You sent your resume to a recruiter, had a great conversation with him or her about what you’re looking for in your next role, and then… crickets. You’ve heard nothing for weeks. It’s a frustrating experience, but one that unfortunately is not uncommon.

Believe me, I sympathize, and I think that recruiters could do a better job of explaining why we can’t always get back to you right away. If you don’t hear from us, please understand that it’s not because we’ll never find a job for you, you’re not a good candidate, or we don’t like you. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might not be hearing from a recruiter:

The recruiter isn’t a specialist in your area

I’m a recruiter in sales and marketing, but I specialize in the industrial sales and transportation area. If you contact me about financial sales roles, I won’t be able to help you. Lucas Group has a great financial sales practice, but due to the huge volume of calls and emails I receive every day, unfortunately I don’t have time to respond to every query. While I try my best to direct candidates to the right person at the firm, it’s not always possible to assist everyone.

My advice is to make sure you’ve done as much research as possible on a recruiter before reaching out. Check the recruiter’s profile on their company website and review their LinkedIn page. We want to make ourselves available to the right candidates, so we won’t be hiding any information from you. A few minutes of upfront research can save you from weeks of waiting to hear from a recruiter who can’t help you– and ensure you focus your efforts on the recruiters who can support your job search.

Your resume doesn’t fit the role you want

Like most people these days, I receive hundreds of emails every day. I usually only have between 15-20 seconds to read a resume. They say dress for the job you want, and the same advice applies to resumes: if you’re pitching yourself for a $200,000 role, then you need to have a $200,000 resume.

Your resume needs to be visually appealing, concise, and instantly demonstrate a track record of quantifiable wins benchmarked against your industry. If you’re at a later stage in your career and going for senior roles, you may want to enlist the help of a professional resume writer to help your accomplishments really jump off the page.

The recruiter just doesn’t have an update for you

Sometimes you’ve done everything right, your resume is strong, you’ve had a great initial conversation, and you still don’t hear from the recruiter. This could be for one of two reasons. The first explanation is that he might not have any roles that are a good fit at the moment. We might be incredibly excited about you as a candidate, but if we don’t have a role open in your area at your level, then there’s nothing we can do but wait.

The second explanation is that she might have a role in mind, but she’s waiting for information from the client. There are many, many reasons why this part of the process might take a while. There are always several people at the company involved in a hiring decision, and it can take time for them to get together to discuss your candidacy. Remember that this hire is just one of many things on everyone’s plates.

All that said, don’t be afraid to follow up if you haven’t heard anything in awhile. Just because a recruiter doesn’t respond to you doesn’t mean that he’s written you off. In fact, if you’re pursuing a role in sales, then a bit of persistence and follow up is expected and encouraged. You can comfortably follow up once a quarter for casual networking, and even more frequently if you’re job hunting seriously. A brief email keeps you and your job search top of mind so when the right job opens up, I’ll be in touch.


Have you dealt with long waits as part of past job searches? Share your thoughts in the comments below.