How to get feedback when applying for a job?

How to Get Feedback from an Employer?

CV.ee‘s 2022 survey reveals that job seekers do not receive enough feedback during the application process. How can you extract feedback from employers and turn it to your advantage?

We learned from the survey that 76% of employees consider feedback very important. Unfortunately, feedback was actually received in only half of the cases.

If the expected feedback doesn’t seem to be forthcoming – if your email disappeared into a black hole or you received only a brief rejection after an interview – there’s no need to despair. Often, people involved in recruitment are busy with other tasks and sometimes forget to answer. Since you have invested your time in applying and you have the right to receive a sufficient response, feel free to ask for it.

How to get feedback from an employer?

  1. Follow up after applying: If you sent your application and a week after the application deadline the employer hasn’t contacted you, you can ask if your documents have been received and what the next steps are.
  2. Request explanations: However, if you receive a terse “no,” feel free to ask for reasons. Avoid directly asking about your shortcomings, as such a question might not be answered honestly. Instead, inquire about what made the successful candidates stronger, and you’ll receive a more meaningful response.
  3. Inquire about your strengths: Ask the employer what they see as your strengths and if they have any suitable openings in the future. Indicate that you are open to further communication.
  4. Prefer phone calls over emails: Although it may seem challenging, call instead of writing. If you show sincere and polite interest, you will get answers to your questions and positively stand out with your proactivity.

What to do with the feedback you receive?

  1. Evaluate your fit for the position: Did you apply for a role suitable for you? Should you look for something slightly different?
  2. Identify your strengths: What are your strengths compared to other candidates? Define these for yourself and highlight them clearly in your next cover letter and interviews.
  3. Analyze where others were stronger: If you learned why other candidates outperformed you, distinguish between situational specifics and universal skills you can develop. If it’s the latter, start improving them gradually.
  4. Reflect on your application process: What could you have done differently? Researching the organization beforehand, presenting your previous experiences, stating your requirements, asking additional questions. A wise person learns from their mistakes.

Although, providing proper feedback to candidates is a best practice in recruitment, sadly it is not always done. But if you want to have more feedback then be eager yourself to ask more!

The opportunity for job seekers is to request feedback themselves and thus steer their success. Moreover, with proactive efforts, you can outperform your competitors in the job market!

The referenced survey was conducted by CV.ee from December 12-20, 2022. The questionnaire aimed at employees was completed online by 1,584 respondents, consisting of working-age people from various regions and sectors of Estonia.


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