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Why You Didn’t Get That Job You Wanted

22 March 2019
Zara Woodcock
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Getting rejected is an inevitable and common part of job searching. If you’re sending applications to 150 companies, the chances of getting rejected by 95 per cent or even by all of them are extremely high. For every job you land, there will be 10 times many more that you don’t. Unfortunately, many companies do not bother sending rejection letters or e-mails, thus leaving you refreshing your e-mails every two minutes for weeks.

However, some decent companies will send you an e-mail explaining that they have “moved ahead” with the application process without you. At least they let you know. If you have been left in the dark to why you are getting rejected, here are some common reasons why.

They didn’t like you

The most common and logical reason for being rejected is that the company didn’t like you. Every office is different and every person needs to learn how to function together in a particular way. Likeability isn’t something you can easily show in a cover letter or CV, so sometimes the look of the documents or the kind of language you use is enough for the company to lose interest. Face-to-face interviews are the only way to see how likeable you are. There is no point in faking the perfect personality, as that persona will crumble almost immediately. Be yourself (or the best possible version of yourself). If the hiring managers don’t get you or your personality, it is a better idea to look for a job in a place you will be more comfortable in.

Your CV or Cover Letter Didn’t Impress

When was the last time you fixed your CV? The most common reason for people having unsuitable CVs is not making it specific enough. If you are applying for an engineering job, why are you including that one time you bartended during summer? A good way to keep up to date is to have a few CVs, each one specific for the sector you are applying for. Update your social media to match what you brag about in your CV (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook ‘About Me’ page). The one thing we do know how to do is how to write a successful CV; have a look!

When it comes to your cover letter, are you using a template? If you are, don’t. Just because you are applying for similar roles in different companies doesn’t mean you can copy and paste cover letters and change the name of the company. The more generic and vague your cover letter is, the more your employer will lose interest in you. Use your cover letter as a chance to shine your personality and ability through, as your CV doesn’t allow you to do that.

They Hired Someone Else

A lot of the times you may have been perfectly qualified for the job. However, the hiring managers may have decided amongst themselves to hire someone else. Who did they hire?

  • Ex-Colleague – An old friend of ex-colleague will have a bit of an edge over you. This will be due to the hiring manager and other employees already knowing who that person is, how they act, and how well they work.
  • Internal Employee – It happens from time to time, but they may have simply hired internally. It’s irritating as it feels pointless to have put up the job vacancy onto the internet, but the best you can do is not take it personally.
  • Someone Easier To Exploit – As immoral as it may seem, some employers are willing to hire someone with less experience or someone younger in order to get away with paying them less for the same work. It’s not fair but in the competitive world of today, there’s not much you can do to stop employers from their exploitative behaviours. Find a place that respects your rights and strengths and values quality work over cheap labour.

You Seemed Unprepared

Did you do your research before applying for the job or before the interview? Employers will notice if you don’t seem confident and don’t know what you are talking about. Body language and fillers like, “uh”, “um” and “ah” can make you seem unqualified and unprepared. Make sure you practise and research before you apply for the job. You need employers to know that you are perfect for the role. Have a look through our guides on how to become the perfect candidate:

You Weren’t The Right Fit For The Role

The unfortunate truth is that you simply may not be right for the role, and that’s okay. For example, you may have applied to become a photojournalist but your skills are stronger in social media and feature writing. Although you may have a wide range of experiences, employers may look for that one specific skill. A lot of the time, the hiring manager will have a certain type of person in mind for the job. This may be with experience, education, qualifications, and even personality. If you don’t fit that, that’s okay.