You have applied for a job many times, but have not been succesful. This is a very frustrating experience. While others are enjoying their new-found jobs, you are left wondering why you are still jobless. Many job seekers ask themselves “Why do I keep getting rejected from job applications and interviews?” even though they meet all the requirements of the job advertisement. You might have the required education, but guess what — there is a secret to getting shortlisted and landing interviews. You may be asking what is wrong with you. So here are some of the reasons that can also contribute to your rejection.

In my line of work, I hear from people who are struggling to find a job. Sure, they get interviews but then, nothing. It's at this point that it feels hard to keep going, where you begin to doubt yourself. It’s really common to fall into the trap of reading too much meaning into the results of your job applications. No one likes doing a job search. Everyone has at some point experienced the pressure and frustration of the job search. Job hunting is very difficult especially when you are being rejected and it is understandable that you might be feeling defeated and about to give up on it. You may encounter many defeats in your job hunt but you must not be defeated. Don’t give up as you read some of the tips.

Poorly written CVs

Never make a generic resume, for a good resume acts as your passport to other recruitment rounds like written tests or interviews. It’s a vehicle to let recruiters understand who you are through educational backgrounds, industrial experience, and skills. Whether you’re an excellent applicant, you still fail to impress future employers if you craft a poor CV, and worse you may not even be called for an interview. Make sure that you prepare different resumes for different companies, especially if you are applying for different positions. Customize each resume, so that you can address the unique requirements of each company.

What is a bad resume?

Before going further to bad resume examples, you should look through its definition first. Crafting a bad resume means you hardly show off educational levels and industrial experience in a legible or clear way. Reasons behind this mistake come from too wordy descriptions, ambiguous content, too generic skills, and even grammatical errors. A poorly designed or wrong format is another trigger behind a poor CV. Your resume should be no longer than three to four pages long. These factors can prevent recruiters and managers from finding out your true self and abilities. You should also by all means specify career objectives. Write clear and specific job goals and don’t just copy objectives off the internet; personalize them to the company you’re applying to. Proofread to spot all typographical and grammar errors and always include a cover letter with phone numbers on your resume

Over relying on online applications only

These days it is easier to send applications via email. However, personally submitting your resume increases your chances of finding a job. As it is easier to apply online, take note that many others are submitting their applications using this method. Applying for a job in person has certain advantages over applying online. While you need to invest more time and effort into in-person applications, the effort is more likely to be rewarded with an interview in some situations. All those networking contacts you’ve been making throughout your life can come in handy during a job search, referral can also work before applying online. If there’s a position open at a contact’s company, ask for a referral or recommendation. Keep in mind that no one is suggesting that you shouldn’t include internet applications as part of your broader job-hunting strategy. Just don’t rely on it as your primary job search option. Instead, incorporate other options in your strategy.

Avoid poor references

Make sure that the people you have written in your references still remember you. They should also give a good account of you. Otherwise, it would be worse than giving no references. It would be best to call your references beforehand so that there would be no unpleasant surprises. Fighting with your former boss or being involved in office anomalies will permanently affect your credentials. A lot of hiring officers will call your previous company to ask for your employment record. Try your best to leave your previous company in good terms.

Avoid jobs that are not relevant to your skills

Let me put it clear that never apply for jobs for which you're blatantly underqualified. Read the job advertisement and if you do not fulfil the criteria, do not apply. If you just apply to every single job you see, you may eventually be seen as an unfocused candidate. Keep track of the jobs you apply to via the web. Some of the toughest things about job search are getting rejected or not getting feedback. That can happen anyway in the hunting process, but it is much more likely when you are applying for a job that does not match you. From a personal perspective, I think you can minimise chances of rejection or being ignored if you apply for a job you are most qualified for.


As a Job seeker you have to spend most of the time researching for prospective employers. There are several good reasons why it's worth investigating companies always. Keep an open mind, too, about the industries on which you concentrate your job search. Some sectors such as technology, life sciences and e-commerce will be hiring more than others at the moment, so be strategic about how and where you look for new roles. As you find job listings that interest you, research the hiring companies before applying. This can provide you with information about the company culture, benefits and salary range, products and services and work environment.

What to do during interview

Interviews can be nerve-wracking even without any unforeseen hiccups such as getting stuck in traffic or spilling coffee on your brand-new suit. These can easily cause you to lose concentration and give a bad first impression to your new potential employer. First impressions can have a lasting impact on peoples' feeling about you as an employee, so the first 30 seconds of an interview are arguably the most important. Be there 10 to 15 minutes before interview and also have good communication skills during interview and also try by all means to have good first impressions. When called for an interview, you should practise modulating your voice to make it sound more pleasant and professional and also make sure that you speak loud and clear. Also, be ready for common questions; don’t just parrot the suggested responses you got from old classifieds issues, adapt it to your situation and the question at hand.

Dress properly

An interview may be the only shot you have to impress the decision-maker in person, so make sure you’re dressed properly. It’s always better to overdress than underdress, but do some sleuthing and find out what the corporate dress culture is before you walk through the door. And, definitely avoid dangling earrings, too much perfume, and multiple-clanking bracelets. Do not dress too casually. Avoid shorts, slippers, tight jeans, or indecent attire. Come in your clean and proper business attire. For women, avoid wearing excessive make-ups. You should also avoid ridiculous haircuts, body piercing. Funny, but this may be scaring your potential employers. People with funny hairstyles, body piercing or   tattoos are often suspected of having criminal backgrounds, not many people can appreciate the artistic value of a good tattoo.

Other improprieties

Do not chew gum while being interviewed. Always turn off your cellphone before presenting yourself for interview. Cellphone ringing is quite distracting, and many hiring officers find this annoying. Texting or taking a call while being interviewed is a no.

After the interview, thank the interviewer

Politeness must always be observed. You must not fail to show appreciation for the opportunity to be interviewed. In case of a close decision, small expressions of good manners may be what tips the balance in your favour. Even if told to just wait for their call, it is better if you make a polite follow-up so that you will know immediately if you were hired or if you must move on. In addition, there are times when their ideal candidate accepts another offer or did not do well on the job. In this case, if you are next in line, they may be glad to save on the expense of looking for a replacement. Calling them shows that you are persistent, and interested in the job. However, do not do this repeatedly, as this is quite irritating.

There are countless reasons why you may not be the chosen one, but ultimately most of the factors are within your control. Employers want to hire employees who are qualified, capable, and who would not give them problems. Finding the right job opportunities and standing out in a competitive market is tough. Job searching is hard work, and it can be a challenge to stay motivated as there are a lot of ups and downs. If you are still hunting, don’t give up for in the middle of difficulties are plenty of opportunities.

  • Emmanuel Zvada is a human capital consultant and international recruitment expert