If you’re like most people, you’ve experienced the trials and travails of the job search process. And if you’ve ever had a job application rejected, you have almost certainly found yourself wondering why. We’ve all been there at one time or another! Job application rejection can be frustrating, worrisome, and downright confusing – especially when you know you’re a qualified candidate. If your resume doesn’t seem to be doing the job, you deserve to know why. Here are 7 reasons your resume fails to get you that job you need.
Top Reasons for Your Job Application Rejection
1. Your Resume Is Not Optimized for the ATS
Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) these days. These systems use complex algorithms to search through resumes and identify specific qualifying factors. These factors are based on keywords, and are used to screen candidates so that hiring managers can review only the most qualified applicants. You need to be able to identify those keywords, and use them in your resume. If you fail to do that, your application may never be seen by human eyes.
Fortunately, you can typically find the ATS keywords by reviewing the job posting. Most companies use words and terms from their job posting in their ATS screenings. Simply select the most relevant keywords, and make sure that they appear in your resume – preferably in the skills and/or experience sections of the document.
You could see how your resume performs in an actual ATS scan with our Free Resume Review.
2. Your Resume Lists the Wrong Kind of Experience or Skills
You might think that your resume is perfect for the job you were seeking, but how closely did you read that job description? Are your skills a good match for the position?
If you failed to properly tailor your resume to meet that employer’s stated qualifications, then that would explain the job application rejection.
Never allow yourself to get in the habit of submitting the same resume to different companies. Modify that resume so that it fits the employer’s needs, and you’ll soon have all the interviews you need.
3. Your Resume is Too Good
Believe it or not, it is possible for your resume to be too good. If the hiring manager reads it and sees that you’re overqualified, he or she may assume that you’re out of the company’s price range.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on what the employer says he wants. You don’t need to list every skill, or even document every bit of experience. Instead, focus on the most relevant skills and job experience to demonstrate that you’re the best candidate. Don’t price yourself out of the market!
4. Your Resume Is Poorly-Structured
For hiring managers, there’s nothing more frustrating than a poorly-structured resume. You need to ensure that yours is well-organized so that employers can find your skills and qualifications with ease.
Use a clear layout, with separate sections for those important details. Use a combination of block text and bullet points to provide clarity and ease-of-reading. Remember, if that hiring manager can’t find what he’s looking for, job application rejection is a certainty!
5. Your Resume Has Too Many Employment Gaps
Your job application rejection could also be caused by too many gaps in your resume. If you were out of work for an extended period or have too many gaps in your employment record, employers might wonder why.
Most companies prefer to hire candidates with a solid job history. Review your resume to identify any such gaps, and consider steps to make them less noticeable. For instance, remove the months from your employment record to see if that makes it more attractive. See our post on dealing with employment gaps in your resume.
6. Your Resume Doesn’t Solve the Employer’s Problem
When employers hire, they aren’t looking for bodies; they’re looking for solutions to existing problems. Does your resume read like a solution to that employer’s pain point – or just another dry recitation of skills and experiences.
Always remember your audience when you’re drafting any resume, and speak to that audience’s immediate needs. That’s the surest way to ensure that you receive the consideration you deserve rather than just another job application rejection.
7. Your Resume is Too Focused on You
Read through your resume with an objective eye. What’s your main message? If the theme seems to be all about your accomplishments with little emphasis on how your skills and experience provide real value, that’s a problem.
Try to rework parts of the resume to focus attention on how you can benefit any employer who hires you. You will find that hiring managers are much more receptive to that approach.
If your resume suffers from any of these seven concerns, then your job application rejection is easy to understand. Spend some time modifying it, have people you trust review it, or get some help from resume experts. Then, when you submit your next resume, you can do so with greater confidence – and just wait for the interview calls to come rolling in!