• Katie Majewski

What to Do If You're Told: "I'll Keep Your Resume on File"




That’s a great question. Job candidates ask us that all the time. And there are several core reasons that hiring managers and HR professionals will tell candidates that they will keep their resume on file.


The HR software experts at Bamboo HR sum up three positive reasons for the response:

1. We liked this candidate—we just liked someone else more.

2. We thought this candidate was amazing—just not the right fit for that particular position.

3. We want to keep this resume in case the person we hired doesn’t work out.


There are also several not-so-truthful reasons that we’ve seen from hiring and HR professionals over the years. Here are just a few:

  • The response is a platitude, and the hiring pro just wants to end the candidate’s follow-up call or email.

  • The role was never really open, or there was a preferred candidate the whole time.

  • The candidate(s) weren’t a good fit, and the hiring pro doesn’t want to offend anyone.

So what do we tell our candidate clients when it happens? Don’t read too much into it, and keep your job search going aggressively. Human nature is not to want to offend anyone, especially job seekers.


Most really good, seasoned hiring managers and HR professionals want to tell candidates the truth.


Maybe the interviewer didn’t think you were a good cultural fit, or they just felt a different applicant had stronger skills. There are literally dozens of reasons behind a hiring decision. Some are more concrete than others.


Hiring professionals also have to be careful about telling rejected candidates things that can be taken out of context. For example, when taken out of context, certain aspects of a decision process might seem discriminatory to a previous interviewee.


What’s the bottom line? Don’t overthink it when you’re told, “I’ll keep your resume on file.” There are plenty of reasons for that response, most of which don’t significantly impact your job search either way.


Keep on keeping on and stay close to your recruiter partner throughout the process. Your next great job is probably right around the corner!


Don’t leave your next career move to chance. Engage with the professional recruiting team at Employer’s Pro Advantage. We’ll take the time to get to know you, your strengths, and your career goals. We also have intimate knowledge of the best hiring companies and the overall hiring markets.


We can keep you out of the overcrowded web of job boards, job search engines, job aggregators, and career help sites.


Are you a candidate looking for a technology, engineering, or business operations job?

At mCubed Staffing, we help clients just like you find that perfect job every day! We might just have a great employer looking for a great candidate like you right now. Call us today at (248) 817-2243, or get in touch online. Our expert recruiters are waiting for your call.