Why You Didn’t Get That Job & How To Better Your Chances Of Getting The Next One | September 2017

For most people, work is a particularly big part of their lives. Monday to Friday, the majority of people spend more time at their job than with their own family, so it’s pretty important. However as millennials tend to get cabin-fever when in the one job for too long, mixed with redundancy, the shift into the digital world and the fierce competition of other candidates, job hunting is a common issue we’re all facing.

Looking for a job is difficult, there are lots of individual things to think about but effectively you’re putting yourself out there to be judged. With job hunting, comes rejection and as a recent Grad- lots of it! Right now I currently work in recruitment but am losing my job due to budget cuts so I’ve got an insight into job hunting that I’ve never had before and hopefully I can pass some of that on to you!

Don’t take rejection personally. It’s so easy to say, not so easy to do. When you apply for jobs, you’re shouting about everything that is good about you. It’s scary to put yourself out there and it hurts when someone says no and knocks you back. Here are so many reasons why you might not have got that job… it was probably nothing to do with you.

The role may have gone internal. It’s common in big businesses and when you’re in a business like that, you’d want the same treatment. Sometimes advertising external is a formality or incase something falls through. Most recruitment teams work with fill rates so they’re always looking to have a back-up candidate lined up to slide into the role if things go wrong.

They were looking for something very specific. This could be anything from location, background to a specific skill that you might just happen to have.

There wasn’t a role to begin with. Sounds strange but is common and I do have my reservations about the whole idea. You could be applying for jobs that don’t exist but may exist in the future and they’re trying to get ahead or jobs that have already been filled but you’re interview was arranged prior so they’ll honour that.

You applied too late. Keep this in mind if you apply near the closing date or there wasn’t one. There could be interviews happening on the day you applied so your application likely never get looked it.

Remember finding a job is a match on both sides so some things you’re just not right for just like some employers are not right for you.

Something on your CV doesn’t look right. If you’re in a role earning £40K and applying for a role at £22K, you’re easily overlooked. If there is 10 other applicants all earning 20K currently, they’re likely to be contacted before you. Whatever your circumstances, if you’re looking for a lower salary role, flag it. Equally if you’re looking to leave your employer but have been there less than 1 year, i’d flag the reason you’re looking to leave.

I now have some tips for successful job hunting. You’d be surprised how many people make silly mistakes and throw opportunities away.

Use LinkedIn, a platform I’m not that keen on but is highly effective in terms of making connections. Make sure your profile is up to date, detailed and connect with people in fields you’re interested in.

If you’re applying for roles, always answer your phone in a polite, respectful manner. This is my absolute pet peeve, people who answer their phone with an awful attitude.

  • Don’t ask ‘who’s calling?’ within five seconds of answering the phone, the person will tell you who they are.
  • Don’t sound like it’s the first time you’ve heard of the company either, I don’t care if you have absolutely no idea, fake it.
  • Don’t dictate the conversation. They called you so they had a purpose in doing so.
  • Don’t assume you have an interview just because they called you. When you get the phone call, you are likely being screened. Nothing puts me off a candidate quite like the questions ‘what is the salary’ and ‘when is my interview’ coming up in the first minute of the conversation. I’ve not even told you about the job properly, it gives off the impression you don’t really care about the job.
  • Don’t be rude. These people will bin your application before you’ve even hung up. They have so much influence, don’t think you’re above them and brush them off as ‘someone who just works in HR and knows nothing’. You’re trying to impress them.

I hope some of this has been helpful and has lifted your spirits if nothing else. Job hunting is hard, particularly if you’re on a tight time-scale (like myself right now). You will get a job and you will get the right job and until then, chalk it up to experience.


Welcome to my first post on my new, shiney self-hosted blog. It’s going through major teething problems, so bare with me. I really hope you like it and hopefully in the next few weeks it will look spectacular. Any hints, tips and good vibes- send them my way because this is all so new to me!