Rejection after application: these are the reasons why recruiters reject applications

No luck with the application? These are the reasons why recruiters most often cancel

Professional photo Hendrikje Rudnick

It is completely normal and happens to many people that you receive a rejection after a job application. The reasons can be very different.

You can influence some factors yourself, such as whether your resume is complete and error-free or how well you are prepared for the interview.

Sometimes, however, you can’t help the rejection. This can happen, for example, if the job has already been given to an internal employee or a suitable candidate has already been found.

Many applicants know the feeling: You have sent the application, maybe had new application photos taken and put a lot of effort into the cover letter. You have spent several hours applying for a job and are now waiting for someone from the company to get back to you. Then comes the e-mail with the words, "Unfortunately, we have to inform you …" Another rejection. But why?

There can be many different reasons why you don’t get a job or aren’t even invited to an interview. Sometimes there are factors beyond your control. Sometimes, however, it is up to you to decide whether your application is successful or not. Because sometimes it has nothing to do with your qualifications, writes the job platform "kununu". Here are some reasons why you may be stuck in the application process.

Your application documents are not complete

Check carefully what documents you should submit to the company you are applying to. Recruiters receive a lot of resumes. So before they start looking at individual applicants, they need to sort them out. In this step, for example, faulty applications are already out of the question.

Make sure that your application makes a good first impression: it should look and feel like the job you are applying for. For example, the cover letter for a creative agency or an accountant position can look very different. Consulting firm Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison has been hiring for more than 20 years. He says that a well-structured CV is very important for him: everything is easy to read due to the correct line spacing, the work stations are listed concisely but meaningfully, there are no spelling mistakes. It is best to have friends or family members read your resume again to avoid any mistakes or ambiguities.

Your salary expectations are unrealistic

If you already have an idea of your desired salary, you can mention it in your application letter. Sometimes this is also explicitly required of candidates in the job ad. But be careful: You should make sure that the salary is appropriate for the position – otherwise it can scare off the recruiters. The best way to find out how much employees in the company or at least in the industry earn and how much other people with comparable qualifications and work experience in the position get is to check comparison websites on the Internet.

You may also be asked during the application process what you earned in your previous job. This is another reason why you should find out what the going rate of pay is in your industry. Career coach Jurgen Hesse advises you not to go to the last decimal place in your application. "You only have to state approximately what you earn," he says. The expert thinks that you can ask for a slightly higher salary – ten to 15 percent more is realistic when changing jobs. But don’t overdo it, otherwise you might scare off the recruiters directly.

Your qualifications do not match the advertised position

If you get a rejection for a job, it could also be that you are under- or over-qualified, writes "kununu. You should therefore read the job advertisement carefully and check whether you meet most of the requirements of it. If not, this may be why you are getting a rejection letter.

Many companies list basic experience that is required (for example, a certain degree, work experience, language skills), as well as preferred qualifications (knowledge in a certain field, advanced training in a field, soft skills) with which you can score extra points. If you only have some of the basic qualifications and none of the preferred ones, you should look for another job. This can also be within the company of your choice. Many companies do not advertise just one job, but several – with different requirements for qualifications.

On the other hand, you may have much more knowledge and experience than is required for the job. If you are overqualified for a job, the recruiter may reject you for that reason. Their experience is that overqualified people have quite high salary expectations, on the one hand, and quickly change jobs again, on the other hand. So you should check that the activities specified are varied and at least as demanding as those of your last job. If you want to change your job, for example because you don’t find it challenging enough, you should therefore not reapply for a position with the same job profile.

You do not have much work experience yet

If you’ve just graduated and are looking for your first job, it’s likely that you won’t get the first job you apply for right away. Even though you may have gained a lot of theoretical knowledge in the past few years, there are some things you don’t learn at university – but only through practical experience on the job.

You should be aware that some companies require a certain amount of work experience. While this can be frustrating, it should not stop you from continuing to apply for jobs. May specifically look for jobs that are posted for entry-level employees.

Your application came too late

Some companies have a long application process and leave job postings online even though they are already interviewing suitable candidates. Therefore, the timing of your application may simply not have been right. In this case, the rejection has nothing to do with your skills or qualifications, but only with the communication of the company.

If you get a rejection because suitable candidates have already been found, you can still ask for feedback on your application. Some recruiters will take the time to give you feedback on whether you might have been shortlisted or what they might have been missing. Don’t be discouraged, but keep applying for open positions – eventually the timing will be right.

You were unprepared during the interview

You may receive a rejection not only for your written application, but also for interviews. The interview is for the company to get to know you better. On the other hand, it is also an opportunity for you to assess whether the company and the job match your expectations. Accordingly, you should be well informed about the company before your interview in order to be able to ask questions. In addition, the person you are talking to may ask you questions about the company itself. If you are unprepared, it will look unprofessional and as if you are not interested in your future employer.

You should find out about the company’s purpose, number of employees or locations, writes "kununu". In addition, you can also find out during your research where your company wants to grow and how it might want to expand. You can start here in the interview by saying, for example, "I read that the group wants to focus more on the topic area of sustainability. Thanks to my experience in the field, I can support the team here."

Also prepare yourself for questions that are usually asked in the job interview. Recruiters often ask about strengths and weaknesses or want to know your ambitions for the future. For example, Facebook recruiter Fabian Koster revealed to Business Insider that he almost always asks job applicants what they enjoy doing. "The worst answer you could give me would be: ‘I’ve been doing XY for 15 years’.Because that doesn’t tell me whether you enjoy it or what motivates you," he says. Rather, he says, it’s about finding out if a person is passionate about what they do.

Here’s a list of questions that are often asked in job interviews. It is best to think about possible answers in advance so that you can go into the interview well prepared.

You cannot prove your qualifications

Already in your application you can attach the evidence of your skills, but at the latest in the interview you should show that you are really qualified. This is how you should be able to present any credentials, certificates or awards in writing.

It makes a bad impression on recruiters if you claim things they can’t verify. And this doesn’t just have to apply to certain degrees or certificates. Headhunter Dominik Roth said in an interview with Business Insider, "Try to find an example for all the statements about you to back them up."For example, if you want to convey that you are capable of handling conflict, think in advance about the situation in which you have been in conflict, how you acted in that moment, and what the ultimate outcome was.

Rejection after application: These are the reasons why recruiters reject applications

You do not fit into the team

Maybe your resume, qualifications and recommendations are perfect for the advertised job – only the interpersonal factor is missing. Because many companies know: Teamwork makes the dream work. If the hiring manager feels you don’t fit in with the team, that can also be a reason you don’t get the job.

Whether a candidate is a good "fit" for the team is one of the most important questions HR managers should ask themselves during the hiring process – according to Tedd Nordstrom and David Sturt, book authors and New Work experts from the USA. In an article for "Forbes," they emphasize that working well together is very important to the success of the team.

Some characters just aren’t a good fit – and that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. But look at it this way: Do you want a job in which you ultimately don’t feel comfortable or don’t get along well with your team?? That’s why it’s so important to be authentic in the interview process. Of course you want to be on your best behavior, but you should be careful not to put on an act.

According to Nordstrom and Sturt, recruiters should continue to monitor how well someone fits into the dynamics of the team already in place, whether he or she has integrated well and is not becoming an outsider. But the experts also warn managers to expect too much too quickly: "Be patient," they write, addressed to bosses. "Everyone needs a few weeks to feel comfortable (…) – especially if they are introverts."

There is already an internal lineup

You have absolutely no influence on this factor, but it can also play a role. In some industries and professional fields, it is mandatory that jobs are advertised publicly and external applicants are invited – even if you have long since agreed internally on a person to fill the position. Compared to the internal employee, you then have the short end of the stick. Career counselor Doris Brenner, speaking to Business Insider, explained, "The opportunity for a prospective candidate to find out in advance are much greater internally than when applying to an outside company."Internal applicants can not only find out about the vacancy on the intranet, but also consult their personal network within the company.

Even if you can’t influence this factor, you can still use the application process to gain experience and get feedback. Ask recruiters to assess how the interview went – even if another person got the job.

You came in second place

After all, it may be that you are indeed the right candidate and would be a perfect fit for the position – but there is still one person who can snatch the job because of one little thing. This can sometimes be a small detail, and if the other person hadn’t applied, you might have gotten the job.

But that’s no reason to give up. It’s best to ask for feedback on the interview so you can learn from it. And be proud to have made it this far.

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