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13 Reasons Why…You Didn’t Get the Job

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by Lisa Johnson

about 1 month ago

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One of the biggest mysteries to job applicants is why they didn’t get the job.  Most rejection letters are generic and don’t provide any detail and it can be hard to get feedback from employers or recruiters.  This leads to frustration and anger from the applicants and a belief that either jobs are not real or that their application was not considered in the first place.  But I can assure you, this is not true.

So let’s look at the reasons why you didn’t get the job.

  1. You don’t have working rights to work in Australia or New Zealand – if you are living overseas or in Australia/New Zealand on a visa that does not give you working rights, there is nothing we can do.  You might have the best skills in the world but we cannot consider you for the job
  2. You have applied for a job where you do not seem to have any relevant experience – this is a big one, if we can’t see where you have had previous experience doing the required tasks, you will not be successful in progressing to interview
  3. You do not have the required qualifications – if a job ad explicitly requires professional or trade qualifications and we can’t see these on your resume, you will not be successful
  4. You do not have essential systems or equipment skills.  If the job asks for you to have experience using Photoshop, you need to show in your resume that you have used it and where you have used it
  5. Your resume is filled with spelling or grammatical mistakes – whilst we appreciate that not everyone is a wordsmith, it’s pretty easy to spell and grammar check a document.  If you need to, get someone to proof it for you.  When an employer or recruiter is looking for a reason to exclude you from a giant pile of applicants, careless spelling will send you straight to the no pile
  6. Your resume is not detailed enough – never assume that the reader will know what you did from your job title.  Always make sure you detail what your duties were and if necessary expand on it – don’t just say you were processing invoices, say you were processing up to 100 invoices daily
  7. You have not listed any achievements – to get a step ahead of the competition, don’t forget to list achievements – where you met or exceeded deadlines, implemented new processes or identified and solved a problem
  8. Your cover letter refers to a different job and is addressed to the wrong employer/recruiter – nothing says you have a poor eye for detail than a cover letter addressed to someone else telling us that you really want their job.  Unless we are desperate, you are just going to get a ‘good luck with that other job’ and put into the reject pile. 
  9. When we called you because we liked your resume, you told us that you couldn’t talk to us because you were watching a movie on Netflix.  This actually happened.  There is nothing wrong in telling us you can’t talk right now and would like to call us back shortly, but telling us you don’t want to talk about a job because you’re watching a movie on the TV leaves a bad impression.  One that moves your resume to the no pile
  10. You have applied for every job on our job board and claim to be able to do ‘anything’ in your cover letter.  We understand that people can become desperate for work and apply for everything that they can, but it can send a message that you are not seriously interested in any particular role.  Rather than applying ‘willy-nilly’ for everything on the internet, pick up the phone and talk to a recruiter about the best way to get work
  11. You didn’t show up for an interview – if a recruiter has called you and asked to meet with you (face to face or via online meeting) if you agree to a time – turn up.  If you cannot make a meeting, let the recruiter know as soon as you realise you can’t make it.  Recruiters have LONG memories and not turning up for an interview is a huge turn off
  12. You didn’t dress or behave appropriately in your meeting with the consultant – this sounds stupid, but I have to say it – don't turn up for an interview for a corporate job in your cut off jeans and a cut off top ( men and women!), don’t swear, don’t chew gum and whatever you do – don’t answer your phone in an interview, especially answering the phone and talking to another recruiter whilst you are sitting in an interview with us!
  13. You didn’t prepare for your meeting with the employer and you blew the interview – if a recruiter offers to help prepare you for interview, don’t just brush off their offer because you know better.  Being prepared to meet a potential employer is vital for your chances of success and if you thought you could wing it and win it, please don’t complain when they choose another applicant, who did prepare.

Overall, always remember that you are in competition and no matter how good you are; there is always another applicant.  So take care when you apply for jobs.  You want to stand out for all the right reasons!

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