghosting after an interview, receiving no feedback or explanation.

It's a growing issue that, understandably, frustrates many job seekers.

The rise of ghosting in the recruitment process

Ghosting is not a new phenomenon, but it has become more prevalent in recent years due to the increased use of technology in hiring processes. With the rise of applicant tracking systems and online job portals, recruiters often receive an overwhelming number of applications. While these tools help streamline the hiring process, they pose challenges for candidates as their applications might get lost in the vast digital sea.

Unanswered applications: the numbers

Application volume

At Austin Fraser, we face a considerable influx of job applications on LinkedIn, with an average of 94 applicants for each job posting. While we strive to provide a fair and respectful experience for all applicants, the reality of a large applicant pool means that not all candidates can be personally contacted at every stage of the recruitment process.


Based on data from Indeed, the average response time after an interview is reported to be 24 business days. However, according to Greenhouse, a staggering 75% of job seekers never receive any feedback from employers at all. This lack of response leaves many applicants in uncertainty regarding their application status.

Why am I being ghosted?

High volume of applications

Recruiters are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of applications for each job posting. Sifting through hundreds of resumes can be challenging, leading to unintentional oversights where deserving candidates may get overlooked.

Automated screening processes

Many companies use applicant tracking systems to filter applications based on keywords and qualifications. As a result, some candidates might not pass through these algorithms even if they possess the necessary skills and experience.

Internal referrals

Statistics show that referrals are more likely to get hired than non-referred candidates. Hence, employers might prioritise internal referrals and candidates with connections to their existing employees.

Limited resources

Some companies, especially small businesses or startups, might lack dedicated HR personnel or recruitment teams. As a consequence, they might struggle to respond to every applicant, leading to silence.

Change in hiring needs

Sometimes, a company's hiring needs may change suddenly due to internal reorganisation or shifting business priorities. In such cases, they might decide not to proceed with the hiring process, inadvertently leaving candidates without a response.

How do I increase my chances of getting a response?

Follow-up politely

Sending a follow-up email after a reasonable amount of time (usually one to two weeks) can be a gentle nudge to remind the recruiter of your application.

Network and get referrals

Building a strong professional network and seeking referrals can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by employers.

Customise your application

Tailor your resume and cover letter for each position, highlighting your relevant skills and experiences to stand out from the crowd.

Use a professional email address

Ensure that your contact information, especially your email address, is professional and not something overly informal.

Ghosting in the job application process is an unfortunate reality for many candidates. However, understanding the potential reasons behind this silence and being proactive in your job search can increase the chances of receiving a response from employers, hiring managers and recruiters. 

You can confidently navigate the competitive job market by continuously improving your application approach and leveraging your network. 

Remember, perseverance and resilience are vital in the job search journey, and the right opportunity may just be around the corner!

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