Picking up from last week, let’s find out what other reasons employers have for rejecting job applications and what you can do after that happens to you.


They decided to hire someone else.


Despite being a very frustrating reason, this is totally valid. A recruiter’s or hiring manager’s decisions may seem random or unfair, but they are actually following a very simple and justifiable line of reasoning: they choose the candidate who best fits the job above all others.

What this means is that recruiters have to deal with the fact that there is more than one person qualified for any vacancy. Of course, they can’t hire more people than the vacancy requires. They have to determine how well each candidate will perform in the given position, and choose the one who will perform best. This is choosing between candidates who will be 100% successful in the role over candidates who will only be 80% or 70% successful.

And why do they have to be so strict about hiring only the best person for each job? That’s also simple and justifiable: because that’s part of their responsibilities as recruiters and hiring managers.


  • Be professional. You were treated as a professional, and your application was processed properly. At the very least, maintain a professional way of communicating with the decision-maker. This may actually help the recruiter remember you as a candidate who can act appropriately under a stressful situation.
  • Ask for clarification. It could be a good learning opportunity for you to find out which parts of the job require you to improve your existing skills. Asking for clarification may also help you determine – without directly asking – that the recruiter is telling the truth and not just making up an excuse for rejecting your application.
  • Courteously ask for other possible opportunities. Without sounding demanding, try to ask if there are other vacancies that may be related to the position you didn’t get. Chances are, the position you were not chosen for cooperates with or is supported by other positions that may also be vacant. If there are such positions, then be open to possibly being interviewed again by different people. If there aren’t, accept that reality and move on.
  • Remind yourself why you were not considered for the position. Just because you were rejected in the end doesn’t mean that you were not qualified. However, accept the fact that different candidates have different levels of readiness and compatibility for specific positions. Use that as a guide to improve yourself.
  • Keep your lines of communication open. There are bound to be future opportunities, as with any company who didn’t hire you at first. Just in case you find yourself out of work at any point in time, it’s best to let opportunities find you as much as you find opportunities. Letting employers who previously rejected you still contact you for future opportunities can be a lifesaver.

When it comes to making decisions, recruiters and hiring managers think strategically. If they had the choice between hiring a candidate who’s 100% compatible with a position, and hiring a candidate who’s only 70% compatible, it’s obvious that hiring the more compatible candidate would produce better results. If you get rejected for this reason, that doesn’t mean you’re not qualified. It just means that you’re not as qualified as the candidate they chose. It may not be enough to just pass; you may need to perform above the passing level. The good thing about this is that you can still catch up through continuous professional learning and growth. So don’t be shy about signing up for training, asking experts for advice or volunteering for practical experience.

Keep following this series in the following weeks as we identify other reasons that employers reject job applications, and propose ways that you can cope with them. Keep that determination burning!

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