Reasons for job rejection – and what to do next time

Sometimes you get rejected by the hiring process for manufacturing or engineering jobs and you never find out why.

It’s frustrating. Sometimes, it’s confusing. Your CV was carefully tailored to the position. You had all of their required qualifications and experience…

So, what went wrong?

Here are some of the key reasons for job rejection – and what to do differently next time:

1) You didn’t proofread your CV

One of the automatic fails in many job application processes is a CV with misspellings or obvious grammar or punctuation errors. Another is an applicant that doesn’t quite have the required qualifications.

What to do next time

Get a friend or family member to proofread your CV for you. Use grammar and spell checkers. Make sure that your CV is the very best you can create. Crucially, make sure you hit all of the required skills and qualifications.

2) Your CV didn’t stand out

Some engineering or manufacturing jobs can attract hundreds or thousands of applicants. This means you really need to have something that makes you stand out a little. At the very least, you need to make sure you’re drawing attention to how well you fit the role.

What to do next time

Check your presentation. The required qualifications and experience might be there. But is the way you’ve presented them clear and concise?

Make sure that you do properly tailor your CV for each role to highlight how you meet the key requirements of the position.

3) Your application was too long

Yes, you need to stand out. But you also don’t have that much space to do it in. Is your CV stuffed full of information? Is your cover letter was several paragraphs of dense text long?

If so, there’s a good chance that you may have put off someone in the application process from reading it at all.

What to do next time

Imagine yourself in the position of hiring someone for a job. Picture having to read through thousands of applications.

Make this person’s job easier for them. Try limiting your cover letter to a single paragraph, two very short paragraphs, or even a single sentence. Remember that your cover letter is supposed to (briefly) signpost what you have to offer and lead smoothly into the rest of your CV.

4) You weren’t a good team or culture fit

This can be a tough one. Especially if you don’t get to the interview stage, not being accepted for a role because someone “didn’t think you were the right fit for the team” can be hard to picture.

Sometimes, you and your interviewer don’t connect and that can work against you too.

What to do next time

Be sure to demonstrate your team and communication skills in your application. Aim to be confident but also friendly when interviewing.

It’s also worth doing a bit of research about the company culture before you apply. This helps you know the tone you should be aiming for when applying or at interview.

It can sometimes help you decide when you don’t think you would be a good fit for this company either.

5) You didn’t seem keen enough

Eagerness for the role can be in the eye of the beholder. At interview, a candidate who is shy or feeling under pressure can often appear not as keen for the job as they actually are.

Strangely, this can also be a problem if you appear “overqualified” for the role. A hiring manager may wonder why you are keen to work for them – especially if you don’t tell them why.

What to do next time

Always try to signpost your motivations. A single line in your cover letter can be enough. Particularly if you are in a situation where you are otherwise suitable (or even very suitable), but the recruiter may be in any way confused about why you want to join up.

In any engineering or manufacturing recruitment situation, always try to show enthusiasm for the role. This can be what lets you beat someone with identical skills to a position you want.

6) You didn’t do anything wrong

It can be hard to hear, but there is a chance that you simply got unlucky. Perhaps you fell afoul off

  • Being out-experienced – someone with more experience may have come along and pipped you at the post.
  • Internal hiring – some job specifications are put out despite the fact the company is hiring internally. Working through a recruitment agency can help you avoid this problem.
  • Personal preferences – from being biased towards someone who went to the same university they did to a host of bizarre reasons, your CV may simply be in front of someone who will automatically prefer other candidates.

What to do next time

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do next time to predict situations where you just got unlucky.

As is often the case when applying for engineering or manufacturing jobs, you simply need to not let the situation get you down. Working with a recruiting partner who will advocate for you effectively isn’t a terrible idea either.

Want to work with a recruiter that advocates on your behalf?

Let’s talk about it. Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering and manufacturing recruitment agency. We work with people up and down the UK to find them their ideal positions.

Get in touch with us today. Let’s work together to find you yours.