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There are so many different factors at play during a hiring process, as every job application, interview and rejection/success will be unique. It’s almost impossible to predict an outcome; even if you’ve performed well in an interview or have an exemplary CV, there may just be someone with a little nugget of additional experience who pips you to the post. The trouble is, if you don’t receive any feedback you may never know. If you’ve experienced a job rejection recently and haven’t had any feedback, here are a few possible explanations as to why:
In a competitive market, your CV really needs to stand out from the crowd. Even if your CV features some good experience, it be overlooked if it doesn’t grab the attention of the reader. A good CV is a strong combination of relevant skills and experience with clear, concise presentation. Don’t waffle and remember to tweak your CV with each new job application so it’s tailored to that particular role.
Remember, if an employer has received a large volume of applications, they’ll be actively looking for reasons to eliminate candidates and narrow down their selection. Sometimes an employer will be unsure of the reasons why a candidate is applying. For example, your CV may indicate that you’re a little overqualified for a role, but you might be particularly keen to work for the organisation or gain more experience in their particular sector. This is where a detailed cover letter can be useful. Don’t get rejected just because you didn’t explain why you wanted the role.
Lack of preparation for an interview can sometimes result in candidates failing to show the true extent of their knowledge and experience. Make sure you have fully researched the company and are able to communicate how your skills are a good fit for their business. Also, have a number of strong examples at the forefront of your mind in case you’re asked to talk about specific scenarios in which you had a positive impact.
Being a good fit for the team refers to how well you match the company’s ethos and outlook. This has a lot to do with your personality and soft skills, which can be hard to measure. In some cases, you may not have done anything wrong but you might just not gel with your interviewer or might have a different approach towards the work. However, demonstrating strong communication skills and a confident yet friendly demeanour will always stand you in good stead.
If you are nervous when talking to an employer or recruiter, you may not show your enthusiasm for the role or for the company. It’s important to show some genuine excitement about the position. If there are two very similar candidates vying for the same role an employer may base their decision on an individual’s keenness to take the role if offered.
You may have a strong CV and have put in an excellent performance at an interview but the competition may be too strong. This can often come down to sector experience, i.e. someone came along who has done an extremely similar role in a similar organisation in the same sector. In uncertain economic times, employers can often be risk-averse and not want to hire outside of their sectors. This can be limiting for them and frustrating for you, but don’t let it knock your confidence.
Your experience didn’t meet the specific criteria
If you were rejected without being invited to an interview, it may be because your CV didn’t match the specific criteria for the role. Employers should make sure that any essential attributes are fully outlined in the job advertisement. Always ensure that you have met any essential criteria (such as specific experience or academic qualifications) before applying.
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