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.