The Top 7 Reasons Why The Perfect Candidate Never Gets A Call Back From A Recruiter

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Have you ever applied for a job that you knew you were a perfect fit for only to never hear back from that company? The reasons why you don’t hear back range from the logical to the downright wrong!

1. Your resume didn’t match the job description nor did it quantify your accomplishments
The biggest mistake I see from candidates is many of the resumes I receive don’t accurately describe their experience in a manner that matches the job’s requirements, and they don’t clearly quantify the candidate’s accomplishments.

On numerous occasions I have had hiring managers pass on great candidates because they didn’t feel the candidates resume was strong enough to be considered for the job.

Customize your resume to the match the job description. Ask yourself what experience and accomplishments would the hiring manager be looking for? Put that information in your resume.

2. The position you applied too isn’t really open
Occasionally companies advertise positions that don’t exist. This can happen when companies want to build a reservoir of candidates. This might occur when they’re bidding on a contract they hope to win, or when they have a continuing need for candidates with the same sets of skills.

I’ve also worked with clients who have positions posted on their website that aren’t open and are still on their website because no one has bothered to take them down.

It may still be worth applying to these positions because once you apply your resume may be submitted into the companies applicant tracking system and a recruiter may be doing a search weeks, months, or years later and they may come across your resume and reach out to you. That is how I found many of the candidates I hired.

3. The hiring manager has someone else in mind
Many times when a position opens up a hiring manager may already know who they want to hire and the position is just open so that they can go through the motions of the hiring process.

Be proactive in your job search and build your network with hiring managers who work at companies you want to work for so that when they do open up a position they will either think of you or you can reach out to the directly.

4. No one is checking on who is applying to open positions
Sometimes recruiters are simply too busy or have more than enough candidates interested in a position that they may stop reviewing resumes of recent applicants.

Once I was trying to fill several positions for a huge project, I was so overloaded with candidates that I simply stopped considering new applicants. If the perfect candidate had applied for one of these positions, no one would have noticed because I didn’t have time to see who else applied to the job and I already had enough candidates.

5. The backdoor reference check
A back door reference check means a hiring manager plans to secretly check up on a candidate. The candidate has no idea who will be contacted as a reference, or even that this reference checking is underway. And to make matters worse, the information the company gathers could be completely inaccurate.

This can happen at any stage during the hiring process. Sometimes I would send over resumes to the hiring manager to review and they would tell me not to reach out to the candidate until they speak to someone who knows that person. And if the hiring manager digs up any negative information about the candidate they always pass on them.

6. The recruiter was inexperienced
Inexperienced recruiters may pass over resumes that are perfect, or they may lack clarity about what the hiring manager is looking for.

I was once asked to take over for another recruiter who had been trying to fill a position for two months. The hiring manager was getting frustrated, because the recruiter was unable to find her any qualified candidates. I looked over all 116 candidates who had applied, and I was shocked to find ten who seemed to be a perfect fit. When I sent their resumes to the hiring manager, she wanted to interview all of them. But by this time, many were no longer available.

7. A deal might already be in the works This actually happened to me once;
I was applying for a job and I phone interviewed with the recruiter who then told me that they just sent a candidate in for a second interview and they want to wait to see how that interview works out before they send anyone else over.

I must admit I was floored. My resume was never sent over to the hiring manager. I was kept out of a job that I was a great fit for because the recruiter didn’t want to ruin what she already had going.

6 Responses to “The Top 7 Reasons Why The Perfect Candidate Never Gets A Call Back From A Recruiter”

  1. Keep up the good work, I read few content on this site and I believe that your web blog is rattling interesting and holds bands of good info.

  2. I do not think that video resumes are the next geetranion of recruitment. Actually, if they do anything, they relinquish even more control from the candidate in successfully placing themselves in a position to get a job. You might ask why, let’s think about it:1. Video resumes release even more information that may or may not represent you correctly. This gives the screener (normally not the hiring manager) just more reasons to screen you from the process without ever being seen by the hiring authority.2. How well do you really present on camera. Not very many people are good actors, and even the best actors look and act nothing like when they are on screen. Why would you want a representation of yourself floating around that might not be flattering?3. What to say? Resumes are direct, simple, easy to read and should move the hiring manager to want to call you and schedule an in person meeting. Why meet you when they have seen your video. Maybe they do not like what you have on in the video, maybe they think the content you covered does not address your needs, maybe your communication style on video is much different than in person. All reasons to screen you out of the process.Bottom line nothing will ever be able to replace human interface and contact. Communication is more than 60% non-verbal and the best communicators act and re-act to their audience in a manner that makes everyone feel comfortable. Taping yourself in a general video and sending it out is as effective as sending your demo out and expecting a casting agent to call you. And we all know how many people want to be actors and never make it. Do you want to bet your career on those kind of odds?

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