Anyone who has ever applied for a job and never received a response - not even a rejection slip - will tell you that they wish they had at least received a consolation email detailing in just one line why they never got the call for an interview.
Of course, recruiters and HR officers do not always have time at their disposal to get back to anymore applicants than those they are interested in hiring.
But an impassioned post shared on LinkedIn by author of The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Brigette Hyacinth, revealed another possibility about recruiters looking for any small excuse to reject candidates.
Cynical, but a possibility nonetheless.
In the post, she wrote;
"The HIRING process today seems to be too focused on looking for any significant reason to REJECT a candidate's application, from:
- gaps in employment history
- being "over qualified"
- how poorly they answer the irrelevant questions like, "what's your biggest weakness?" "If you were an animal, what type of animal would you be?", etc
It's 2019, can we agree to FOCUS on qualifiers instead of disqualifiers? If you have someone with the right attitude and skillset and they fit in with the team, why not hire them? There are so many qualified individuals still job searching. Yet, I see the same jobs being reposted, left vacant for months. *Newsflash!
There is no "PERFECT" candidate. Who took a chance on you? maybe it's time you took a chance on someone! Agree?"
She raises some valid points - some of which many recent graduates and current interns looking for permanent employment most likely wonder about every time they refresh their emails with bated breath.
Everyone wants to know what their disqualifier was.
As a final year student some years back, I was frantically applying for work even before I wrote my finals and as expected, not yet having that "degree obtained" appear on my transcript meant that prospective employers couldn't actually consider me seriously.
However, I'll always be grateful to one manager who responded with a simple piece of advice regarding my CV layout. She said "your CV looks good, but I would advise that you scrap anything before 2014 because what you studied at UCT [BSc] is not relevant to your Rhodes education or what you're pursuing now."
One line, and it really changed my approach to other applications going forward.
In light of this, we got further insights from experts who are involved in the recruitment process on an almost daily basis.
This is what HR intern, Lesego Lekwape revealed about automatic disqualifiers prior to the shortlisting process:
1. If the applicant does not meet the minimum requirements (qualifications and experience mostly)
2. A CV that is not updated - it's easy to spot if one's CV has not been updated in a while
3. If an applicant's salary expectation is too high in comparison to what the budgeted amount is (unless they state that it can be negotiated)
4. A criminal record
5. If a potential employee is not willing to relocate
Some other useful tips I got from a Nigeria-based CV writer were the following:
1. Use bullet points to detail your experience.
2. Directly beneath your name is where your contact details should be.
3. You need to use action verbs to describe your experience and what the experience achieved.
4. Know the difference between skills and experience.
And if you need further guidance, the career expert behind the Job Seekers hashtag, Menzi Ngcobo, also shared CV templates on his account that might come in very handy if you're job hunting right now:
Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.