When You Get Ghosted As An Applicant: What To Do Next

Written by Milan Demeter

on March 7, 2023

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It’s 8:15 p.m. on a Wednesday and you’ve just sent in your final job application of the night. You’re confident and you’ve done your research – you’re the perfect candidate for the role. So, you sit back and wait for the phone to ring… but it never does.

You’ve been ghosted.

It’s frustrating and, unfortunately, it’s a common experience in today’s job market.Greenhouse reports that more than 75% of job seekers have been ghosted after an interview. But don’t despair! There are things you can do to recover from being ghosted and, ultimately, land the job you want.

This article will explore the phenomenon of ‘ghosting’ in the job market, as well as what you can do if it happens to you.


The first stage you experience when rejected (or ghosted) is Denial. You might think that the no response couldn’t possibly be a ‘no’, and convince yourself they haven’t had time to reply yet. The second stage is Anger. After spending time and effort on your application, you might feel incredulous or betrayed. It’s natural to be frustrated and perplexed when no one calls you back but try to remember that you don’t know the full picture yet.

The third stage is Bargaining. You might find yourself attempting to bargain with the other party in your head, offering a solution that is causing them to ghost you. The fourth stage is Depression. You might feel like giving up, or like your efforts were completely in vain. You might even feel like you will never find employment. This step is particularly difficult but don’t forget; this instance of ghosting is only one person’s opinion and doesn’t define you. Finally, the fifth and last stage is Acceptance. Once you’ve come to terms with being ghosted, you can use this experience to motivate yourself.

Could There Be A Reason Why They Ghosted You?

While it’s easy to assume you did something wrong, typically employers ghost applicants for one of two reasons. Firstly, it may be because they’ve already hired someone for the position and simply haven’t taken the time to inform the unsuccessful applicants. Secondly, it may be because they haven’t yet decided on a suitable candidate and simply don’t know how to respond. If you’ve been ghosted without any prior contact, it’s likely that the employer has been inundated with applications and simply couldn’t keep up. This means that, unfortunately, your application hasn’t been seen, or given the attention it deserves. If this is the case, you should consider looking at alternative ways to get the employer’s attention. For example, networking or actively targeting your CV in their direction.

Don’t Take It Personally: It’s important to remember that ghosting doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong. Think objectively and consider the fact that you simply haven’t been the right fit for the job in this instance. It’s difficult to look at the situation objectively but try to keep the incident from clouding your expectations or self-confidence. It’s also important to remain open to criticism and stay candid about any mistakes you may have made in the application process. Being able to identify and learn from mistakes is essential for any successful job seeker.

Stay Positive And Keep Applying! Once you’ve worked through the five stages of grief, the best thing to do is stay positive and continue looking for the job you want. It’s easy to become disheartened, particularly if the rejection is unexpected and unexplained. Remember, there are a lot of things that are out of your control and no matter what happens you need to keep your head up and keep applying. It’s also worth investing in yourself. Seek out opportunities to attend seminars, workshops and conferences as a way to gain experience and new skills. Self-learning is an invaluable asset no matter what job you’re looking for and you can learn through books, podcasts, online courses and more.

Let’s wrap it up.

Ghosting can be frustrating and discouraging. However, by remaining positive and pushing onward, you can eventually find the job you are looking for. Being ghosted doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong or aren’t good enough for a job. It could simply be that the employer has gone for a different candidate.  Or he cannot communicate with you for other reasons. Don’t take it personally and remember that you will eventually find the job you want. If you are needing help with the design of it, read our post about 5 platforms that will help you with your CV for free! 

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