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Why You Didn’t Get a Call Back

Why You Didn’t Get a Call Back

By Matt Lowney


Nothing is more frustrating or more deflating than sending your resume to a company and not getting a call back for an interview. After carefully reviewing the job description, you think you are a perfect fit for the job. Why didn’t you get a call for interview? Below are a few reasons why you may not have received a call for an interview. The purpose of this list is to provide some insight as to how companies hire and recruit for their openings. So if you don’t get a call back for that “perfect position”, don’t get discouraged. Ultimately, getting an interview often comes down to timing. 


Poor Resume. Your resume may be holding you back. Is it up to par? Is it easy to read and is it aesthetically pleasing? Even if you think your resume is great, you should have someone else review it.  If you know someone that has done a lot of interviewing and hiring ask him or her to look it over. If you don’t know someone with this type of experience, then look for other resources. There are countless books and websites dedicated to resume writing. In addition, you can find professional resume writers in almost every community. 


Job Already Filled. You might be an excellent fit for the position, but your timing could be the reason you weren’t called in for an interview. Often a hiring manager will already have several candidates in the interview process, so they don’t want to set up interviews with new candidates. Conversely, the manger may already have a candidate in mind for the position, but because of company policy, they have to advertise their position. So, sometimes the opening you see posted on a job board might not be a true opportunity.


Follow Up. Some companies put a lot of stock in follow up, especially when they get an overwhelming response to their job posting. If you know someone at the company who can make a call internally on your behalf, you need to use this resource. However, if you can contact the hiring manager directly, you should give her a call. Even if you get her voicemail you’ve done way more than most everyone else who has applied. This way you have given the hiring manager a reason to dig through her stack of resumes and take a look at yours. Following up on a submitted resume is particularly important for sales and customer services positions. The idea is that your level of assertiveness in getting the job will carry over into your work habits once you get the job.


Not a Good Fit. Ultimately, you may not be a great fit for the position. There are several reasons for this.  One is that your skills might not be as impressive when compared to the candidate pool. Most hiring managers will look at a group of resumes and choose to interview the best 5 applicants. So, while you might think you are a great fit, when compared with the candidate pool, you might not be. Second, a company may not accurately advertise the position they are seeking to fill. Perhaps they didn’t mention every key skill or haven’t completely committed to filling the position they are advertising. Lastly, a company may be “fishing” to see what kind of candidates are on the market. This method is often used when a company is considering an expansion or creation of a new position. If they find an ideal candidate, then they may create a position for this person. Otherwise, they won’t spend the time and resources to train someone.


Matt Lowney is a Nashville, Tenn based recruiter, career consultant, and co-host of Career Talk, a weekly one hour career advice radio talk show that airs from 5 to 6 pm each Friday on WAKM 950.  For more information he can be reached at