9 Reasons Why You Don't Hear Back From Recruiters

To avoid sounding like an annoyed, whining teenager (“Why don’t they like me?”) when recruiters don’t get back to you, you might want to take a good look at yourself. While your experience, qualifications, and skill sets all play a large role in a hiring manager’s decision, so do a million other things. Get those things wrong, and you’re doomed to fail in your job search.

So, what do you need to look out for? Why don’t recruiters get back to you?

See Also: Top 10 Ways to Lose a Job Before You Even Get to the Interview

1. You Haven’t Addressed Your Résumé to Them

Shocked woman holding laptop

Attaching your résumé to an e-mail and addressing it to “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” is the biggest pet peeve of many hiring managers. It shows them that you haven’t taken the time to look up their name (which is, usually, in their e-mail address, anyway). If you haven’t made the effort to learn their name, then what’s to say that you won’t make a real effort in this job?

2. Your Cover Letter/Résumé Is Chockfull of Mistakes

Recruiters are willing to overlook one or two typos on your cover letter or résumé but when every other word has been completely misspelled, your application is predestined for the bin. This becomes ironic when you’ve listed “Attention to detail” as one of your skills. We can never stress enough the importance of proofreading and proofreading (and proofreading!) your résumé – a lot of things can go hilariously wrong, after all.

3. Your Interview Etiquette Is Cringe-Worthy

You might be the perfect candidate for the job with a perfect résumé but poor interview etiquette could be the killer of an otherwise successful job search. The Internet offers a generous collection of interview tips that you should read up on, and to help you get started, here are six:

  • Don’t arrive late. Or worse: don’t forget to show up.
  • Turn your phone off
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Dress to impress
  • Avoid fidgeting and other bad body language
  • Keep your answers concise and to-the-point

4. Your Social Media Profiles Are Unprofessional

Man places ice cream on woman's nose

Make sure your social media profiles are free of any unprofessional content – anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see: a photo of you lying drunk on the curb, for example. While your personal life is indeed a completely separate entity from your professional life, recruiters and employers will check out your social media pages to form a better idea of who you are. It is, therefore, imperative that you maintain a professional online image of yourself at all times as any behaviors that you wouldn’t normally display in an office setting can and will ruin your chances of job search success.

Meanwhile, if you have to go back to the beginning of time (at least on Facebook) to hide or remove any unprofessional content, you might want to consider restricting your profile to family and friends, and then creating a separate (and professional) account specifically for your job hunting efforts.

5. You Have No Online Presence

Another surefire way to take you out of the running is not to have any online presence at all. LinkedIn is a must for all professionals in every field – you simply have no excuse for not being on there. Likewise, if you’re a marketing or advertising professional (fields that require a strong social media presence), for example, and are nowhere to be found on Facebook or Twitter (the basics of social media), you’ll simply seem disconnected from the world and not up-to-date with current trends. This is especially true if your last tweet was back in 2011. In some industries or professions, meanwhile, it’s even expected to have your own personal website.

6. You’re Applying For a Job That Doesn’t Fit Your Background

This should go without saying, but just in case: it’s highly doubtful you’re going to hear back from a recruiter when you’ve applied for a job as a rocket scientist when, in fact, you’re a pornography historian. Unless porn is a branch of aerospace engineering, you just won’t get a callback.

Likewise, you could’ve simply have made the mistake of applying for a job that doesn’t relate to your expertise because you didn’t read the job ad carefully enough. To avoid applying for an IT project manager role when you’re actually a construction project manager, make sure you read the listing carefully and that you fully understand what is required.

7. You’re Too Needy

While it is good practice to follow up after an interview, this should be done with caution, especially when you’ve been out of a job for a long time and money is starting to run thin. Being unemployed can be a difficult time in any working person’s life but no matter how desperate you are, you should never make it obvious to recruiters. You might think that you’re coming across as eager and ambitious, but the reality of it all is that you aren’t; calling up and sending them an e-mail every other hour asking about your application’s progress will only label you as a pain in their backside.

8. You're Hard to Get a Hold Of

Recruiters will sometimes contact you to schedule a follow-up interview with the employer or to request further information or documentation. If you’re hard to get a hold of and recruiters have to chase you down every time they need to speak to you, you run the risk of being taken out of the running as you won’t appear to be as responsible and serious for the job as you claim to be. Make it a point to respond to any and all requests recruiters make of you promptly.

9. There’s Just Someone Else Better than You

You’ve got the skills, you’ve got the experience, you’ve got the qualifications, you’ve got it all; but, sometimes, there’s just someone else a little better than you – simple as that. You shouldn’t take it personally; it’s just how it works. After all, when you landed your last job, you were the one who was better than everyone else in the running. The hiring manager thought you were the one who was a perfect fit for that role, but the hiring manager for this job has a gut feeling about somebody else.

Can you relate to any of these reasons why you don’t hear back from recruiters? Perhaps you’ve made a few other mistakes not listed here and would like to impart a little bit of knowledge? Share your tips and tricks with us, and help a brother or sister in need!


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