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Looking for a job is a job. It’s time-consuming and often frustrating. You can spend weeks or even months searching for what you think is a good fit. Then one day you find what seems to be the “perfect” job. You fire off your resume. And you never hear a word. There are many reasons you don’t even make it to the interview stage. Some reasons are in your control but others are not.
Over the years, I’ve been on both a jobseeker and a recruiter. I’ve talked to a bunch of recruiters and hiring managers as well. These are six common reasons why recruiters don’t call you.
You’re not qualified
Every day recruiters get resumes from people who are not even remotely qualified for the position which they’ve just applied for. While you don’t need to meet every single requirement to apply you should have a substantial amount. If you don’t have most, if not all, of the “must haves” or “requirements” it’s unlikely you’ll get a call. No matter how much of a “quick learner” you may be if the employer is asking for five years of experience they won’t be hiring a recent grad. Even with a few internships under his or her belt. When an ad reads “SEO Manager” search engine optimization should appear on your resume.
Your resume is riddled with typos
There are many tales of resumes with mistakes. One of the best known is from a detail-oriented “certified pubic accountant.” Typos are easy. After awhile your eye sees what your brain tells you is there. The best way to avoid this is to have a second or better yet a third pair of eyes read over your resume before sending it. Finally after you’ve gotten the thumbs up from all your friends borrow a proofreader’s trick and read your resume backwards, word by word, which can help you find mistakes like pubic when you meant to say public.
Your resume goes on ad nauseam
While there is no set rule for how long your resume should be one or two pages is your best bet. An eight-page resume (yes I’ve seen them) will not be read by many recruiters. A study done by TheLadders indicated that recruiters spend six seconds looking at your resume before deciding to put you in the yes or no pile. While the recruiters I know will give your resume more than a cursory glance they also don’t want to spend ten minutes reading through your professional life story either. So take a good look at your resume and eliminate the stuff that really doesn’t matter. No one cares if you like to salsa unless you’re applying to teach dance.
Your salary is too high (or too low)
Jobs have a salary range and if your salary is way too high the recruiter is not going to call you. No matter how awesome you may be it’s highly unlikely they’re going to pay you $140K if the top of their range is $100K. On the flip side if your salary is too low they may think you’re under qualified. While the reason may be that you’re undervaluing yourself you may not get a call. It may not happen as often but it does happen. To help prevent these issues do your research with industry publications and salary calculators. Consider your financial situation and decide on your bottom line. You don’t want to price yourself out of the game.
Your social media profile doesn’t match your resume
After a recruiter reads your resume you can bet he or she will look you up online. When you’re looking for a job consistency is essential. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t line up with your resume the recruiter is, at the least, going to wonder why. Many recruiters will also look at your Twitter feed or Facebook page so think before you post. A picture of you having a glass of wine on your birthday shouldn’t be a problem, but constant negativity, like ranting about your boss and/or colleagues, can hurt your chances of being hired.
They’re already pursuing someone else
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a case of bad timing. While the job may not be filled yet they may have collected several promising resumes or the hiring manager may already be down to a few strong candidates. If you apply for a position once they are well into the hiring process you may just be too late. This is one of the prime reasons it pays to network – it can help you find out about jobs before they are posted.
Whether you’re out of work or currently employed it’s not easy to find a new job. If it were no one would stay in a job they hate, ever. When it comes to finding a new position do your best with everything that’s under your control, like preventing resume typos, and try not to obsess about the rest, like if they already have a front-runner. Remember you can’t lose a job you didn’t have in the first place.