Why am I not getting any response to my resume?

Why is my resume not getting responses?

I’ve talked to a multitude of candidates about a recurring issue that seems to affect most professionals at some point in their career: the dreaded radio silence that follows after you’ve submitted your resume to a new company. Candidates ask; why is this happening? What’s wrong with me? Am I not good enough?

The truth is; you might be getting zero response to your resume for a number of very valid reasons. And it’s usually nothing personal.

As a recruiter, I work with executives eager to fill open positions in their companies every day. In my experience, three reasons come up again and again for candidates who aren’t getting any nibbles when they apply.

Three Reasons Your Resume Isn’t Getting a Response

  • You’re applying for positions outside your core competencies
  • There’s a staggering number of other candidates
  • Your resume needs some work

You’re branching out a little (or a lot) too far

There’s nothing wrong with trying to land a job that’s not quite like anything else on your resume. However, you have to accept going into it that your application will be viewed alongside those from candidates with more direct experience, and that may put you at a disadvantage.

It’s not that companies don’t give candidates who haven’t held the exact position they’re applying for a chance. It’s that you have to do a really good job of showing the recruiter how the experience you do have will translate to success in the position they’re looking to fill.

In my experience, companies are looking for good matches along the axes of experience, industry, and level. If your core competencies don’t complement the job duties, chances are you aren’t getting an interview.

You’re one of many

I know it’s tough, but put yourself in the recruiter’s position. Some jobs are more popular than others, which means many people are going to apply. And if the company is known as a great place to work, you can bet any open position is going to attract a lot of attention in the employment market.

Of course, I would encourage you to apply for the jobs you want, especially if you’re a good fit and regardless of how many applicants may be applying. Just remember that it’s common to get no response. There are a ton of people vying for an interview, and only a fraction of the applicants will get one. Try not to take it personally; sometimes recruiters can’t get back to every candidate, even the good ones.

Your resume isn’t sending the right message

Before you assume the lack of response is due to reasons #1 or #2, consider your resume.

  • Is it well written?
  • Does it flow nicely?
  • Is it easy to read and comprehend?
  • Is it easy to skim?

Be brutally honest with yourself. If your resume doesn’t read well or present you as the best candidate for the job, you aren’t going to get a call.

The good news is; your resume is something completely in your control. You can revise, tweak, and re-write it to your heart’s content. Obviously, you’re limited to the positions, education, and experience you have, but you can polish and refine all that information to present yourself in the best possible light.

If you’re not updating your resume to read well for the position you’re applying for, you’re missing a huge opportunity to stand out.

Many candidates – even top-level executives – will send a generic resume. However, marketing 101 says if you want to persuade someone to do something (like give you an interview), you have to speak in a way that appeals to them. Knowing your audience is key.

Check out the job listing and pick out keywords the company uses to describe the position and the person they’re looking for and revise your resume & cover letter using those keywords and supporting information that directly reflects how your experience and expertise will meet their needs.

Ready to find your dream job? Contact our team to learn more about open positions, what skills are in top demand, and how you can get noticed in a crowded employment marketplace.

Three Things You Should Always Include in Your Cover Letter

As a candidate in the marketplace, chances are you’ve seen or applied to job postings that require a cover letter along with your resume and other pertinent information.  Or maybe you are just trying to figure out the best way to stand out from the crowd when applying to positions.

What you might not realize is that the traditional cover letter is changing a lot – and it’s still important.  And while you may have even written a cover letter (or ten), chances are you, like many other candidates, have missed one or more of the most crucial parts of a standout cover letter.

But before we get into the top three elements you should include in your cover letters, the first thing you need to recognize about 21st-century job listings is they won’t always be formal.  And the growth of “Apply with LinkedIn” or Facebook postings means that you may have to get creative with when and where you include cover letter details.

You still need the right cover letter to stand out

For example, if you apply for a position through a platform like LinkedIn, there is usually a section for “comments.” That is the space where you must introduce yourself and include elements of your cover letter if the posting didn’t include a place to attach one.

Never, ever send your resume without an introduction. It doesn’t matter how polished the content in it is, if you don’t take the time to set the stage, your resume will be overlooked.

Now that we’ve got the disclaimers out of the way, we can jump into exploring the three crucial things you need to include in your cover letters.

The Top Three Things EVERY Cover Letter Should Include

#1 How Your Unique Experiences & Expertise Apply

It doesn’t matter if it seems crystal clear to you how your past positions have made you into the ideal candidate for an open position, you need to connect the dots for the reader. Even if you’ve had the same position with another company, think: What kind of progress and outcomes might they expect as a result of your experiences?

If you can clearly and succinctly make a case for why you’re the most qualified and well-prepared candidate in their sights, you will have a much better chance of getting an interview.

#2 Hard Numbers

It’s not enough to narrate your previous duties that make you a good fit for the position. You need to (humbly) brag a little bit. Including hard numbers in your cover letter is like creating spark notes for your resume.

What are the most impressive (and applicable) achievements in your career to date?

Did you increase your territory revenue by 30% month over month for a year? Were you able to streamline accounting processes to improve efficiency by 10%? These are the things future employers will want to know about you and what you’re going to bring to the table when you come on board.

#3 A Personal Touch

Throughout any cover letter, you should sprinkle a bit of your personal touch. Ideally, you’re going to weave a dialogue for the recruiter that allows them to get to know you a little and, hopefully, even begin to like you. One powerful technique for accomplishing this is to tell a part of your story.

What has happened to you in your life or career that set you on the path to becoming a rock star candidate?

If you’re applying to be an analyst; have you loved tackling complex calculations since college and known since then that you’d dedicate your life to helping companies unravel their greatest financial challenges? If you’re looking to lead an agricultural company’s development unit; did you grow up on a working farm and realize you have a natural talent for agriculture and land management?

Let the recruiter have a peek behind the curtain so they can see why you’re not only a qualified candidate but also the best person for the job.  In the end, people still hire people they like, so be enthusiastic and friendly!

Ready to streamline your job search? Contact our team to learn more about open positions, standing out in a sea of applicants, and finding your dream job.

5 Things to Remember After Your Interview

There’s a common theme in the recruiting process that gives job seekers cold sweats and anxiety. It’s not sending out resumes or even preparing for the interview. It’s what happens afterward.

The waiting is the hardest part…

You probably know the feeling. You’ve just had a great interview, and you’re elated. You were well prepared, and it showed. They seemed to like you and even asked key questions like “when could you start?” Everything feels like it’s going your way as you high-step back to your car and head home.  You remembered to get the hiring manager’s card when you interviewed and you sent a professional thank you note the day after the interview.  At this point, you’re certain you’re going to hear from the company very soon.

But then you don’t. Instead, uninterrupted radio silence ensues for days or weeks (sometimes longer), and you start to doubt yourself. You begin to wonder what to do next.

Don’t stress. This article is for you. Here are the four things to keep in mind next time you find yourself in interview limbo.

Five Key Things to Remember After the Interview:

  1. Whatever you do; don’t panic
  2. Be polite, enthusiastic, and positive
  3. Recognize that hiring managers are busy
  4. Keep up your job search
  5. You might be a good match, but not a perfect fit

Don’t Panic

Hiring managers can sense self-doubt and fear. Desperation is not a good negotiation tactic, and when you sound stressed or frazzled, it won’t make a good impression. Instead of panicking, remind yourself of how well the interview went and then keep your mind occupied with whatever distracts and relaxes you.  Put your energies into reinforcing that positive image you projected during the interview instead.

There is a really good chance that the delay has nothing to do with you exactly and instead is being driven by business factors and management decisions inside the company.

Stay Positive and Friendly

Remember how you felt when you had just left the interview? Channel that upbeat and positive feeling into polite, professional follow-ups. It’s ok to leave a voicemail or send an email once a week. But that’s about it. Don’t overdo it, no matter how polite or enthusiastic you are.

Use language like:

“I’m just calling to check on the status…”

“I’m still very excited about the opportunity…”

“I know you’re busy and appreciate your time…”

Don’t say things like:

“I have left several messages already…”

“I expected a decision by now…”

Recognize that Hiring is Not the Manager’s Only Job

It can feel like the only important aspect of a hiring manager’s job is to hire people (and by that, we mean immediately call and recruit top candidates), but it’s not. Hiring managers have a great many duties, and even when it comes to recruiting there are usually multiple steps.

Try to remember that your interviewer may be busy doing any number of important things like reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and probably covering for some of the responsibilities that you are hoping to cover.  The company is probably hiring because they are short staffed in some way, so that might put a strain on everyone in the department including the manager.

Keep up with your job search and interviewing

Not only should you never put all your eggs in one basket, but there are positive psychological and functional reasons for pursuing other opportunities, even if this was your ‘dream job’.  You might find an even better job in the process, but in any case, the interviewing practice will benefit you in the long run.

If you do get another offer in the meantime, but you still prefer this first job, you might be able to TACTFULLY use it to move the process along.  Don’t ever do this if you don’t have another offer.  You can call or email the hiring manager to let them know that you are still very interested in their position, but that want to give them a heads up that you have another offer that you are considering right now.  Don’t overtly try to ‘put the squeeze on them’, but if they are interested and have the ability to move forward, this should at least restart the conversation.

You Might Not be a Perfect Fit (but You May Be Able to Overcome It)

This last one is a little tricky. It might be a case of the truth hurts, but it doesn’t have to mean the door is closed. Companies frequently hire people who are a good fit, but not quite a great fit. And why do they decide to pull the trigger? Usually, it’s because that person shows them that they are capable of filling the position and adding value to the team, even if they aren’t an ideal match.

If you find yourself in this predicament and facing objections from an employer that you really want to work for, put in a little effort.

For example, if it’s a sales job, put together a sales presentation and pitch them. Or send a technical article based on something you discussed during the interview and try to weave a friendly conversation around it (to show that you’re always learning and advancing). Or, select key points from your resume that are a perfect fit for the position and expand on them in a brief email and sell why those skills do, in fact, make you a great fit (even if they can’t see it yet). Just remember to be polite and upbeat and not argumentative.

Ready to get in front of your dream employer? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn about open positions at exceptional companies or visit our blog to learn more about interviewing, onboarding, and job market trends.

Three Tips to Help You Write an Eye-Catching Bulleted Resume


If you’re active in the job market, chances are you’ve come across an article or two promoting bulleted resumes as the latest way to get noticed by hiring managers. And, for good reason.

Bulleted resumes make skimming easier, and we know recruiters skim read; they help key points stand out instead of getting lost in a block of text; and when done well they’re usually more concise than the traditional, multi-paragraph styles.

Ready to get in on the trend and try a bulleted resume but not sure where to start? Follow these tips to make the most of bulleted formatting and get noticed by interested employers.

A well written resume can get you the interview

Three Tips For Nailing Your Bulleted Resume:

  • Focus on achievements and measurable results
  • Limit bullet points to 3-5 of your most impressive stats and stories
  • Write in an active voice

Focus On Achievements & Measurable Results

If you’re in a field where you’re expected to meet measurable goals, then this aspect of creating a bulleted resume will be easy for you. Share details like what percent of your performance goal you met regularly or the ROI on ideas you implemented or projects you were in charge of. Focus on your best work.

If some of your roles have been less goal-focused and centered more around daily or repetitive tasks (think admin and customer-service heavy positions), then it might take a little more finesse to write interesting bullet points.

Think about all the challenges you overcame in your position and how you improved your work environment, even if you can’t measure the results with hard numbers. Did you organize an entire department? Create forms that streamlined procedures? Revamp the training program to make it more efficient and effective? Share how you’ve made your mark at every job.

Keep It Relevant, Impressive, and Concise

Generally speaking, you should aim to share no less than three bullet points per position and no more than five. The easiest way to keep your bulleted resume from getting too long is to remember the goal is to concentrate on achievements, not duties.

Each bullet should highlight one of your most impressive job stats or victories. If there are too many to choose from, then force yourself to pick the top five that are also the most relevant to the position you’re applying for and list only those. You can always share additional stats in your interview.

Make Sure You Write in an Active Voice

One thing not many recruiters talk about is writing in an active voice. Using an active voice is more powerful and helps future employers to see you as the catalyst to generating positive results. And luckily, switching from a passive voice to an active voice is easier than you might think when you follow these simple active writing tricks.

 Visit our blog to learn how to stand out in the job market, what employers and recruiters are looking for, interview tips, and more.

What Does the Employee Marketplace Mean for Job Seekers and Employers?  


It’s official: we’re living in an employee-driven marketplace. During the recession and until recently, employers had the upper hand. The market was flooded with talented, experienced job seekers eager to get their foot in the door at companies across the nation. You didn’t have to look far for a pool of top-tier candidates.

And let’s be honest, lots of companies benefited greatly from that sudden influx of driven, highly qualified applicants. After all, there’s a big difference between selecting the best person for the job when they’re clearly the standout and taking your pick from a group of superstar talent.

Great candidates are harder to find today

But those days are over. Now the tables have turned, and the best and brightest employees are a hot commodity. Not only do you have to attract and engage star candidates, but you also have to keep employees engaged or risk losing your best people to a better, more appealing opportunities.

Human capital has the potential for the highest ROI of any investment your company makes.

In January the Execu|Search Group released their 2017 Hiring Outlook report that puts the new marketplace conditions into perspective. Understanding how employees and candidates view your hiring and onboarding systems as well as what they’re looking for in terms of job experience could be the difference between keeping your most talented employees or losing them to the open market.

Notable Findings of the 2017 Hiring Outlook Report:

  • Millennials comprise the largest share of US workers
  • A lack of advancement opportunities, salary growth potential, inadequate work-life balance, and poor corporate culture are the top four reasons employees leave a company
  • More than 60% of employees surveyed reported that they interviewed for two or more roles while interviewing for their current position
  • A whopping 50% of workers plan to stay at their current job for two years or less
  • There’s a disconnect in the hiring stage with 75% of employers reporting that their hiring process takes three or more weeks while employees feel it should take two weeks at most
  • 34% of responding employees stated that their interviewer couldn’t adequately convey the overall impact their potential role would have on reaching the company’s goals
  • Though millennials are the largest group of working professionals, more than 48% of employees across all groups stated that they don’t believe younger employees are encouraged to pursue leadership with their current employers
  • 76% of millennials surveyed said that professional development is one of the most critical aspects of company culture

If you’re an employer who’s actively hiring, you probably already know, or at least have sensed, that the marketplace is changing and these numbers only confirm what you’ve suspected. Employers are anxious to secure superstar employees and willing to put energy and effort into keeping their team happy and retaining talent. If you’re not doing the same, then you need to start right away.

Making the decision to research what employees are looking for now, or partnering with industry experts like our team at CopperTree, is crucial to engaging and retaining top talent. It’s no longer enough to try a few things here and there. You need to step up your recruiting and onboarding process across the board or risk falling behind.

Ready to partner with an expert? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn how you can streamline your hiring and onboarding processes to attract, engage, and retain the best and brightest candidates.

 

Why You Should Always Take a Recruiter’s Call (Even if You Love Your Job)

The best recruiters take the time to get to know all of their contacts and connect the dots between leading companies and top talent. They’re always keeping an eye on the market and helping the two sides of the employment spectrum come together at the most opportune times.

Networking is key to success

In a sense, knowing a great recruiter is like cornering an information and marketing goldmine. They can help you in a myriad of ways, and represent a sea of opportunity – which is exactly why you should always take a recruiter’s call, even if you’re happy in your current job. But that’s not the only reason to pick up the phone.

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Answer When a Recruiter Calls:

  1. Networking is the secret to advancing your career
  2. You’ll have a chance to gain insight into your professional market value
  3. You can find out more about the current job market
  4. You might know someone who’s a perfect fit for the job, even if you aren’t
  5. They might be calling because your dream position just opened up

Talking with Recruiters is Networking 101

If you have any desire to advance in your career, then you need to embrace networking. And there’s not a more connected person to have in your contacts list than a top notch recruiter. Even if you aren’t currently looking for a new job, you may be one day. Already having a solid relationship with an experienced recruiter will take some of the stress and guesswork out of re-entering the employment market when you are ready to consider new opportunities.

Knowing Your Professional Value Gives You Power

You can’t make the best decisions if you don’t have all the information. Talking with a recruiter can help you understand how desirable your skills are in the job market and assess your current position and goals from a new perspective. If you’ve been in the same position for years and not checked out the market for someone with your background, it’s definitely worth finding out how your current job stacks up to potential opportunities.

You Can Get an Expert’s Take on the Job Market

How long has it been since you’ve had a conversation with someone knowledgeable about the current job market? So much has changed in the past eight years, but some people continue to cling to less than satisfying work because they still think the job market is operating like we’re in a recession. More opportunities are coming available every day. Remaining blind to them is only doing yourself a disservice.

You Might be able to Make a Referral

If a recruiter is calling about a particular job and it’s not something you’re interested in, it’s perfectly acceptable to decline an interview. But even if it’s not the right job for you, you might know someone who would be interested and may be a good fit. It could be your chance to help someone in your network by putting them in touch with a recruiter who might just be the catalyst for a professional change they’ve been longing to make.

They May Offer You Something Even Better than What You’re Doing Now

You might be genuinely happy with your current company and position. But if it’s not (quite literally) your dream job, then it’s always beneficial to take a recruiter’s call. They could be calling about an opportunity that is vastly superior to what you’re doing now. And that’s not information you’re going to want to miss out on.

Is it time you connected with a knowledgeable recruiter? Contact the team at CopperTree Staffing. For more information on the employment market, industry trends, and how to position yourself to advance your career, visit our blog.

IT Jobs on Track for Major Growth in 2017

With 2017 just around the corner the question on every job seeker and soon-to-be-college-grad’s mind is what do my job prospects look like for the New Year? As expected, IT careers will continue to fuel growth in the employment market with specific fields leading the way.

Overall the IT sector is predicted to grow at a rate of 22% through 2020. But certain jobs continue to be the front-runners for above average growth. If you’re still in college or thinking about a career change, these are the positions to prepare for.

IT Job Growth

Some of the hot IT jobs you can expect to see in droves next year are:

  • Web Developer 27%
  • Computer Systems Analyst 21%
  • Information Security Analyst 18%
  • Software Developer 17%

Growth Averages via BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook (2014-2024)

Web Developer

Extensive coding experience continues to be a highly sought-after skill set with all kinds of companies looking to employ their own in-house tech teams. From Google to Yahoo and corporations large and small, as a Web Developer, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding open positions.

Web Developer salaries start around $40,000 on the low end and can easily exceed $100,000 with the right combination of education and experience. The median pay rate is $87,000.

Computer Systems Analyst

As a Computer Systems Analyst, your skills at designing systems to improve efficiency and streamline processes will only continue to grow in value as competition among businesses heats up. Salaries are expected to increase

Computer Systems Analyst salaries range from approximately $55,000 to more than $165,000. The median pay rate is $69,000.

Information Security Analyst

We’re well into the digital age and the demand for comprehensive security technology and practices only continues to grow. Protecting networks and systems is an ongoing job with organizations of all sizes under the constant threat of cyber attacks.

As an Information Security Analyst, you can expect to earn between $45,000 and $135,000. The median pay rate is $69,000.

Software Developer

In the IT Field, few positions are as versatile as software development. With your skills in software design, integration, testing, and maintenance, you’ll be much in demand. As a Software Developer, you can expect to earn between $45,000 and $135,000. The median pay rate is $95,000.

Other fields with expected job growth include cloud technologies, unified communications, and online advertising technology (AdTech). Browse open IT positions or contact us to streamline your next career move.

7 Tips to Help You Land the Job of Your Dreams

Entering the job market can be intimidating at any stage of your career. Thanks to technological advancements in communication it’s now easier than ever to find the jobs you’re interested in and apply, without ever leaving the house.

How to stand out and get the job of your dreams
How to stand out and get the job of your dreams

But technology hasn’t just revolutionized the job market for the workforce; it’s also impacted companies and the hiring process as a whole. Employers have higher expectations now than ever for incoming candidates.

Whether you are working with a recruiter, or hunting on your own, follow these seven job search tips to prepare for your entry into the job market and ace your next interview:

1.) Refresh your resume
2.) Get clear on your deal breakers
3.) Know your worth
4.) Automate your job search
5.) Brush up on your interview skills
6.) Use keywords in your application
7.) Always research the company

Shake the Dust Off Your Resume
Whatever you do, don’t forget to update your resume with your latest skills, awards, and proficiencies. It’s also a good idea to check all the dates listed and revisit your formatting and font choice if you haven’t used your resume in a few years.

Ideally, once you’re done updating it your resume will look clean and organized, and dates will appear in chronological order. Make sure your contact information is current and easy to find. Bonus points for using a sans serif font that’s easy on the eyes.

The top half of the first page of your resume be enough to stand on it’s own – objective, contact info, certifications, accomplishment highlights.  When hiring managers are under the gun, sometimes that is all they can look at before deciding to put the resume aside, or read in depth.

Know Your Deal Breakers
Everyone has their own set of deal breakers when it comes to job opportunities. Some of the most common are salary, benefits, schedule, commuting distance and title. What’s important is that you know not only what you’re looking for but also what you aren’t looking for. That way you can more quickly decide which opportunities are worth pursuing and which you should probably avoid.

Research Your Value to Employers
Knowing what your skills are worth to employers is invaluable in assessing job postings (and later down the line, job offers). Identify titles you’re interested in and qualified for and then do a little research to determine average compensation and how your experience level and education stack up.

A recruiter in your field can go a long way in letting you know what the current market is for your skills, and typical recent offers.

Set Up Automatic Alerts for New Jobs
While it’s best to remain active in your job search, no matter how long it takes, it’s also handy to use the tools available. If you’re using platforms like Indeed or Monster, you can save your searches and set alerts, so you’ll be notified when a new job that matches your criteria is posted.

Practice Your Interview Skills
Of course, research most common interview questions for candidates in your field and practice your responses to both generic and technical questions. But don’t forget to also brush up on reading body language (and how mirroring it can benefit you).

Become an Application Jedi
Every resume and cover letter you send should be tweaked to fit the position you’re applying for as well as the particular company. By learning to pay attention to keywords in job postings, you can add an extra layer of customization and stand out to potential employers.  Job titles in IT can vary quite a bit for the same function, so it is important to relate your past experience to the current opportunity as closely as possible.

Prep for the Interview Every Time
Being contacted for an interview can be exciting, but don’t get so caught up in the moment that you under prepare. Even if you’re more than qualified, remember the interview is like a sales call. You’re selling this company on why they should hire you and not someone else. And like a great sales person, you have to understand what they need before you can convince them you are the solution, so ask good questions.

Make sure that you research the position, the company, and if possible, the interviewer before you meet them. LinkedIn is great for finding out about both the company and the interviewer.

That way you can clearly articulate how you meet not only the job qualifications but also fit with their company culture and already understand their brand and values.

For the most streamlined job search, work with the professionals like the team at CopperTree Staffing. Get more job search tips, info on employment trends, and find out what employers are looking for on our blog.