Recruiters Not Calling You? Five Reasons Why—And How To Fix It
By Deborah Walker
been hoping for a new job, but your phone is silent. No recruiters calling, no
job offers; it’s
so quiet you can almost hear the crickets outside. Maybe it’s time to reassess.
this sound like your job search efforts?
- You’ve sent out
hundreds of resumes to countless job postings but received little or no
- You’ve left
dozens of voice mails to recruiters explaining why you are a perfect fit—and
they never return your call.
- You’ve tweaked
your resume so many times you no longer recognize it.
this describes your situation, you are not alone. Many talented, qualified job
seekers get ignored by recruiters
and hiring managers simply because their resume has one or more of the
1. Your resume highlights your lack of industry experience
recruiters are looking for a point-by-point candidate match when screening
resumes. Industry background
usually ranks high on the list of qualifying issues. If you don’t have
experience in that industry, your
resume is going straight to the circular file—unless you can give them a
compelling reason to keep your
resume in the stack.
you lack specific industry experience, but you know you have the basic skills
for the job, try highlighting your
transferable skills instead. Job seekers who lack industry experience can make
it past the resume screener
by proving their ability with skills they have that transfer from industry to
industry. Examples of
transferable skills include expertise gained in sales, customer service, finance,
accounting, negotiation, cross-functional
communications, and/or team building. Look at the skills they need, then figure
out how your
background is a match.
2. Your resume shouts "Overqualified!”
scares off a recruiter faster than a candidate who is obviously overqualified
for the job. The two main
concerns are (1) that the candidate would soon get bored and leave at his
earliest convenience, and (2)
that the candidate would be too expensive to hire. Even worse is the assumption
that the over qualified candidate
is on a downward career slope—a has-been with all his best years behind him.
are, however, many valid reasons job seekers wish to downsize to jobs with
fewer responsibilities. Whatever
your reasons, tailor your resume to fit your current career objective. This
means you’ll want to play
down your prior responsibilities, list only relevant education (don’t list a
PhD if you are applying for a mid-level
management position!), and emphasize tactical experience over strategic
planning when appropriate.
3. Your resume is crammed with information, but not the right kind
the poor recruiter who must get through 200 applicant resumes before lunchtime.
If your resume is in the
pile, it will get a quick scan and pass over if she can’t find what she is
looking for in less than 30 seconds. If
you have a resume that is disorganized or full of dense blocks of text, how
will the recruiter learn anything about you?
catch the recruiter’s attention if you have a clear, easy-to-read resume that
highlights your skills and accomplishments,
even at a glance. The first rule of resume effectiveness is relevancy, so edit
out the past data and
redundant facts that aren’t relevant to your current career path. Fill your
resume only with the skills needed for
that particular job, and you’ll go a long way toward getting a recruiter’s
4. Your resume has too little information
the "strong, silent type” may be attractive in men, it just plain flops in a
resume. A resume that looks more
like an outline just doesn’t give the reader enough to work with. Recruiters
don’t want to guess what you did
at your last job. You need to include enough information to give prospective
employers a vision of the possibilities
if they choose to hire you.
you struggle with what to include in your resume, use job descriptions to help
you understand what recruiters will
want to find in your resume. Then review your previous jobs to determine what
skills you have that will be a good match.
5. Your resume doesn’t include accomplishments
you haven’t thought lately about how your employer has benefited from having
you as an employee, it’s a sure
bet that your resume is lacking in accomplishments. Remember, as a job seeker
you are selling your talents, and
you are competing with many others who have the same qualifications as you do.
Accomplishments give recruiters
a reason to choose you over others for the interview short list.
screeners ample reason to select you for interview. Highlight how you have
saved time, increased efficiency, cut
cost and increased client satisfaction. After all, if you don’t tell them,
nobody else will!
If you use this five-point checklist to restructure your resume, you’ll soon
hear back from recruiters who appreciate
qualified, articulate and confident candidates. The time you spend enhancing
your resume could shave
off months of fruitless labor and frustrating effort in your job search.
Walker, Certified Career Management Coach
more career tips and see sample resumes at: