No Response To My Application

Recruiters are so often criticised for not keeping in touch with candidates.  Candidates are often disheartened when they submit dozens of CV’s only to receive no responses at all.  Not even an acknowledgement email!  This article below, written by a colleague in Melbourne was interesting for me to read.  It seems that recruiters worldwide are dealing with the same criticism and, most recruiters share the same sentiments as to why work seekers do not get the responses they desire.  This article should provide some comfort and useful tips to work seekers.

When My Recruiter Never Calls Or Responds

It’s a question I get asked every day and about 50% of my clients in my CV business come to me for this reason.

“I sent out 200 applications in the past couple of months and have not had one call” is not an uncommon statement.

I help clients to prepare a winning CV and as part of the service I also coach them on job-seeking to refine their approach and would like to share some ideas that improve results

  1. Applying for the wrong jobs

Fact 100% of people that are not getting interview call-backs are applying for the wrong roles!

As a Recruiter I have come into work to be greeted by 10 applications from the same person, all for different and diverse jobs – and they didn’t have experience for any of them!

I ask my clients to send me jobs they have applied for and coach on why they would not be considered for the role, it’s like a lightbulb moment for them.

It’s better to apply for 5 of the right jobs that 100 if you don’t meet the required experience then the Recruiter is not going to call you for an interview:

  • Read the job advertisement carefully, check that based on your experience you would be capable and comfortable to do the role described.
  • Check that you meet the experience they are looking for, the core experience, if you don’t meet their most essential criteria it’s a waste of time as this is the Recruiters benchmark for the role.
  • Review the job advert objectively, if they are asking for experience as a Manager and you have none then it’s a no. If they want 10 years’ experience plus a degree and you have all the relevant experience but no qualification then it’s worth a try.
  • Ensure your CV demonstrates the experience they are asking for in the advert.
  • Prepare a concise letter that tells the Recruiter how you meet their requisite experience – don’t recite your CV, highlight the relevant skills based on the advertisement.
  1. Applying for roles that are too junior

Often after applying for more senior roles with no luck, job-seekers apply for junior entry-level roles and lament they still don’t get interviews.Employers often reject on the basis they will probably leave when a suitable level position presents itself.  This decision making is typically based on past experience where they have recruited someone more senior, who has left a few months later.

  1. Poorly presented CV

It never ceases to amaze me how many poor CVs are sent for jobs, bad grammar, spelling, different fonts, wobbly margins and missing the key information the Recruiter needs to know.

The CV is one of the most important documents you will ever prepare – it’s the document that will get you an interview (or not) and it’s essential to give it time and attention.

Remember, your CV is probably one of 50 or more the Recruiter will look at on a daily basis.

Key things to remember:

  • Always speak to the audience, read job adverts before you even start updating your CV, what are they looking for in a candidate for your target position?
  • Ensure that your experience relevant to the specific role you applying for is clearly stated, review your CV before sending it out to each application. (We are not psychic and if something essential to the position is not on the CV you will, unfortunately, get rejected).
  • When writing about your work history, present an overview of your role and responsibilities, don’t just list the day-to-day activities. Present facts and figures in a quantifiable manner that’s easy for an outsider to understand.  What were you specifically responsible for? Who or what did you manage? What were the outcomes and key achievements?
  • Don’t use unexplained acronyms – always provide definitions.
  • Keep it keyword rich for electronic searching.
  • Ensure all spelling and grammar is 100% accurate. Ensure the font is consistent in terms of style and size throughout the document.
  • Don’t state age, marital status or hobbies – keep it focused on your professional experience.
  • Don’t include photos or graphics or present the CV in a table.
  • Get a friend or two to proof-read it.
  1. You have gaps in your CV or have moved from job-to-job

One thing that Recruiters are often asked by clients is a candidate that has a stable career history.

Moving from job-to-job, changing career direction on a number of occasions or gaps in employment are often negatively perceived.

It does not always mean a candidate has been repeatedly fired or is unreliable and is often due to bad luck or ambition.  Explain any gaps or reasons for leaving short-term roles in a positive light (left because I didn’t like the boss is not something to highlight).

Explain any gaps or reasons for leaving short-term roles in a positive light.CLICK TO TWEET

  1. You are Jack of all trades

Many of my best clients have worked in roles that incorporate a number of different job functions and they have excelled in diverse responsibilities.

This can scare people off rather than saying “wow this person is great to look at all the different things they can do”.

Keep your CV focused and targeted to the jobs you are targeting, demonstrate why you have the skills specific to the roles you are applying for.

  1. You have no local experience

Recruiters charge clients a large fee and as a result of this, the client has high expectation of the candidates they will accept which often includes knowledge of the local market, networks of contacts etc.

I work with lots of overseas clients and in my experience, they are typically exceptional with the skills and personal drive to have gained a visa for Australia which is a protracted and expensive process.

My peers often miss out on placing top talent and in some instances, local experience is essential to a role but in others, it’s not.

If you don’t have local experience, unfortunately, it’s often a red flag.CLICK TO TWEET

If you don’t have local experience, unfortunately, it’s often a red flag.

Australianise your CV using Australian terminology (you can research this by viewing job advertisements.

Clearly state if your overseas experience was using English as a business language.

Be proactive and seek work directly with employers means they often have more resources to support your transition.  There are right ways to do this and very wrong ways and I have written more about using LinkedIn to look for work in another blog. 

  1. You are in the twilight of your career

I never understand why there is still ageism, it really troubles me as there is just no reason for it.

Most of us will (hopefully) become a mature worker themselves yet it’s still an issue in business.

Often I have clients that actually say they believe they are too old and that’s why they are not getting interviews, this troubles me more that ageism is causing great people to view themselves as “too old”!

Mature workers are often the best performers, most knowledgeable and reliable in the workforce.

They understand risk and opportunity and have encountered most issues in their career to problem-solve quickly.

Keep your CV to the past 10-15 years and let the Recruiter judge you on your capabilities, not that you went to school before they were born.

  1. You develop a poor relationship with the Recruiter

I know that Recruiters can be annoying, non-communicative etc. But like it or not, the Recruiter is the key to getting in front of their client, they are the first line decision maker.

You have an opportunity to win a Recruiter over and we have all placed candidates that did not meet all the criteria of the position because we see them as excellent so we pushed hard with our Clients to interview.

Good Recruiters are influencers and can back your cause:

  • Ensure all conduct is professional, honest and open, don’t stalk them or hound them with 10 phone calls or 10 CVs.
  • Always ask for feedback, we all operate subjectively but the Recruiter will give you objective feedback based on their market knowledge and help support you to achieve your goals.
  • Never burn your bridges, you never know when that Recruiter may have the ideal job and if they have rejected you for a role and you have reacted negatively, you won’t get another look-in.

Yours in Personnel

Bridget Jones


Author: The Pronel Team

Our team is passionate about helping match the best candidate with the right position. All consultants are experienced and fully trained in the recruitment, selection and ability testing of personnel.