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5 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Respond to Applications

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As a job board provider, it is not uncommon for job seekers to complain to us that they didn’t hear back from a hiring company after applying to a specific position EVEN THOUGH they claimed they were perfect for the job.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. The candidate wasn’t actually right for the position.

    Typically, this is the most common reason a recruiter didn’t respond to someone who thought they were PERFECT for a specific position. Often they lack the education, experience, tech acumen, etc…

    It is important to be honest with your own skill set and realistic with your expectations.

  2. The candidate had an awful resume.

    A lot of times, candidates who apply to positions BUT who are not called back for an interview are actually PERFECT for that position. However, many of these candidates do not have resumes that show they they are perfect for the position. In effect, a poorly written, confusing or old-fashioned resume is keeping them from getting a response.

    There are thousands of resume resources available online for free. Some that are specific to the fashion industry can be found here.

  3. The application never made it past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

    Applicant Tracking Systems, what job seekers see as company job boards, are complex software tools that help streamline HR, Recruiting, Onboarding and Compliance.

    Many of these ATS systems use keyword-based bots to determine if a resume is good for a specific job. A candidate resume that lacks the correct keywords is rejected; never to reach the recruiter or hiring manager.

    The key is to use the right keywords. You can find blog posts on the proper use of keywords here, here, here, and here.

  4. The candidate had poor application habits.

    Poor application habits can be including a bad cover letter OR not having a cover letter at all. Some job seekers apply via email and put NOTHING in the body of the message. Others don’t reference the job title when applying.

    If you are worried about your personal application habits, please read this post on Fashion Industry Recruiters Pet Peeves.

  5. Sometimes, unfortunately, recruiters are lazy… …or too busy.

    At most companies Recruiting and HR are being asked to do more and more with less and less. It is very hard to fault a recruiter who is getting dumped-on by the higher-ups.

    Sometimes, HR/Recruiting gets enamored with time-saving technology only to find out, they are missing-out on good talent. This issue goes hand in hand with recruiters being required to do more with less.

    Unfortunately, some recruiters are lazy and/or just bad at their job. To be fair, the same thing could be said about a percentage of any working population.

Chris Kidd is the owner of,,, and

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