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No Response after Applying? The Five Most Common Causes of Rejection

Student applying online on a laptop.

Angela Aloysius

by Angela Aloysius

4th-Year Student in Management

Job hunting can be overwhelming, stressful, frustrating, and even disappointing, especially after being rejected several times. We’ve all been there: you are not alone, far from it, and many other students will inevitably face rejection. Here are the five most common causes of rejection and hacks to optimize your chances of being selected.

Cause #1: A keyword searching algorithm is screening applications

Most job postings today have an algorithm that screens applications. Your resumé may simply lack the keywords the algorithm is looking!

Hack: Book a resumé tailoring appointment with the Professional Development Coordinator at the Telfer Career Centre through Career Launch to learn which keywords are important to include for a specific application.

Cause #2: You submitted your application rather late

Sometimes we come across a job posting that has been posted weeks ago. If the application period is near, the hiring manager may have already given more consideration to earlier applications.

Hack: Make sure you have a solid generic resumé that you can tailor in no time when you stumble across a posting nearing its application deadline. And of course, be proactive in your job search to avoid that!

Cause #3: You may not fit the employer’s favourite profile

As students, we simply may not have acquired all the skills needed for a specific job.

Hack: Focus on jobs that match your current skills and make sure to highlight your transferable skills that the hiring manager is looking to fill. To get a better sense of the positions that might be a good fit for you, book an appointment with the Career Counsellor at the Telfer Career Centre through Career Launch.

Cause #4: You have not done enough networking

As we learn at Telfer, networking is a key factor of success in your job search. Your chances of landing an interview will be higher if the recruiter can put a face to your name in a pile of applications.

Hack: Use networking tools such as LinkedIn and attend networking events hosted by the Telfer Career Centre! Even better: book an appointment with a Relationship Managers at the Career Centre to discuss networking strategies suited to your aspirations.

Cause #5: You have not customized your application sufficiently

Employers are looking for applicants who are a great fit for their organization and the position. That is why you should always tailor your resumé and cover letter for the job to which you are applying for.

Hack: Read you cover letter out loud and ask yourself: Is it clear that I have read and understood the job posting and that I’m passionate about the employer’s mission and the position itself? If not, go back to the drawing board. To learn the best cover letter tailoring tips, book an appointment for a cover letter critique with the Professional Development Coordinator at the Telfer Career Centre.

The next time you apply for a job remember these tips to help you stand out from the applicant pool!

Good luck with your future job search!


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