The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

December 20, 2016

Five Reasons Why Executive Recruiters are Dismissing You


Applicant tracking and human resources consulting firm Jibe estimates that 71 percent of employed individuals are either looking for a new position or are willing to hear about one.

Your level of interest in a new role might place you at any stage of the search. Perhaps you have already begun submitting your resume to recruitment agencies. Or maybe you’re taking a more passive approach, waiting patiently for an executive recruiter to contact you because you’ve secretly identified yourself as “Open to New Opportunities” on LinkedIn. Or you have your resume posted on and nothing more.

Regardless of your place in the job search process, recruiters will only reach out to you if your professional background appeals to their clients’ needs. Clients compensate recruiters to identify top-tier professionals that meet high-level qualifications. Accounting & Finance Recruiter Gary Glassman offers five possible reasons why you’re inadvertently discouraging recruiters from initiating contact with you. 

Your career history does not show progression.

Progression, not titles, indicates growth. “I focus on a candidate’s progress within the same company because titles aren’t transferable across industries and companies,” Gary notes. “But if you have been working at company XYZ for five to 10 years without a promotion or increase in responsibilities, recruiters are unlikely to show interest.”

Your LinkedIn profile is unimpressive or does not exist.

Recruiters use LinkedIn to gauge professionals’ job history, functions, and personality; it is important that you set up and maintain an active profile. Recruiters are skeptical when a profile lacks sufficient information, like a photo or education details. Meanwhile, major discrepancies between your LinkedIn profile and your resume draw suspicion. For example, a recruiter will pass over your candidacy if the dates of employment on your resume conflict with those on your LinkedIn profile.

You’ve had several jobs in a short period of time.

In a recruiter’s world, holding multiple jobs is rapid succession is called “jumpiness.” Gary uses a 10-year window to explain the concept. “More than four jobs in 10 years is a red flag. Employers prefer consistency, so it is tough for a recruiter to represent a candidate whose background doesn’t demonstrate stability.”

You want to change jobs entirely.

Your own network is the best resource for changing careers. A recruiter will be of little help if, for example, you work in Accounting and want to transition to Investor Relations. As noted, companies pay recruiters a fee to identify specific talent and qualifications. In order for a recruiter to represent a candidate for a new job, he or she must be able to substantiate their directly relevant skills and experience.

Your resume isn’t “polished.”

Resumes with spelling or grammatical errors are almost always rejected immediately. Hiring managers are interested in candidates who are motivated and detail-oriented, so a high-quality resume is a prerequisite to an interview request. As the New Year approaches, consider making a resolution to perfect your resume. If you are unsure, ask a colleague, a friend, or mentor for feedback. 

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