Why Do My Job Applications Get Rejected?


“Why did my job application get rejected? Why didn’t I get an interview? What am I doing wrong?”

It can be frustrating when you spend a lot of time filling in job applications only to get no response back at all. The most common reasons applicants get rejected by employers are…

Unoriginal applications

Don’t copy and paste cover letters. It’s the easiest approach for you to increase the amount of applications sent, but it’s not effective as employers cannot see how you would fit into their role and company. Make each application unique by researching the company culture and putting emphasis on your relevant skills and experiences that will match your suitability for the position. Employers can spot these scatter gun approach applications from a mile away as students never mention the company or industry once!


Poor grammar and spelling can lead to the end of your application process even though you may have been well suited candidate for the role. Simple mistakes like this are viewed from the employers perspective as careless. Often, students will say this is an obvious piece of advice, but you may be surprised at how many students fail to spell- and grammar-check their work before sending it. Built-in spellchecks can only do so much; for example, if you type “therre” by mistake, it might offer you “there”, “their” and “they’re”. It’s up to you to know the difference between them and pick the right correction.


Many people focus on quantity of applications and because of that, they simply don’t have time to look at the role in greater detail. Having the confidence to apply to many of these blue chip companies is brilliant; however, bear in mind the requirements for the role and make sure you meet the criteria. This also includes having the right degree (if one is specified), appropriate experience, and interest in the industry for each application you make. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high – but be aware that you’re more likely to get those rejection letters for roles where you didn’t quite meet the requirements.


It’s also possible be overqualified for a role; the hiring manager may pass you over in favour of someone else based on the assumption that you’ll be leaving as soon as a better opportunity comes your way. This isn’t necessarily a negative; if this happens, it’s a sign that you should be aiming higher. Most undergraduate students won’t have this issue, but it may be applicable to postgrad or doctorate students.

Lack of research

If you show no understanding of the role and company you are applying too, this can result in your application going straight in the bin. This is another tip that many students say is obvious – but there’s a wide range of research methods you might not be using. Book an appointment with a careers consultant on MyGateway for more in-depth info.

The Takeaway:

  • Target your applications specifically to individual companies and to the roles you apply to.
  • Researching the company this is key.
  • Make your cover letter personal, highlight you’re most relevant skills and experience required for the position on your CV
  • Always check your documents for errors.

Good luck!

ADH Placements



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