23 Reasons Why Your Job Application Won’t Get You Hired

Jul 14, 2010 by

How many job adverts have to responded to in the last month?

If you’re out of work, you are probably wracking up a fair number.

Now, don’t tell the boss that I told you this but… we occasionally post job adverts for the positions that Newton Stanley Executive Recruitment are handling on behalf of our clients.

Now, yes I know that our website says we don’t tend to advertise. The reality is that we would prefer not to but some positions simply just suit an advert quite well. When that happens, we advertise.

This post is all about sharing the 23 top reasons we would reject your application to a job advert.

I firmly believe that these reasons will transfer to other recruiters, into companies up and down the country, and probably across the world.

Read ‘em and weep.

Or, even better, read ‘em and stop doing ‘em.

It’s your job hunt, after all.

Reasons Why Your Application Won’t Get You Hired:

  1. You didn’t really read the advert.
  2. You mailed your CV in the hope that we might need a brain surgeon for that sales job.
  3. You sent us a CV that is so turgid and long we gave up reading it on first glance.
  4. You put your grinning moosh on the CV and let us laugh at you.
  5. You answer every advert we ever post, no matter what the job is.
  6. You didn’t include accurate contact details.
  7. We didn’t understand what you have been doing for the last 5 years.
  8. Your CV makes us suspect that you job-hop = are flaky.
  9. You pointed out that we should have some reason not to hire you in your covering letter.
  10. Your CV looks like all the other ones in the pile.
  11. We couldn’t work out what you have achieved in your career.
  12. You look too expensive on paper.
  13. Your writing style and language made you seem pompous and too serious.
  14. You don’t appear to know what you want from your career.
  15. Your CV was full of flowery keywords but no real substance.
  16. We don’t know who those companies you worked with before are = you’re not credible.
  17. We don’t understand why you gave up the high-paid, cool job for your last one.
  18. You can’t spell. See that mistake on your CV?
  19. You can’t count either, according to your CV.
  20. You missed the application deadline and didn’t tell us why.
  21. If you’re that good, how come you need this job?
  22. We need someone with a Degree and you didn’t even get a swimming certificate.
  23. You live in the wrong country and you don’t have a Work Permit.

Ok… so some of those might seem a little harsh. Thing is, I’m not lying to you. To be honest, I could probably double that list in about 5 minutes.

Think Before You Apply

Are you really going to want to do this job? Are you even remotely qualified? How can you show the recruiter that you are the right person for the job?

If you can’t answer “yes and yes” and then add three “how” answers, don’t waste your time.

No, really.

What do you think?

If you’re open to sharing your experiences and thoughts, or want to share what you’ve learnt with other job-hunters, why not get in touch or post your thoughts in the comments box below?


Really annoyed and need calming down? Try something from Richard:

5 Ways To Speak Persuasively Not Abrasively

Are you gardening or hunting?

Did you get something wrong?



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