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Why No one is Calling You Back (and What to do About It)

09/30/10

Written by Louise Fletcher

The most common complaint I hear from job seekers is this: “I’m sending tons of resumes out and no one is calling me back.”

I know how frustrating this can be from personal experience. I’ve been there myself back before I had my own business. You see the perfect vacancy – you just know you have all the right skills for it – and you are sure they will call you as soon as they see your resume. So when the phone doesn’t ring, you wonder what on earth happened. Did your resume get through? Is it trapped in a spam filter? Is the recruiter just too stupid to see how great you are?

But actually, the answer is usually pretty simple. They didn’t call you back because they don’t think you’re right for the job.

“But I am!” I hear you cry. “I’m perfect for it!” I believe you, really I do. But trust me, your resume isn’t communicating that. If it was, you’d have an interview lined up already.

I know this because, having spent years hiring, I know how desperate recruiter and managers are to find the perfect fit for the vacancy. They want this PIA off their desk so they can get other stuff done. When they see a resume that looks just right, they act immediately. If they’re not acting immediately, they don’t think you’re a good fit.

And since we know you are a good fit, the problem has to be one of communication. (If you’re applying to jobs where you’re not a good fit, then you won’t get an answer and nothing I say can help. Stop doing that! It’s a waste of everyone’s time).

So if you’re not getting responses to your resume, scrap it and start again. Study job postings, identify the important themes, and then craft a resume that addresses them. If you need help, check out my free resume writing course. No spam – just a series of emails that will help you improve your resume right away.

Photo courtesy of rocketace

3 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Two questions:
    What does PIA stand for?

    Based on your comment about “If you’re applying to jobs where you’re not a good fit…”,
    Is “good fit” still a 75-80% match or is it now a 100% match to the posted position? These days, it seems to be the latter.

  2. You are so right about the fact that the most common reason is that the resume doesnt communicate that the applicant is perfect for the job.

    Hade several phone conversations where I had to explain that even when the applicant thinks he or she is the perfect candidate the resume doesnt give that impression at all.
    However, I have alse seen some resumes “created by the book” but with nothing to back it up during the interview.

    Louise, your blog is great and am looking forward to continuously reading it

  3. There is another reason people don’t call back. Often times, it is an HR professional that is doing an initial screen of the resume. All they are doing is looking for the key words the Hiring Manager gave them. If those key words are not on your resume, they will move on. I have two pieces of advice. First, make sure those key words are on your resume. Second, try to find the hiring manager via LinkedIn and send them your resume directly. If they haven’t called by now, you have nothing to lose by bypassing HR and going directly to the hiring manager.

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Our CEO, Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

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