The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman. Published here May 2022.

Introduction | The Scope of Opportunities
Lack of Response  | Conclusion

Lack of Response

OK, you've done all of that and even submitted your resume to a number of potential employers, but you are not getting any actual responses. Why is that? Well, it could be that your resume did more harm than good! Some time ago, Ashraf Chaudhry wrote a good article on "Why Job Applicants Don't Get Interview Calls".[2] Here is what he said:

"Many people complain that they have applied everywhere but nobody called them for interviews. They concluded that for job hunting they need stronger or better references. But in fact, that is not the case. Against any one advertised position, organizations may receive hundreds of resumes (known as 'CV's). So, the challenge for the recruiter/selector is in short-listing the right group of potential candidates. I recruit people for my clients regularly and short-listing the right candidates for interview is a challenging task. What does a recruiter do? Here is what happens in the 'first pass'.

  • A CV that looks cluttered, shabby, or just disorganized is deleted in 3-4 seconds.
  • A CV that has more than 2-3 common grammatical/typo errors (like carrier instead of career) is deleted in 3-4 seconds.
  • A CV that is irrelevant is deleted in less than 5 seconds.
  • Obvious 'Job-hoppering' CVs are deleted in less than 15 seconds. If you have 4 jobs in 5 years, and latest job is hardly 2 months old, you are out.
  • Applicants applying from far off places are not invited for interviews. For example: if the job is Toronto based, and two people of more or less the same education and experience apply, but one is from Toronto and the other is from (say) London, then obviously the Toronto candidate will be preferred.
  • A CV that looks like a circular (i.e., is not customized) is on a fast track to the recycle bin.
  • A CV that looks definitely shallow but the position is strategic and the company is really looking for a thought leader, no chance of interview will result.
  • Finally, putting a photo that looks like a sign of pessimism on a CV will increase the chances of it to going directly to the recycle bin.

Think of it this way, in the recruitment process, your CV/resume is your personal brochure. It is your most important document."

The Scope of Opportunities  The Scope of Opportunities

2. The following content was published several years ago. It has been updated to reflect current conditions. The author may be reached at: or by email at:
Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page