The Top 4 Reasons You Haven’t Heard Back from the Recruiting Manager

Everyone has to face rejection at some point in life. But no one enjoys it. Even worse is when the rejection comes in the form of silence, or lack of a coherent response. While this can be upsetting in relationships, it can be even worse when your ability to make a living depends upon that response.

So why do recruiters reject or ignore the application you put so much work into? Why leave you in obvious distress, while you play the waiting game? Here are four of the top reasons recruiters turn candidates away, or worse, declined to respond to the initial application.

1. No Cover Letter

A cover letter introduces you to your potential employer. Even when applying by email, and even when a cover letter isn’t specifically requested, the rule of thumb is to tell the recruiter a little about who you are, what you do, and what you bring to the table.

If you don’t send one, you can bet another candidate will. And who do you think the recruiter will think of as more interested, more polite, and more professional? Certainly, the one who bothered to introduce themselves before expecting a job.

2. Not Following Instructions

When an organization puts rules in place, it is not purely meant as red-tape. It means the recruiting manager has a process for how to accept workers, or submitted work, and needs you to follow a process that runs parallel to their own. Yet, many candidates do not read or follow instructions.

Two candidates once asked us about a vacancy at our PR firm on social media. We asked them to send their resume and portfolio to our email address. One replied with a link to their website, and the other replied with their email address.

We ignored both. An inability to follow simple instructions that early is unlikely to translate into a good work-relationship later on.

3. Not Proof-reading

One of the most amusing things in recruiting is the candidate who claims to pay excellent attention to detail, but then doesn’t follow instructions… or proof-read their resume.

While overseeing recruiting work for one of our clients at Alexis Chateau PR, I would say that roughly 60 percent of the resumes we see have blatant typos. To be fair, typos can get the best of anyone. But some typos are so obvious, you know immediately, the person didn’t bother to read over anything.

Use spellcheck; and ask family, friends, or a professional, to proof-read your documents before you send it out to a recruiter who does pay excellent attention to detail.

4. No vacancy

Another common reason job applications get swept under the rug, is that there is no vacancy, or the position is already filled. This can happen when graduates send unsolicited requests for work to companies, or when they apply too late for a position.

There are also instances when management already has someone to fill a position, but may still advertise as per protocol. In these instances, there is little the candidate can do, as they have no proof that this is the reason their application was ignored. Request a follow-up, and then move on.

While there is no foolproof way to ensure you get a response from recruiter, always remember to introduce yourself, follow the application instructions, read through your documents, and follow-up with management. If you need hands-on assistance with your job hunt process, please send us an email. We’ve been helping people land the jobs they want since 2008.

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About the Author

Alexis Chateau

Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mate and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at

2 Comments Add yours

  1. great advice; especially for recent graduates entering today’s job market.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hope they find it useful! 😊


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