Rejected Application: Turning Failure into Success

A rejected application is an absolute horror scenario for many candidates and triggers real self-doubt. The reasons might be manifold and sometimes there is nothing to do with the candidate per se. Therefore you should not bury your head in the sand, but use the failure to develop yourself further.

Initially, there was excitement

Imagine the following situation: When you looked at your smartphone or newspaper in the morning, you found the only true job advertisement. The dream job could be reached, but step by step. First and foremost, you have to apply. Of course, writing applications always takes a lot of time, but for the perfect job, you have to put your heart and soul into writing the documents. Probably you are looking for a photographer who takes a picture of you from your best side and at the same time underlines your professionalism. The CV will be updated, and you will write a cover letter in which you describe both your relationship with the company and your added value for the position in question. A person from your surroundings has also looked at your documents - everything is ready and sent - now it's time to wait.


The curriculum vitae is the focus of the application documents, therefore you should pay particular attention to it during writing.

The CV is the key element of the application, which enables the HR manager to assess the applicant's expertise.

But what if instead of the hoped-for invitation to a personal conversation, a rejection occurs? This triggers (possibly) self-doubt at the beginning because the exact reason for the rejection is hardly mentioned today. Wasn't the application perfect? Am I not good enough for the company or the job? Was it too arrogant? One thing in advance: Don't question your entire personality directly. Even if the rejection is not a good feeling that nobody likes to experience, a rejected application can also be a chance to boost your career. The following five reasons can be the reason for rejection.


Reason 1: Pro forma Tenders

Sometimes you will find tenders that sound excellent and certainly have a high application rate. Nevertheless, no matter how much time and effort has been invested in the documents or whether you are the optimal candidate for this position, you will not receive any promises. These job advertisements are merely pro forma announcements, which are only published because legal regulations stipulate this. In fact, however, the position is to be filled by an internal colleague of the respective company. In some cases, you may already be able to filter this out on the basis of the vacancy description. After all, a clear indication of this is that the vacancy is written in an ideal way. It is similar to special experiences and requirements, which are virtually impossible for an outside applicant to fulfill.


Reason 2: No Consensus on Salary Expectations

Even if money doesn't bring you happiness, the payment should be right. But what does that mean to you and to the company and even more interesting, are these two views the same? Job advertisements often refer to the fact that you should also communicate your salary expectations with your application. Sometimes the company's budget does not match your personal expectations. However, nobody demands you to sell yourself "below value", but be critical. When preparing the application documents, ask yourself whether your ideas are realistic. Further research on the Internet about the average salary in this job, this industry and the region in which you would like to work will help.


Reason 3: Availability is not correct

When is the position available in the company and when would you be available? If the expectations differ too far, it may be possible that you are not the first choice of the company - especially if your notice period is very long, but the demand at the company is immediate. This can also be a possible reason for a different candidate being preferred to you.


Reason 4: The Cultural Fit is not right

In this case, the rejection comes after the personal interview. In simple terms, it has not sparked between the HR manager and you. This can happen, but it is still annoying for you as an applicant if the job has fascinated you. But don't sink into the vale of tears. Often said easier than done, but beyond all disappointment, cooperation would probably not have made you and the company happy in the long term. Because if it doesn't fit humanly, then it just doesn't fit and sympathy can't be forced. Don't feel guilty about it.


The cultural fit is often a decisive factor in personnel decisions.

A personal interview reveals whether the applicant and the company fit together, also on the basis of their vision of values.

Reason 5: Qualifications exaggerated

In an application, you always present yourself from your best side and want to appear as the perfect choice for the company. Surely everyone, including HR managers, has already fibbed a little to make themselves more attractive to the employer. But talking about his qualifications in such a way that they ultimately deviate from the actual state of affairs usually leads to a rejection in a justified way. So be honest and don't add any qualifications you don't have.


Turning rejection into success

On the one hand, there are possible reasons for refusal, which you probably won't be told at all, on the other hand, you want to grow with the situation and don't want to repeat this negative experience directly. The first step you should therefore initiate is asking questions. You have received the rejection in a standard letter? Then get on the phone or write a friendly mail and ask for feedback. The important thing is: it's not what you say but how you say it. Stay polite, perhaps the company will again advertise a position in the future you want to apply for. Even if you probably don't receive an answer to your question from every company, you can certainly gain useful information from the HR manager that will help you to improve your application process sustainably. You may leave a lasting positive impression on the HR manager with the friendly inquiry and increase the chances of a "yes" if you apply to the same company again.

Our tip: Each application should be written as your first. Even if your motivation sometimes dwindles, always design your documents individually and remain authentic!


Get in touch with ARTS Experts

ARTS has been an expert in the fields of engineering and manufacturing services, technology consulting and HR services for nearly 20 years. In order to continue advancing our customers in the automotive, aerospace, engineering & manufacturing, IT & communications as well as security & defense industries with our turnkey solutions, we are looking for fresh minds who want to change the world together with us. In our job exchange, you will find many interesting job advertisements for which you can apply directly online. But unsolicited applications are also welcome at any time.


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