A recruiter's primary job is to screen out a large group of candidates and narrow down the choices to just a few. Hiring managers are too busy doing their full-time jobs to review the resume of every applicant. They rely on recruiters to do the initial screening in order to save them time.
The higher you are on the talent spectrum, the more likely you are to get a call.
There's something in recruiting called the "talent spectrum." It's a grid that visually explains how candidates are seen in terms of their employability.
The higher up the spectrum you go, the more in-demand you are. Recruiters will always review candidates' applications to make an educated guess about where they fall on the talent spectrum. Those that seem to be "ambitious", "arrived" and "locked" are the ones they know hiring managers will be most impressed with. Which means, those are the candidates they want to contact first.
Here are 3 ways to move yourself up the talent spectrum.
If after reviewing the talent spectrum you realize you aren't as high up as you'd like to be, I suggest you consider the following options to help you improve:
1. Stay someplace until you get promoted. Recruiters love to see career progression. Getting promoted means a company thought you were good enough to give you more money and responsibility.
2. Be a generalist with a specialty. While you should be able to do all aspects of the type of job you want, having an advanced set of skills to solve a particular problem within your industry or type of work will help you stand out.
3. Quantify yourself as much as possible. The more numbers and statistics you can provide as facts to validate your accomplishments, the better. Hiring managers want recruiters to prove the candidates they're being presented with can do the job.
P.S. Being self-aware is a key factor in moving up the talent spectrum.
When you fall lower on the talent spectrum than you'd like, you might think the solution is to "fake it until you make it." Believing you have the ability to succeed is one thing, but believing you deserve to be higher on the talent spectrum just because it's what you want isn't a great idea. I've seen lots of frustrated job seekers get bogged down in the "it's not fair, I'm trying my hardest" mindset. Effective job search requires customized strategy and tactics. Each person is unique - and should treat their job search as such. If you feel like you're trying your hardest, but not getting results, it's time to examine your strategy and tactics.