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Why aren’t They Calling?

james fischer picI was recently working with a client seeking career opportunities in the Innovation space within a specific industry. She explained that she had been searching out opportunities for several months and had yet to secure an interview. Throughout her career she’d never actually needed to apply for a job and had primarily relied on her professional network to  find jobs. She wasn’t expecting it to be like this. After sending me a couple of different versions of the resume she’d been submitting, she asked the million dollar question: “Why am I not getting responses?”

I get this question a lot. Sometimes the answer is obvious; most of the time it’s not. Without seeing the actual listings for types of jobs she was applying for (and comparing them with the resume(s) she submitted), I couldn’t offer any concrete feedback.

There are so many factors that can affect your job search; but when it comes to your resume, these 6 reasons could be keeping you from getting the call.

#1 Your resume is missing important keywords

It’s been estimated that 75% of companies utilize some type of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system to screen incoming resumes for specific words and terms relevant to the position in question. If your resume doesn’t contain these terms, you’ll never even reach the company’s hiring decision makers. You can learn more about how ATS systems work by clicking here.

#2 Your resume doesn’t position you as the right person for THAT job

With hundreds of job seekers applying for the exact same jobs, a generic, one-size-fits-all resume won’t cut it. Your resume should make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to immediately see that you’re qualified to jump in and do the job that’s advertised. Your skills, work experience, and education need to emphasize your qualifications.

#3 Another candidate is equally or more qualified than you

Not to be mean, but sometimes a client convinces themselves that there can’t possibly be anyone as perfect for the job than they are. What they may not realize is that hiring employers receive multiple submissions from equally qualified  candidates. Believe it or not, some of those applicants may even be MORE qualified than you.

#5 The company published the job listing, but already planned to hire someone internally

This happens a lot on job boards. Sometimes the person assigned to publish a job listing already has someone already working for the company in mind for the job.

 #6 The company isn’t actually hiring right now

This happens a lot too. Company’s publish ads for jobs that they aren’t actually hiring for. Maybe they’re “testing” the job market to see what kind of replies they’ll receive. Maybe they want to get a list of qualified applicants on file ready for when they need to hire someone new. Who knows.

Photo Credit: jamesfischer


Now be honest… is the resume and cover letter you’ve been submitting for jobs getting you noticed? Are you receiving invitations to interview? If you answered “no,” we should talk. Contact me by phone: 1-866-562-0850 or email: for a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION 15-minute consultation. 

Kimberly Ben is a multi-credentialed Professional Resume and LinkedIn Writer and Job Search Coach. She has written hundreds of resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other career communications for multiple career industries and professions. Kimberly’s extensive education, training, and experience have resulted in a clear understanding of current hiring best practices and the most effective job search techniques, branding strategies, and insight on what it takes to gain the competitive edge and impress employers in a challenging job market.

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