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10 Common Reasons Why Your Job Application Gets Rejected

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

It is a terrible feeling when your job application doesn’t pan out as you had anticipated. This is especially true after putting in considerable effort and believing that success was imminent. With recruiters using more and more refined tools to find the best candidates, job applications are getting less straight forward. Let us talk about applications and CVs. 

Mostly, hiring managers are too busy to sit down, sip from a tall glass of wine and say, ‘okay, let me respond to her and explain why we turned her application down’. As a result, many job seekers who believe their CVs were exceptional end up heart-broken when they are rejected without explanation. So what are the most common reasons behind rejections?

Probable reasons why you were rejected after applying for a job 
1. Incomplete applications

Normally, human resource managers want to see a complete application including:

– cover letter

– curriculum vitae

– any other requested documents

Take the time to read through the entire job profile. Write down all the requirements and tick each one as you fulfil it. Read through each document, including the email body, and make sure everything is perfect. 

2. Horses for courses

Horses for courses is a term used to describe the process of matching skills to tasks needed to be done. A recruiter will turn down an application where the skills on the C.V do not match the skills on the job description. Again, read the description carefully and tailor your CV to fit it. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to see that you are qualified for the job. 

3. Poor first impression 

This one applies where a photo is attached to your application. Recruiters may be too busy to go through the mountain of applications they receive. Often, they’ll use first impressions to winnow out applicants. Your appearance (personal branding) on the photo will either get you to the next stage or disqualify you. Have a recent professional photo in soft copy just in case. If you have a chance to meet the recruiter in person, take it. Face to face conversation as you drop your application may help you leave a good first impression. Do this only if the recruiter has presented it as an option. 

4. Failure to summarize your skill-set

Once again, the best CVs are easy and fast to read. Only those who have summarized their skills will be taken in. Sandwiching skills in-between huge paragraphs may cost you the opportunity to interview. An outline of five of your best hard skills and a couple of soft skills should be enough. 

5. You were good, but not the best

Highly competitive posts place in the position of fighting it out with the best and brightest. For example, you may be in the top 5 of 100 applicants, but the recruiter ends up selecting the top 3. Well done. Live to fight another day. 

6. Poor design and structure

Choose a font that is easy to read and professional in appearance. If in doubt, you can download a template from the internet and fill it in with relevant information. There are lots of stories about creative ways that job applicants got their CVs noticed by recruiters but it is best to follow the instructions and trust that your qualifications will do the work for you.

7. Fit disconnect

This happens when the job requires a particular trait or ‘culture’ fit that you do not meet. An example would be if a job requires you to have worked with rural communities. It is important that you do your homework and figure out what the employer is looking for.   

8. Incomplete data

This is where you mention jobs you have done in the past but leave out what exactly you were doing or mention a degree but fail to say in what.

9. Unoriginal applications

Should the HR realize at any point that your application is borrowed or has discrepancies, they will toss it without hesitation. Do not lie in your applications. 

10. Demanding more than you deserve:

If you demand for more than your CV presents or more than what was mentioned in the job advert, chances are that HR will turn down your application. This does not mean that you can’t negotiate, just that there are limits. 

Good luck!

Lesalon Kasaine
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2 responses to “10 Common Reasons Why Your Job Application Gets Rejected”

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