Five point “why was I rejected” job application test

Friday, August 1st, 2008 - CV Writing, Job Application, tutorial

Job Application Rejection

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Rejected Dog

Are you getting a bit confused as to why you are continually rejected in your job applications?

Do the words “Thank you for your application for the post of…..” now strike a dark cloud across your entire world, let alone the day?

Are you feeling very rejected and upset, and wondering what you can do to change this?

Well, here’s a little and free five point test to understand why:

  1. Print out the first page of your CV/Resume – no need for the rest of it
  2. Fold it in half along the long side of the A4 sheet of paper. Now tear it in half, so you have two separate pieces of paper for the top and bottom halves
  3. Take the advert for the job you are applying for, and using a highlighter pen mark out the key skill requirements – no more than five, if in doubt the first five they list
  4. Take the top half of the first page of your CV/Resume (much like the rest of it (no need for the bottom half), and using the advert as a template, find the same five skills in the top half page of your CV/Resume
  5. Now see if you can find your name, telephone number and eMail address on the same marked top half

Why Don’t You Get A Job?

Hint: if you can’t find the skill requirements from the advert, and can’t find your contact details – then that’s why you are being rejected! The fact you also have a cover letter which doesn’t address these points may mean even that half sheet of paper is never seen by anything more than a temp secretary tasked with reviewing a whole pile of similar applicants, to “find those who meet the job’s basic criteria.” Even if the review process is undertaken by me/any other recruiter or a professional HR manager, then if it doesn’t pass that test in our minds – rejected.

When as a professional recruiter I point this out to people, they ask why? They think that the more effort they put into page2, highlighting how skilled they are, will always get them the job. NO – sorry! The person who placed the advert has spent at least 50 times as much time completing the process to the point where the advert was published, and a CV/Resume is only there to get you a job interview – no more, no less. It simply answers the questions:

  • A. Do you have the basic job description skills requirements? Hence the above test – if not, why read the rest of it…..
  • B. If you do meet the basic job description requirements, then is there something more to make you part of our team?

Think I am being a bit too tough here? There’s an old adage from Madison Avenue which pretty much sums this up:

“If I see the world through John Smith’s eyes, I can sell John Smith what John Smith buys.”

So, next time BEFORE you write an application out for a job – apply the above test, and reduce the number of “Thank you for your application for the post of…..” letters and dark days of unemployment. You are good enough to do the job, you now know how to get the interview for it to prove that!

Good Luck!


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5 Responses to “Five point “why was I rejected” job application test”

  1. Andy Headworth Says:

    Excellent Ian!

    The words ‘read a job description before you apply’ need to be installed into every job seekers brain!!

  2. Vornersioro Says:

    Thank You – I really needed this advice!

  3. Consultinggrad Says:

    This is such a fantastically simple yet much needed article! This 5-point stress test is an absolute must for any job seeker.

    As a former recruitment consultant I always talked about ‘idiot-proofing’ a cv and matching up key words because although I might give the individual the courtesy of a phone call, my client simply won’t bother.

    You need to understand who your cv is going to, as I discuss:

  4. Amine Says:

    This is the most useful advice I got till now.

  5. johnson Says:

    what if you dont have time to read the job ads? you assume everyone has time?
    If job seekers don’t have time to read the job adverts, and hence will be rejected, why apply? It would just be a waste of time!

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