Consult Recruitment NZ > Career  > This Is Why Recruiters Aren’t Calling You

This Is Why Recruiters Aren’t Calling You

You attach your CV, hit ‘send’, and then you wait.

And wait…..and wait. Maybe you get a ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ email, if you’re lucky. But that’s it. No phone call. Total radio silence.  

It could just be bad luck (a particularly strong field of competitors, an incompetent recruiter). But if you’ve applied for several jobs and haven’t had a phone call yet, it’s time to start reflecting on where you’re going wrong.

First, I’m going to assume you’re getting the basics right. Spelling mistakes or bad formatting can send your application straight to the trash file. Here’s a good list to check whether your CV makes the grade.

That out of the way, here are the most common reasons you’re not getting any recruiter love:


It’s painfully obvious if you’re not tailoring your application for each job:  

“To whom it may concern,

I am a self-motivated/organised {select one} team-player who works well both collaboratively and independently.

Here is a list of everything I’ve ever done (and a few things I haven’t, but that were once on one of my job descriptions).

Please consider me for your {generic position}.”

If you can’t be bothered to spell out why you’d be great fit for the job, don’t expect the recruiter to do it for you. Here’s a quick primer on writing a cover letter that doesn’t suck.

As for your CV, you can’t be everything to everyone. You know your experience and skill set best, so be sure to pick out what matters for the job you’re applying for – anything else is a distraction.  

You’re much better off opting for quality over quantity: Write fewer applications, and write them better.

Which brings me to the next point…


We often see applications from people who don’t even remotely have the skills listed in the job ad. 

Don’t do this. It dilutes your value.

Understand which roles you have the best shot at (ask a recruiter if you’re not sure), and focus your energies there.   

If that means you only apply for a couple of jobs a month, so be it. Spend your time on other approaches (setting up informational interviews, networking, working on your personal brand).


Many job hunters are unaware of just how big an impact their social profile has on their job search.

Virtually all recruiters will vet candidates on LinkedIn, and most will take it further by checking out their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Many recruitment databases automatically pull up candidates’ social pages when they’re added to the system.  

So before you start your job search, make sure you’ve deleted those drunken photos and un-PC tweets. But also know that not having a social media profile can be just as much of a red flag as having a dodgy one. Applying for a senior commercial manager position that requires strong industry networks – and you have only 10 LinkedIn connections (or no LinkedIn account at all)? Forget about it.

If you’re not getting past the first step to getting a new job, stop. Go back to the drawing board. Expend your effort where it matters.

And then keep your phone handy. 

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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