Why aren’t recruiters talking to me?

This is a common question asked by candidates who are applying for jobs.

There isn’t a standard answer, but here are 4 of the most common reasons.


Most candidates want a one-to-one relationship with a recruiter. By contrast the average recruiter could be faced with 10, 20, 30 or even more applicants for every job. In some cases – eg graduate applicants for roles with a top brand – the reality could be hundreds of applications for each vacancy.

It is not uncommon for a recruiter to work on 25-30 jobs in a month. Let’s say with an average of 25 applicants per role. That’s something like 700 applicants in a month. To spend just three minutes talking to each candidate would take 2,100 minutes or around 35 hours of time. In other words pretty much a full working week out of the month. With all the candidate sourcing, CV reviewing and interviewing you have to do that’s time you just don’t have.

Inevitably that means recruiters have to be very selective about who they talk to. Which inevitably means the best applicants.

Your CV isn’t doing its job

Your CV serves a single purpose, to open a door and secure you an interview.

To stand out from the crowd, grab a recruiter’s attention and get on the “must call” list your CV has to be really good. Average won’t cut it. You have one chance to impress and you have to get it right. Recruiters won’t ring you up to fill in the gaps. Nor will they spend hours “reading between the lines” trying to establish if you might have what they are looking for.

Tailoring your CV for every application is therefore a must. In the job posting, role description etc there will be big clues as to what that specific recruiter is looking for. A great CV makes their job easy. The key skills, experience, behaviours and achievements they are looking for leap out. And are easily spotted by any CV scanning technology that might be being used.

You are applying for jobs that are just not relevant to your experience!

We have all heard the advice, “if you can do 70% of the job description, then you should apply for the role! however you would be amazed how many applications we receive where candidates have simply read the job title, or liked the look of the salary, but cannot even do 1% of the role.

When you’ve experienced redundancy the temptation can be to send your CV everywhere. Applying for any job that moves in the mistaken belief that quantity trumps quality (of applications). This is absolutely sole destroying for all you, job seekers.

First of all, no recruiter is going to talk to you about a job for which you are patently not qualified or experienced to do. You are wasting their time, and yours, in applying.

You aren’t contactable

That may sound obvious but the error rate on contact details on CVs and on-line applications is a common issue. Mis-spelt email addresses, missing digits from mobile numbers etc etc. we see them all.

Then there are candidates who say “I didn’t answer the phone as I didn’t recognise the number”. If you are job hunting seriously you can’t afford to do that. Nor can you afford recruiters’ emails bouncing back because your mailbox is full.

A lot of candidates also don’t check their emails, or Linkedin accounts and messages often enough.

In summary

Why aren’t recruiters talking to you? Probably because you aren’t making it clear why they should invest their limited time in a conversation. Our top tips are:-

  • Have a compelling CV tailored to each job you apply for.
  • Only apply for jobs where you are a good match. Random, “scattergun” applications rarely succeed.
  • Make sure you are easy to contact!
Posted by: Kingsley Recruitment