It’s been weeks since you’ve applied for that job you’ve always wanted, and now you’re waiting for any sort of contact back. Looking for a job is a job in itself, and one of the biggest things that brings down morale during the job search process can be the drawn-out silence from the other end.

You believe you have all of the qualifications as a marketer to succeed in this role; so, why aren’t you getting a call back?

It could be a myriad of reasons. As a marketing talent agency, we know that a simple mistake on your resume could be the reason it never reaches the hiring manager at the company you applied for.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing executive or seeking your first marketing role, there are a few common reasons that may be preventing you from getting a call back after applying for a job:

Your Resume Isn’t ATS-Optimized

When marketers are applying for a job online, they’re often pre-screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS) that determines whether or not to be marked as a good fit for the job for further review.

Most of the time, the first point of contact that comes across your resume will be someone in HR who isn’t a marketer. They recruit for a myriad of positions across different disciplines and aren’t necessarily trained to recruit for marketing talent. It takes a certain level of skill and expertise to understand what it takes to hire top of the line marketing talent; that’s why they utilize and rely on the power of an ATS to vet for the right candidates.

Having a resume that’s formatted properly and easy for the ATS to read is important. Many of these systems are advanced enough to score resumes, and are able to deliver the match rate of a candidate for a specific job.

If you have a resume that’s extravagant and visually compelling, make sure you have a version that’s simple enough for the ATS to detect. Too many graphics can get in the way, since these systems don’t tend to extract the data well. In this case, recruiters won’t care to take the extra step of having to pull your resume and download it, meaning your resume may go unseen.

The ATS scrapes your resume for keywords and puts them into appropriate fields. Ensure that your resume is highly keyword-focused and not heavily filled with jargon so the ATS and recruiters who aren’t marketers can easily understand. Recruiters will specifically look for keywords, and if your resume doesn’t have keywords that are relevant to the job description, your resume is likely to be overlooked.

Once you successfully get to the next step and impress the ATS and the first point of contact, you can present an expansive version of your resume that is more detailed to the appropriate hiring manager.

Your LinkedIn Isn’t Accurate

As a marketing talent agency, we know the information on resumes in comparison to LinkedIn profiles is generally very different.

Many times, marketers often don’t include confidential deliverables and accomplishments like revenue and quantifiable metrics on their LinkedIn. At the end of the day, it is a social platform and should be considered so when deciding on the degree of information made available.

It’s important to be honest and transparent when it comes to any representation of your professional credibility. Make sure your LinkedIn is favorable and accurately captures the core points of your resume, and that important information is placed where it’s easily visible on both.

You Blend in with the Crowd

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Understand that most ATS’s get a constant inflow of applications. That means you’re fighting against a sea of other candidates just to get noticed.

Take the extra step in getting creative to set yourself apart from the crowd. Find the key people in the organization that you can connect with or reach out to. Consider diving into your LinkedIn connections, and leverage those connections you have that work within the company you’re applying to. Reach out to them, and consider asking them to refer you to someone who may be able to get your resume in front of the right person.

Don’t be passive by relying solely on the ATS to place you at the forefront of candidates. Going the extra mile can significantly improve the chances of getting a call back. Consider calling the organization and asking the human resources department to ensure they got your resume. This can do great things in getting your resume recognized against a sea of people and boost your visibility.

You’re Simply Not Qualified

Marketing recruiting firms often encounter applicants who are well under-qualified for a role.

When growing your career, you must be honest and realistic in the skills you have to meet the requirements of any new job. For instance, if you’ve been in customer service your whole career, you most likely won’t be the top candidate for a CMO role.

You need to have the skill set that puts you in line with the position you’re applying for. Thus, it’s critical to be aware of the company and the job in its entirety. If you’re not, you won’t see much success in landing a new opportunity.

However, don’t let this deter you from progressing your career forward. If you see an interesting job that you aren’t exactly qualified for (just yet), proactively take charge in educating yourself and growing your skill set.

You’re Not Paying Attention to the Job’s Posting Date

While you should certainly apply to any open position that you feel you’re a fit for, it’s important to be aware of the posting date of the job.

The longer a job has been posted, the more applicants there are; meaning the chances of your resume getting seen quickly are slim. As we discussed before, you’re running against a massive pool of other candidates. The earlier you apply for a job, the better chances you have of getting seen. The main point here is that if you see an open role you’re interested in, don’t hesitate to apply for it as soon as you can!


Take an active step forward and optimize your job search process by making sure every application you send out is exceptional. By taking careful steps to make sure there aren’t any holes in your efforts, you will soon see more success in landing the position you’ve always wanted.

Create a resume that is concise and easy to understand for a multitude of readers, and one that effectively captures your expertise. Don’t blend in with the crowd – your unique capabilities and skills as a marketer need to be seen and presented in a powerful way!