A young woman wearing dark rimmed glasses bites down on a pen whist looking at her laptop. She is frustrated that her CV is being rejected by recruiters and hiring managers.

Why Are You Being Ghosted by Recruiters?

Hannah Mason

Why Are You Being Ghosted by Recruiters?

Hannah Mason • May 02, 2023

Do you suspect you're being ghosted by recruiters? In the context of job searching, being ghosted by recruiters can involve submitting an application or attending an interview and then never hearing back.

Ghosting is one of the most frustrating job search phenomena. It leaves job seekers in a state of uncertainty, unsure of what went wrong or how to improve their chances in the future.

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Don't let ghosting hold back your job search

If you feel like your CV is going into a black hole then read on! I'm going to tell you exactly what you need to do to make sure your CV not only gets read, but also gets you interviews.

These tips will help you put an end to being ghosted by recruiters today! Let's get started.

Send your CV to the right people

Let’s face it, your skills and experience are not a fit for every role advertised. In fact, all you need to be successful is one application that leads to a job offer. The biggest mistake I see people make is that they are not targeted enough in their job search.

Don't waste time applying to roles, without understanding exactly what the job requires. Firing of your CV to recruiters and hiring managers without doing your research is pointless.

Recruiters and hiring managers get overwhelmed with the volume of CVs they receive. They only have time to make direct contact with candidates that they can help find a role.

What should you do instead?

Focus on quality over quantity

Use LinkedIn to find the HR managers working in the companies where you want to work. Send them a personal invitation to connect and get their email address. Don't take any chances, make sure your CV goes to the right person first time.

• Look for the recruiters in your city that specialise in your industry. These are the people who will want to read your CV and the people who can help you.

• Find job descriptions for roles that best match your skills and experience. Your CV stands a much better chance of actually getting read.

Applying for a role for which you meet fewer than 75% of requirements is a complete waste of time. It will likely end up on the desk of the wrong recruitment agent.

Make it easy for the reader to see your relevance at a glance

We’ve all heard the statistic the recruiters only spend 7 seconds reviewing each CV. In my experience, this is partly true, but not the whole story.

When a recruiter opens a CV, they will often spend a few seconds on an initial review. In these seconds, they are deciding if your CV might be a match for the role they are recruiting for.

If ‘yes’ they’ll review the document more closely to decide whether to add your details to their shortlist. If ‘no’ the CV gets rejected. If you have relevant experience, but it’s buried in a sea of irrelevant details, you won't get past that initial scan.

How can you fix this?

Make your value proposition obvious

There are two easy ways to do this.

Add a headline to your CV

Include your target job title and either a value proposition tagline or some important keywords.

Here are some examples:
The image shows 4 CV headline examples

Include a ‘Career Highlights’ section on your CV

This is especially helpful if your most relevant experience was early in your career. The first page of your CV is the most important. Featuring key information here is a great way to ensure it gets noticed.

More isn’t always more. Too many keywords, pages, or bullet points bury important details. Only include information which is relevant to the role you are applying for. This may mean taking time to review and adapt your CV for each application.

You can find CV templates that are pre-formatted here.

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Pay attention to the details

If you’re getting zero responses to your applications, then it may be time to go back to basics. Most job postings will include details about how to apply. This might be a person’s email address, a link to follow or instructions to include a cover letter.

Do not rush your applications! Make sure you follow any instructions included in the job advert.

Many job postings also include ‘must haves’. These are the minimum requirements that the recruiter is looking for. This could include language skills or visa requirements, or qualifications.

Not paying attention to these criteria may result in your CV getting rejected. This is particularly true where you have to answer a knock out question.

Track your applications and follow up

I work with a lot of sales people. I can tell you that there is one common thread for those who land new roles faster than others. They treat their job search like a sales process. You should do this too.

What do they do?

• Sales people track their applications.
• They send personalised emails.
• They even cold call the hiring manager or recruiter.

These activities are vital if you want your CV to get attention. It's also something that everyone can do.

Here is a simple process you can follow:

1. Find a role that’s a good match for you and apply. It may be worth tweaking your CV for the role if it doesn’t already showcase your relevant experience.

2. Add the role link to a tracker. Tracking your applications will help you stay organised and know when to follow up.

3. Track down the hiring manager or recruiter’s details and make contact.

How can you find a hiring manager's contact details?

• Look for a contact name on the job advert. Oftentimes, there will be a name of the person who posted the position.

• If not, you’ll need to do some detective work. Use LinkedIn's advanced search functions to narrow down potential contacts.

Now, it’s time to reach out and send them a message. Use a tool like SalesQL (affiliate) to find the work email address or call the office and ask to speak to them.

You can also use a free trial of LinkedIn Premium to access InMails. (affiliate)

Make your communication personal

Explain what attracted you to the role and what you can offer.

Here’s an example email:


I recently applied to the Account Manager role at Mars. I'm reaching out to you as I’m very interested in the position. I’m particularly drawn to the fact the role involves working with clients in hospitality. As you can see, I have lots of experience in this area.

As an Account Manager for Mondelez, I increased average account spend by 20%, signing deals with 3 new outlet chains.

I’ve attached my CV again here for easy reference.

Please feel free to reach out on ...

Best Regards...

Follow up

1 – 2 weeks is a sensible timespan for follow up. But, if you speak to the person you should ask for clarity on timelines. Make a note on your tracker to follow up once this period has passed.


Finding a new job can feel like a job in itself. However, it is worth spending time on the right activities to fast track your search. A 'spray and pray' approach to applying for roles is rarely effective. Instead, focus on maximising each opportunity with a targeted CV and outreach strategy.