You don’t know what happened. You saw a position that you really wanted, and you labored carefully over your application package. You made sure that your resume and cover letter were error-free. And yet, you received a thanks but no thanks letter. The form letter simply thanked you for applying but then stated that they chose someone else.
Here are some reasons that even a great application may be rejected:
1) You don’t have enough experience for the level for which you are applying. You can write a great resume and cover letter, but if you don’t have the depth of experience in a field that an employer is looking for, you still may not make the cut. The solution to this is to obtain as much experience as you can in your field, even if it means obtaining that experience outside of your paid job. You can often gain volunteer experience in a field through a site like volunteermatch.org. This will give more meat to your resume.
2) You are qualified but not highly qualified. Many employers are looking for a 100% match when they are considering who to bring in for an interview. You might have 85% of what an employer is looking for, but if they find two or three other candidates who have 95% or even 100%, that can knock you out of the running. If you don’t want to waste your time applying for positions that you won’t be considered for, do your research first. Get a good idea of the skill set that most employers in your field are asking for by analyzing a number of vacancy announcements. Invest in yourself and make sure that your skills make you not just employable but competitive in your field, and then apply for positions where you are a great fit for the position that is available.
3) The vacancy announcement is a formality. It often happens that companies already have an insider (someone already working for the company) who they plan to fill the position with. They post the vacancy even though it is a foregone conclusion who the successful candidate will be. The reason they post the position is that they want to fulfill EEO requirements. There is not much you can do in this case. If the company already knows who they plan to hire, it’s not likely that you will be able to change their minds. But what you can do is increase your networking efforts so that you can get the inside scoop on vacancies before they are posted.
For professional assistance with getting your resume past the company gatekeepers, talk to a certified career coach at 877-743-9521.