Still reeling from the latest job rejection letter? A bruised ego and a battered self-confidence can take time to heal, but it’s important to discover what went wrong, and how to avoid it next time.
Here are 10 of the most common reasons why people get job rejections.
If you think you’re just too talented to bother with a CV and there’s no need to spend time updating it, then think again.
Sending a potential employer a messy, lazy or just plain illiterate CV is the perfect way to get rejected, even before the interview stage. Writing a decent CV and personal statement can seem a terrible chore, but not getting another rejection will make it all worthwhile, and every hour you spend on it will be repaid in future.
Bad hair day
It’s the typical scenario, on the day of your most eagerly awaited interview your cold sore starts up again, your nose is running, and on your way to the venue, a lorry splatters your newly dry-cleaned suit with mud. Your confidence is shattered even before you reach the interview, and because you’re hot and bothered, you fluff all the questions. No wonder you didn’t get the job!
It may seem hard to do, but the best thing to do is simply shrug it off - the panel will be impressed by how even physical hardship doesn’t faze you. And however grim things seemed, others have had worse experiences.
Rotten first impression
You arrive two minutes late and you don’t bother to switch off your phone. By doing this, you’ve already convinced the panel not to hire you within a few minutes of entering the interview room.
However hard and well you work at it now, full recovery would be miraculous. If this sounds like your typical interview experience, you could do with checking out some of our tips.
Too cool for school (or work)
Just because you’ve seen some of the senior creatives on tv without ties, this doesn’t mean the company advocates casual dress, or expects you to turn up to the interview in tatty jeans and a T-shirt.
It’s true many jobs don’t have a particular dress code, but when it comes to the interview, don’t take any chances. Do your research, watch, ask people. And if you don’t have the right gear, borrow it.
They found me out
Not reading the candidate requirements before applying for the job might seem like an obvious mistake, and yet, so many people fall at this point because they’ve not understood that “essential attributes” means just that.
If speaking Spanish is an essential skill and you apply despite only having a few touristical phrases, then don’t be surprised if you get turned away. So read that job description thoroughly!
My last job
When you say in your CV that you’ve had this or that experience, be prepared for detailed questioning. Are you really a good team player? Have some examples to show that you are, ready and rehearsed.
Too often inexperienced candidates are tempted to exaggerate, and turn that half-day in a TV studio to “work experience in media production”.
Oh, I always wanted to work for….whoever you are…
As well as making sure you have a thorough grasp of what the company does and what the job entails, you must also demonstrate you have some knowledge of the profession or industry you’re hoping to work in.
And if they do ask you something you have no idea about, it’s better to be honest than to try to blag your way out.
Did we wake you up?
The stress of preparing for an interview can sometimes throw you into an almost trancelike state once you are there. It’s all too easy to lose focus and drift away, especially if the interview panel are a little boring.
Seeming tired, bored and forever stifling yawns does not give a good impression, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the big day and work on your body language.
If the interview starts well and you’re getting exactly the questions you expected, avoid any temptation to become cocky or too familiar. Don’t ask questions until you are invited to ask them (but when they do ask, make sure you have some!) Remember, they are running this interview, not you.
There were better candidates
Sometimes you do nothing wrong, and the sad truth is there's always going to be someone better qualified for the job, or better at giving a first impression.