Job Search

Ask the Coaches: Why Aren’t I Getting Calls After I Send My Resume?

resume call

Searching for a job can be frustrating.

Although everyone’s situation is different, there are some common hurdles most job seeker must overcome. In our Ask the Coaches series, Ivy Exec’s leading coaches respond to questions from our members.

Question: “I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes to jobs I am more than qualified for, but never receive a response! Not a single phone call or even an acknowledgment that my resume was received. How am I supposed to get a job when I don’t know why I am not being considered? What’s going on?

Our Coaches Respond:

Make sure your résumé tells the right story.

Your executive summary should be tailored to illustrate that you can excel at the specific role you are applying for. Also be sure to customize the bullet points under each of your previous jobs to show accomplishments that are directly related to the responsibilities listed in the job description. Most job seekers don’t do this, so by making these strategic résumé revisions, you will stand out from the crowd.

— Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill

Try quality over quantity.

If you are sending hundreds of resumes, you aren’t actually increasing your chances of landing a job. Instead, create a target list of around 10 companies you most want to work for and then use your professional network to get in touch with people working in them. Those connections may get you referred to a hiring manager.

— Johanna Baum

Beat the system.

If you are submitting online applications, make sure you choose a standard font and basic format for your resume. Skip the graphics, and save it in MS Word. Those steps will make it easier for Applicant Tracking Systems to read your resume. Be sure to include keywords from the job description in your resume as well.

— Lilly-Marie Lamar

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and, among others.