By Alison Green
Because job searching can be frustrating and full of disappointments, and because employers can be so difficult to read, job seekers often try to find clues about their candidacy in things that employers say and do. But plenty of what job seekers take as "signals" from employers really don't reveal anything at all.
Here are six actions that job seekers often see meaning in, but in reality often don't mean anything at all.
1. The employer reposted the job. Job seekers often assume that if a job is re-advertised, it must mean that none of the candidates were satisfactory and the employer is starting from scratch. But to the contrary, many employers simply keep job listings active until the position has been filled, which often means refreshing ads that would otherwise expire. Don't assume that if you see a job you applied for reposted, it means you aren't still in the running.
2. The job suddenly disappears from the employer's website. At the opposite end from the employers in point No. 1 are employers who remove job listings as soon as the application period closes—even before they've begun conducting interviews. Don't assume that just because a listing has been removed, the job has been filled. Plenty of the time, the hiring process is still ongoing.
3. An employer is taking longer to get back to you than they said they would. Employers regularly underestimate the amount of time that different stages of the hiring process will take—and they don't generally take the time to proactively update candidates when timelines change. Candidates often don't realize this and interpret delays as a bad sign, when they're often just a normal part of the process.
Signs 4-6 and Complete USNews article