How Job Seekers Can Ask For And Get Proper Feedback On Their Applications

Many job seekers never get proper feedback on their applications. That usually means that going forward, they submit an application that has the same weaknesses it did when previous jobs rejected them.
A lot of the HR professionals that deal with resumes and hiring new talent don’t have the time to offer in-depth feedback to a potential hire’s resume. So if a job seeker wants to get proper professional feedback about their resume, they will have to work for it. Luckily, nine experts from Forbes Human Resources Council know what job seekers can do to garner that elusive feedback. Follow their advice below to help you improve your performance for the next job interview.

1. Remain Persistent With Your Recruiting Contact
Feedback is a gift and collecting it helps you grow. If you’re not selected for an opportunity, ask your recruiter for input. Organizations should make it a priority to best serve every single candidate, and that includes closing the loop on feedback. Gently remind the recruiter if they haven’t got back to you and remain persistent if needed. – Chatelle Lynch, McAfee

2. Be Strategic In Your Ask
Feedback can be hard to ask for, but it’s even harder to give. It is important to acknowledge that asking for feedback is also asking for someone’s time (usually a leader), who doesn’t have a lot of it. Be strategic in your feedback approach. Don’t ask for feedback — ask only the people you think are actually capable of giving you meaningful feedback. – Jamie Hoobanoff, The Leadership Agency

3. Don’t Think Of It As ‘Right’ Or ‘Wrong’
If you don’t get a job, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong or that you need to change anything. Employers are looking for a good “fit” and it’s hard to put that into specifics. Try to schedule a follow-up with your interviewer or recruiter (don’t cold-call). There may not be anything that you need to change; it might just be a matter of finding a different organization where you are a better fit. – Regina W. Romeo, CPS HR Consulting

4. Set The Stage For Feedback Early
Don’t be afraid to set the expectation you’d like feedback at the beginning of the interview process. If you feel you need clarification on why you may have been rejected for the role, simply ask if you can obtain more details to help you improve in the future. If you get no response to your request, be willing to accept that some employers don’t feel comfortable providing that context. – Charles Ashworth, Copper

5. Ask In The Moment
Interviews take a lot of time, use that time wisely. When you are given a moment to ask questions, make your last question around feedback. What gaps do you see that may prevent me from being selected? Is there anything you would have liked to see in the interview that I didn’t address? And so on. Ask for the feedback while in the interview. If you don’t move forward, you will still have your feedback. – Kelly Loudermilk, BuildHR, Inc.

6. Check The Qualifications Of The Chosen Candidate
Getting feedback on a rejected resume is unlikely and, if you were lucky enough to get an interview, the feedback from the hiring manager/recruiter is usually not that specific. Taking a look through LinkedIn to see who actually got the job is one way to understand the successful candidate profile versus your profile. This is a great start to decoding the key differences and possible choice points. – Bianca McCann, SAP SuccessFactors

7. Ask Someone In Your Network
Look long enough and you will find someone who can help you. This can be an old boss, friend or neighbor. If the issue is related to a resume, there are plenty of online tools to help you build one. Yes, hiring managers are busy, but do not make their life more busy by being your resume coach. Find help from a mentor and then reengage the employer with a better version of you. – Ben Martinez, Ramp Talent

8. Contact A Recruiter
If you feel uncomfortable contacting the company, you can contact a recruiter. There are so many recruiters working to receive leads. Check out a recruiter group on LinkedIn. Look for recruiters that are in your industry and see if they have tips. – Patricia Sharkey, IMI People

9. Send Your Request In Multiple-Choice Format
It can be daunting to reach out after a rejection, but if you’d like to follow up to find out why, consider sending your request in a multiple-choice format with options such as: “someone else had more experience,” “we hired internally” or “your resume was too vague.” This will give the hiring manager an easy way to give you feedback without forcing them to craft another polite, yet firm rejection. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.

Forbes Human Resource Council, 18 Dec 2019.

By Laura Garza
Laura Garza Career Coach Laura Garza