3 ways to increase your chances of hearing back from job recruiters, according to a professional resume writer

3 ways to increase your chances of hearing back from job recruiters, according to a professional resume writer
Kyle Elliott is a career coach and professional resume writer.Kyle Elliott
  • Not hearing back from recruiters can be a discouraging part of the job application process.
  • Career coach Kyle Elliott says you'll boost your chances of hearing back if you already have an 'in' at the company.
  • If you don't, don't be afraid to send the recruiter a short check-in message to ask for an update.

Not hearing back from recruiters is one of the most frustrating and demoralizing aspects of the job search. As a career coach, ghosting is the number one complaint I hear from job seekers.

Although no one likes to be ghosted, it makes sense that recruiters ghost applicants. Recruiters have tons of requisitions to fill and simply not enough time or resources to respond to every application they receive. In response to being ghosted, job seekers then send out even more applications, increasing the likelihood of being ghosted. It is a vicious cycle that can feel maddening to job seekers.

Instead of focusing on the targeted networking, customized applications, and checking in with recruiters, job seekers spend countless hours on the aspects of the job search that don't increase their chances of receiving a response. While their intentions are good, a little more intention and strategy would skyrocket their likelihood of receiving an interview offer.

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Here are three proven methods I suggest to my clients to improve their likelihood of hearing back from recruiters and hiring managers:

1. Find an "in" at the company

While we all know networking is critical during the job search, some relationships are more advantageous than others. The popular adage "quality over quantity" rings true when networking for your next job. You can increase the likelihood of hearing back from recruiters by finding an internal sponsor at your target company. Aim your sights on someone who is in your target role at your dream company.


The reason for networking with people in your target role is two-fold. First, they already navigated the application, interview, and onboarding processes. As such, they can unveil the application curtain and provide you with a behind-the-scenes look. Second, their supervisor is likely the hiring manager. If your conversation goes well, your contact can connect you directly with the hiring manager and increase your chances of landing an interview.

2. Customize your resume to the job posting

I often hear a large groan when I advise job seekers to customize their cover letter and resume to each role they apply. However, tailoring your career documents can be the difference between landing a job or not. Your role as a job seeker is to demonstrate you are the perfect fit for the company and position. Your tailored career documents are your first opportunity to demonstrate that fit. Take time to customize your cover letter and resume to each job posting.

You don't have to spend hours customizing your documents for each application. Once you have a powerful master cover letter and resume that leverage your personality and highlight what makes you fabulous, you only need 20 to 30 minutes to fill out each application. Use this time to focus on these action items:

  • Include the recruiter's contact information at the top of your cover letter
  • Mention why you are interested in the company and position in your cover letter
  • Include the position title you are targeting at the top of your resume
  • Integrate job requirements and keywords into your career summary, using accomplishments when possible

3. Ask for an update on your application

Consider reaching out to the recruiter for an update on your candidacy if it has been more than two weeks since you submitted your resume and there is no job application timeline advertised. While this may feel like a simple step, many job seekers fear bothering recruiters by checking in on your job application.

So long as your check-in message is short and sweet, you are not bothering the recruiter. Moreover, if you have not heard back on your application, what do you have to lose by checking in?


Here is what that message to the recruiter may look like:

"Hi [First name], I hope this message finds you fabulously. I am checking in to express my continued interest in the [Position] role with [Company] and see if you need anything further from me to facilitate the interview process."

It can be difficult to get the attention of recruiters on LinkedIn since they receive hundreds if not thousands of messages per month. Consider sending your check-in message via email to improve your chances of hearing back - and landing a job.

Remember: The job search takes time and patience. Apply these proven methods to boost your chances of hearing back on the next application you submit.

Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES is the founder, career coach, and professional resume writer behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. As a result of working with Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and nearly every other Fortune 100/500 company you can think of. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.