Why Employers Won’t Hire You

If you are employed, underemployed or unemployed and looking for a new job, it can be very frustrating. Since the recession, companies have been hiring “exact skills” for the position they have open (employers are not taking chances on those who “might be good”). However, for each position they post, they get numerous unqualified applicants.

Over 170 employers were asked what mistakes jobseekers make that prevent them from hiring you. This is great information for you because most of these points are things that you can control and get a handle on. We appreciate these employers being candid so we can share this fantastic information with you.


  1. Job seekers are not reading the job description thoroughly. If one thing was clear in this survey, employers are only hiring qualified candidates. Job seekers actually frustrate company recruiters when they apply to any, or in some cases every, job.
  2. Fuzzy resume. If a human resource professional can’t decipher what you do or what you applied for in seconds, your resume needs works. (TIP: If you are a commercial account manager, make sure that is prominently displayed at the top of the resume)
  3. Job seekers don’t understand how important the paper or online application is in the process. Grammar, spelling, incomplete sentences or leaving sections blank is a recipe for you never getting a call from the company. Many online application systems do not have spell check, and these are automatic red flags!
  4. Job seekers do not do research on the company before the interview. Many companies mentioned this during the survey. TIP: Job seekers, you have no excuse here. Do the research and be able to talk intelligently about the company to which you are applying, and answer questions like, “How does XYZ Company make money and how does the job you are interviewing for make an impact on the bottom line?”
  5. Job seekers interview with poor hygiene or dress. A job seeker controls this aspect of the interview. Many companies were surprised at how many qualified candidates came to interview with a poor personal presentation. Again, this is an automatic red flag.
  6. Poor email correspondence. This item makes the list for a second year in a row. A company emails you with some interview times; you pull out your smart phone and correspond like your talking to a buddy. Incomplete sentences, spelling, grammar and just plain bad email etiquette. Many don’t respond in a timely manner. If your first impression is an email, make it great!
  7. Show some excitement during the interview. It’s hard enough to interview. Many employers mentioned that they want to see some signs of life when they interview you. Be positive, enthusiastic and engaging with the person interviewing.
  8. Being late for an interview. Wow! The marketplace is way too competitive for this to happen. If you’re late for the interview, you are unreliable in the eyes of an employer.
  9. Job seekers are not qualified for the position for which they are applying. Over 170 employers mentioned this. Good rule of thumb: if you’re not qualified, don’t apply! If you are not sure if you qualify, try to do as much research on the company to see what they do and compare to the skill sets you think the job requires. Employers know they have made it easy for job seekers to send their resume in seconds. But job seekers need to understand that it only takes an employer seconds to discount you!
  10. Be honest. Employers are just tired of lies, especially on resumes. If you are a job seeker and have been out of work for some time, don’t close the gap on your resume. Employers will eventually find out. Just be ready to explain your situation. TIP: No matter what you may have been through in your job search, keep everything positive. Don’t fall into the trap of talking bad about a former employer or your bad luck in finding new employment. You can’t come across desperate.