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Asked by Andrew on September 6, 2016

Every now and then I will submit myself to a position and wait a few days or a week. I then call the company to see where they're at only to get an answering machine of the person I hope to speak with. I'll leave a message asking for an update and send a follow up email to the contact listed with the opportunity. I never seem to hear anything back. Is it normal to just not respond to these applications, calls and emails?

Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on September 9, 2016

It is unfortunate, but sometimes this does happen.  The reasons boil down to the workload burden on the recruiter or hiring manager.  Most of us are being asked to do more with less today and it is often difficult for the recruiter or hiring manager to find time to respond to such calls because they are being pulled in many directions.  Also, it is not uncommon for literally hundreds of candidates to apply to a position, which makes it difficult to respond to every candidate inquiry.  Nevertheless, it should be the priority of any company to keep candidates informed of their status one way or another.  Many companies rely on their careers web site to provide this information.  If you log back into the site through which you applied, you often see your status there. 
My guidance would be to be professionally persistent, but also be patient.  Keep following up every couple of weeks or so, and do so through different means (i.e. phone, e-mail, text, etc.).  But be mindful and respectful of the work load of the contact and mention this when you speak with them (ex. I know you are busy, but I just wanted to follow up....).

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on September 13, 2016

Hi there!

I know it can be frustrating when you don't hear back.  This is something we have been working on from a bunch of different angles, and I don't think we're alone as a company when it comes with wanting to engage with our candidates in a way that makes sense to both sides of the equation.

One of the things we've been doing is #AskATTJobs.  It gives candidates a chance to ask questions and get responses from recruiters in our organization.  You can check it out here: http://connect.att.jobs/article/ask-att-jobs

I would guess that many companies are trying to maximize their social spaces by doing something similar.  So that is where I'll make my recommendation to you!  Reach out via social and use the same concepts you would via phone or email.  Be polite, be patient. 

Also, something to remember is that once you have submitted your application, it is likely you will now have a ready to go profile with that company.  Applying to another open job will be more straightforward and could open up your reach to additional recruiters. 

I would love to tell you that every call, email and inquiry will be responded to, but that doesn't always happen.  I can only speak for my own organization when I tell you that we are always looking for ways to make the candidate experience a good one!  Best of luck to you in your job search!

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on December 8, 2016

Sorry to hear that! It can be frustrating applying to positions and never hear anything back especially if you reach out directly. This is sometimes normal when recruiters are dealing with a number of applicants and jobs. I think its great that you follow up on your application and it shows eagerness. I would recommend to continue to reach out and follow up on your application via email. If you do not hear anything back wait a week or so and follow up again via phone. Best of luck! 

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