Searching for a job can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. This is especially true when your resume and application are continuously overlooked. The good news is that the national unemployment rate is at its lowest rate since January 2009. While there is still some economic uncertainty, hiring managers are paying more attention to the resumes and applications that are hitting their desks especially if they stand out.
There are several ways to stand out and catch an employer’s attention. Take the time to review this comprehensive list of the most common reasons an application is rejected so you can become more competitive in your hunt for jobs.
1. Too Many Jobs – Too Little Time
The Network Personnel Associates (Human Resources trade group) indicates the primary reason applications are rejected by employers is the candidate has had too many jobs in a short period of time. Potential hiring managers and employers may consider it a risk to hire you if they notice you’ve held various positions at different companies during for short period of time. This is because it makes you look like an unstable candidate who has either been repeatedly let go or that you may leave for another job too quickly.
Employers want to hire people they can depend on for the long run, not just a few months to a year. This is the case for entry-level jobs as well as higher-tiered executive or administrative positions.
2. Reluctant to Take on New Roles
Employers are also reluctant to hire people who are not willing to take on new roles or responsibilities, or who seem reluctant to do so. Whether you’re looking for entry-level jobs or executive positions, try to be as flexible as you can with the employer regarding what you’re willing to do to contribute to the company’s success. Employers will be more inclined to hand someone a job if they see they are eager to succeed, regardless of what they may be most comfortable doing. Being flexible also shows perspective employers that you put work ahead of other priorities, particularly since you are willing to work toward a greater good.
3. Poor Communication Skills
No matter how many job application tips you review before submitting an application, your efforts to gain an edge are worthless if you have poor communication skills. Employers are seeking candidates who stand out from the rest, and this means having keen communication skills, both written and verbal.
Double-check your resume and application for errors. It is also helpful to have one or two people scan your resume to give you feedback.
4. Lack of Growth or Performance
Another reason employers often reject job applications and resumes is because the candidate hasn’t shown significant growth or progress in their current or most recent position. Employers want to hire candidates who will excel and take on greater responsibilities down the road. They want candidates who are willing to do whatever it takes to move the company in the right direction. Having the same job position on your resume for an extended period of time might make employers hesitant to hire you. Even if you have had the same title, make sure you demonstrate on your resume that you have been given greater responsibility and taken initiative.
5. Lying or Exaggerating
Think lying or exaggerating will land you a position? Think again! Employers usually take the time to fully assess resumes and applications, especially for highly qualified candidates. That means perspective employers will either dig up your job history or call your previous employer. Lying or exaggerating on your application is one of the most common reasons an application is rejected.
While finding a job can be tricky in today’s economy, it’s important that prospective employees understand what they can do to become stronger candidates. It is also important that candidates understand what not to do, if they want to remain competitive in today’s job market.