Rejection, is unfortunately, part of many job hunts. Even with a strong CV and great interview technique, you can still miss out on opportunities in a competitive market.
While some employers might offer detailed feedback, others will give minimal explanation as to why you weren’t their perfect choice – which can obviously be very frustrating for candidates.
Here are six general reasons why an employer might reject you – either at the application stage or after an interview.
1. Your CV didn’t stand out.
Your CV is your first opportunity to grab an employer’s attention. Even if you have some solid experience, if your CV is not well presented or is not tailored to the role it could be overlooked. Make sure your CV is clear and concise with the most relevant experience at the top. Don’t forget to tweak your CV with every new application (remaining truthful of course) to ensure that your most relevant credentials are most prominent.
2. Your motivations weren’t clear.
Before you reach an interview stage, a cover letter is your opportunity to explain a little about yourself and why you particularly want the role. Employers can often be baffled by an application and the motivations behind it and will be actively looking for reasons to narrow down their shortlist. For example, if you’re leaving a similar role at a good organisation, if you’ve only been in your current position a short time or you appear overqualified – an employer may question your motives. Make sure you fully explain your desire to join their company and make your motivations clear. Perhaps you are an avid supporter of the brand or maybe you want to gain more experience in a specialist area.
3. Unprepared for interview.
As the well-worn saying goes, ‘fail to prepare then prepare to fail’. Yes, preparation really is key for giving an excellent interview. Candidates can often let themselves down by not researching the company fully before going for an interview. Make sure you’re fully acquainted with the work of the organisation and you’ve thought carefully about how your skills and experience could impact positively on their business activities.
4. Not an ideal team fit.
Alongside your skills and experience, employers are also looking for a strong team fit who is a good match for the ethos and outlook of their organisation. Occasionally, employers might feel a candidate who is technically strong doesn’t have the right personality and approach for their particular organisation. In general, strong communication skills and a confident, friendly personality are always coveted.
5. You didn’t seem like you wanted it.
Let your enthusiasm be known! If you don’t appear keen and excited about the prospect of working at the company, the employer may assume you don’t really want the role. When employers are trying to decide between two strong candidates of similar ability, your obvious enthusiasm for the role could just be the deciding factor.
6. Someone with more experience came along.
No matter how well you perform, there’s always the threat of the competition. You may have given an excellent interview, but if someone has a little more relevant experience than you – you may just lose out. With recent economic uncertainty, many employers are risk averse when it comes to hiring, so may be looking for a candidate who has gained very specific skills at a very similar organisation.
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