Being rejected when you have applied for a job can be tough.

When we as recruiters act for our employer clients, it is our job to find the best candidates based on the requirements they give to us. Inevitably this will mean that some people who apply won’t be suitable to be put forward or won’t succeed at interview.

We love finding the right job for people because we know how much finding the right job can change a person’s life. A better job, increased pay, a better location or job satisfaction are just some of the life changing reasons people come to us. There can be many reasons we decide not to put a particular candidate forward or an interview is not successful – and none of them mean that those individuals should lose their enthusiasm for finding the right job.

If you treat rejection as a learning experience, speak to your recruitment consultant for advice on future applications, you can bounce back quickly from disappointment.

Three main reasons you might not receive a job offer

Your experience

No employer wants to place you in a role that you find too easy or too difficult. Either way they might end up losing you and needing to recruit again within a few weeks.

Industry and job experience has a big part to play because employers want to reduce risk. If two people apply and one has more industry or job experience the interviewer is likely to lean towards the person with most experience.  Make sure you highlight transferable skills in you CV if you want to take on new roles. Spell out to your recruitment consultant and potential employer how your past experience and current skills can add value and reduce the risk of taking you on. Have you worked in a similar industry, used similar equipment, worked to similar deadlines or worked with similar software applications?

Your availability and enthusiasm

Your availability and enthusiasm to start could be the deal breaker for the manager who is recruiting, even if you are first choice.  If you have a long notice period, decide you need to build that house extension or take a long holiday between jobs that might just not fit with the hiring managers need to get someone into the business when they need them.

Availability is a bigger problem if the role is temporary and the employer needs staff now.  None of this is your fault of course and you may not be able to do anything about it, it’s just an issue of logistics and timing for the employer.


Whenever a recruitment consultant is given a role they will always ask the employer about the organisations culture. When interviewing people for jobs the interviewer is assessing more than experience and skills. They will be considering whether you would fit with the culture of the organisation and with the other people on the team. They want to know that you will get on with the other staff in the company and they want to reduce the risk of future conflict.

Not being the right fit for one organistion just means that your personality is suited to a company where you would be more comfortable working. Both you and your employer want to know that you are working with people you can get along with.

If you didn’t get the job offer this time, make sure you get feedback from the employer and your recruitment consultant. Don’t take it personally, try to learn from the experience, change what you can and move on. Your ideal job and employer is out there!

Tricia Hay

MD First Base Employment