You’ve spent time searching for the right job. You’ve put effort into crafting a high-quality resume. You’ve made sure to include a detailed and relevant cover letter to show your passion and interest in the role. In other words, you’ve done all that you can do to submit the best possible resume besides actually hiring a professional resume consultant to look over your resume.
And then, nothing.
The hiring manager didn’t call back. In fact, in many cases, you don’t even get a message or note of acknowledgment to let you know your application was unsuccessful. It’s one of the most infuriating aspects of job seeking. And it can be enough to completely damage your levels of motivation as you move on and look for other roles.
But why does this happen? Well, there are quite a few reasons why a hiring manager might not call you back. Sometimes, there might have even been a genuine technical error when sending your application, which is why it can be worth sending a follow-up message from time to time. However, in many cases, it might come down to one of the following four explanations.
1. Your Resume Hasn’t Passed the Applicant Tracking System
If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from a recruiter, it could be that they haven’t even laid eyes on your application. Statistically, around three in four resumes suffer this fate, and it’s all thanks to the proliferation of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). These tools, used by an increasing number of businesses, are designed to scan resumes, and reject those that don’t meet certain criteria.
Specifically, ATS systems often look through resumes for relevant keywords that are connected to the role in question. Depending on the job and industry, common keywords might include the likes of “leadership,” “client relationships,” “Google analytics,” and “project management.” If the right keywords aren’t found on your resume, it’ll be dismissed without a second thought.
So, when writing any resume nowadays, it’s important to have ATS systems in mind and tailor your document accordingly. That means including appropriate keywords, as well as ensuring that your resume is in a standard, easily readable format.
2. A Huge Number of Applications
There’s a lot of competition in the job market right now. In fact, statistics show that an average of 250 people apply for one typical job. That’s a lot of resumes for hiring managers to look through, and they often don’t have enough time to respond to every single applicant. It’s one of the sad facts of the modern world, and it’s one of the primary reasons you might not hear back.
If recruiters responded to every applicant, the recruitment process would become even longer than it already is. Entire hours would be wasted, and it’s just not feasible. Instead, recruiters (along with their ATS systems) will typically scan through resumes quickly and select the better ones to proceed to the interview stage. All the rest will be dismissed.
And, even if you’ve got lots of qualifications and good experience, you might fall into that “dismissed” pile, simply due to the amount of competition. It’s unfortunate, but it’s something that happens to almost every job seeker.
3. You Didn’t Fully Follow the Instructions
Another reason why you might miss out on a callback or interview from a recruiter is if you didn’t completely follow the instructions for the job listing. A lot of companies will clearly state what they expect from applicants. They may ask specifically for a resume and a cover letter, for example, or they might ask for some samples of your work included with the application.
If you don’t meet these requirements, your application may be immediately rejected. That’s especially true in today’s world, where recruiters have less time to dedicate to each candidate. When they see someone hasn’t followed instructions, they may worry that the person wasn’t all that interested in the job in the first place.
In short, it doesn’t make a good first impression if an employer asks you to submit a resume as a DOC file and you send it as a PDF instead. That’s why it’s crucial to read every instruction and double-check before submitting your application.
4. A Resume That Wasn’t Quite Right
We’ve already talked about how your resume might not meet ATS standards. But that’s not the only thing that could be wrong with it. There are many other common resume mistakes that countless applicants make. Some resumes are poorly formatted. Others have too much visual clutter or unusual, obtrusive layouts.
Some of them simply don’t contain enough relevant information about why the candidate is the right person for the role. They’re not good enough at selling that person and helping them stand out from the crowd. That’s why resume writing is such an important skill to learn but can be such a tricky one to master.
Raise Your Resume Game to Get More Responses
From issues with ATS to getting lost in the crowd, there are so many reasons why you might not get a response from a recruiter. And, often, the core factor connecting those reasons is that your resume just isn’t doing enough to make an impact.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done about that. There are multiple ways to transform and improve poor-quality resumes. Keywords can be added to help with ATS, formatting can be tidied up, and content can be fine-tuned to help the candidate get better responses.
Doing all of that alone may be tricky. However, you can look for expert resume writers to help you build your resume professionally. Denver’s leading resume service, Expert Resume Pros, has the experience and the know-how needed to make your resume stand out from the pack.
We’re so confident in our service that we even offer a 45-day guarantee: if you don’t get an interview within 45 days, you’ll get your money back. Sound good? If so, reach out to our team today, and let’s talk about how we can take your resume to the next level.