In the modern world of today, the term “ghost” is widely used in the Philippines. It is commonly used in the dating scene. Basically, it happens when someone suddenly stops responding to another person’s communication. As in no contact at all. The thing is, it doesn’t only happen in the dating scene, it can also happen in professional settings. It also happens in job applications and hiring processes. Job seekers are at risk of being ghosted by recruiters.

However, you must understand that being ghosted is different from sending an application then not getting a response. Being ghosted applies when you have every reason to expect you’ll get accepted, then you hear nothing from them ever again. No email, no texts, no phone calls, no anything. When you’ve already participated in their recruitment process for a long time then suddenly didn’t respond to your communication, you’ve been ghosted. When this happens to you, here are some ways for you to handle being ghosted in a job application.

Follow up politely

Getting ghosted can leave you clueless as to what you have done wrong. It can leave you wondering and we all know it’s not a good feeling. This is why you should reach out to them and follow up thoughtfully through email. Who knows? Maybe they’re just on a vacation or are just too swamped with work. It won’t hurt to ask. However, you must remember that you must ask politely and not be overly aggressive. First, thank them for their time and the opportunity they gave you. Express that you’re looking forward to hearing from them and that you are excited about joining the team. This shows that you’re still interested in the role.

Connect via other channels

Sometimes, people can be bombarded with hundreds or even thousands of emails everyday. It’s not impossible that your one follow-up email can be lost over all that messages. Find other platforms and media to connect and reach them. You can try to reach them through text or phone calls. You can even try to connect to them via social media such as Linkedin or Facebook, which are popular in the Philippines. If they’re still not responding, try reaching out to another person within the recruitment team. Maybe they’re more responsive.

Don’t take it personally

Just like when you get rejected, it’s difficult not to wonder what’s wrong with you or what you lacked. Especially when ghosted, they don’t give you any reason or feedback whatsoever. The key here is to not take it personally. Don’t associate ghosting with your personal attributes. It’s not a personal attack. Hiring decisions are made based on a lot of factors, many of which are beyond your control.

Don’t let it affect your other applications

When you get ghosted in a job application, it’s not the end of the world. Instead of overthinking it, learn from it and focus on how to improve in the next application. Remember that not every job application is the same. Each hiring process is different. There are plenty of job opportunities in the Philippines. The next one could be the one you’re waiting for. Make sure you’re not distracted from the past and still be the best version of yourself in the next job applications.

Move on

Just like in romantic relationships, when you get ghosted, the best thing to do is move on. Reflect on your performance and try to identify aspects you can improve on in order to do better next time. You may never find out why they never responded to you so it’s a bad idea to keep dwelling on it. Focus on what your next move will be and where you’ll apply next. Stay focused on your career goals and keep moving forward.

When job hunting, it’s normal to get rejected and ghosted. However, what matters is how you deal with them and you will stay focused on your goals. When unfortunate things like these happen, your best option is to bounce back and stay on your feet.

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By: X. Borja