Why recruiters don’t call back


If you are like most job seekers, you might have applied for several jobs advertised by a recruiter and then not heard back. If this is the case, you are not alone and I’m going to quickly outline the reasons why recruiters don’t call back, plus the SOLUTION.

You don’t meet their client’s requirements

Recruiters are working for the company (or rather themselves, as they get paid a commission for placement) and the company is their client – and you are essentially the candidate (product) they are offering the client.

Because of the way the industry is structured, recruiters will be looking to work with the candidate most likely to get hired by the client. 

What this means to you, is that they won’t be recommending you, if you don’t meet the client’s specific requirements.

Because the recruiter has to meet the client’s exact requirements, a recruiter is NOT the best job search strategy, if you are starting out, or looking to change career direction.

So if you are NOT a perfect match against a job, then this is why you are not hearing back from a recruiter. Don’t take it personally, they are inundated with unqualified job candidates and some recruiters don’t bother to reply.

I don’t think this is good business practice, or endorse such practices, I’m only stating a reality.

Basically a recruiter is the perfect tool, if you bring the following to the table:

  • No more than 3 jobs in 3 years;
  • A solid education;
  • You have a successful record in the industry that they specialise in, including a list of achievements and accomplishments;
  • You possess a solid personality and you present well in person, including expressing yourself well;
  • You bring enthusiasm and you are excited about the company and opportunity.

So before wasting time with recruiters, make sure you meet the above requirements. If you do, the chances are they will see you as a good product (candidate) and will be more receptive to you and your applications and you are more likely to hear back from them.

Your resume is not demonstrating the real value you offer

Before contacting recruiters, make sure your marketing collateral (Resume, CV, LinkedIn profile) is spot on. By having a resume that demonstrates the value you offer and your achievements, you are going to make it a lot easier for the recruiter to sell you to their client. I can’t stress enough how a professional resume can make a huge difference.  Now, the recruiter might change the format and some content of the professional resume, (as they might have some internal or client requirements that they have to meet), but by having a professional resume, you are going to make the recruiters job way easier.

If you don’t have an effective resume and demonstrate the real value you offer, you could miss out on opportunities and might not hear back from recruiters.

You also need to make sure your resume is optimised for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS Parsing Software). Many recruiters use this technology and you need to make sure that your resume is formatted in the right way and contains the right keywords. If your resume is not correctly optimised you risk not being shortlisted, even if you are qualified for the job. You can find out how to optimise your resume for ATS at Everything you need to know about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Your online identity is letting you down

The majority of recruiters use search engines to uncover information about candidates. You might get to the shortlist, but something negative connected to your name, might be found online.  The most common mistake job seekers make about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, is forgetting that everything they post is in fact very public.

Not only is it public – but also everything you post is getting archived. Services such as the Way Back Machine archive digital content. As at November 2016, there were more than 273 billion web pages archived and saved, capturing and managing ALL digital content (including your content).

Anything negative can ruin your reputation.  For example, drunken pictures, extreme rants on Facebook, talking down a boss, or gloating about having a sickie – it is all a deal breaker. With social media, it is easy to get caught up with the times and post honestly.  Yet these posts could potentially work against you in the future.

Take for example the 2016 Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. I was staggered by the amount of anger and hate posted online and publically. Yes, the election was polarizing and I appreciated the strong points of view, but so much of the content posted online was abusive and hateful in regards to a difference of opinion and way of seeing the world. You might have got caught up in the moment, but this abusive and hateful content could work against you in the future and tarnish your personal brand.

So the solution is to make sure you clean up your social media profiles BEFORE you apply for a job.

The job advertised does not exist

Hundreds of the jobs posted online the job boards by recruiters are fake, that is the job advertisement is simply a ‘fishing expedition’ by the recruitment agency wanting to harvest resumes and then sell candidates to clients. Now not all recruiters do this and many are ethical, but due to the competitive nature of recruitment, this occurs more frequently than the industry likes to acknowledge. What this means – is your resume is just ending up in a database and you won’t necessarily hear back from recruiters, or the recruiter was not offered the opportunity to recruit for the role in the first place, but was trying to garner business.

Now treating candidates with this amount of disrespect is poor business and shabby practice, but it does happen.

So the solution for you is to make sure you avoid fake ads in the first place. To do this, ask for a detailed job description from the recruiter and make sure you watch out for the very generic job advertisements, they tend to be a dead giveaway.

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