Reasons Why Your Job Application Is Rejected

civil engineer, civil engineering jobs,


Here is the list of the nine most common reasons why your job application gets rejected!

You see a job advert and believe you have all the necessary skills and attributes to be considered for it. You are keen and ready to start!

You apply for the job via the job advert link, or share your LinkedIn profile with the Recruiter, or write “interested” or “please review my profile” under the job advert on LinkedIn.

And then….your job application gets rejected!

You don’t understand why you haven’t even made the shortlist. Most job seekers have experienced this scenario many times and are very frustrated with the recruitment process.

However, the reasons why job applications is rejected might be quite simple.

1. You have no working visa for Australia and you are not currently going through the visa application process.

Unfortunately, Applicants who reside outside of Australia and don’t have an Australian work visa have very slim chances of being considered for any job. Furthermore, since the abolition of the sponsorship visa 457 earlier in the year, it is now more difficult to become sponsored.

The majority of Clients that Recruitment Agencies represent want Candidates who:

  • have full working rights
  • are in the country
  • are ready to attend interviews and start work ASAP if successful.

So unless you are a very qualified, a very experienced candidate with amazing references and impeccable English (perfect candidates that Recruiters call Unicorns), your chances of getting a sponsorship are very slim.

What we recommend

Explore your chances of getting a working visa. There are various visa types you might be eligible for depending on your country of origin, qualifications, age and fluency in English. Visit the website of the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs to explore your visa options.

2. You write “Interested” or “Review my profile” under job adverts on LinkedIn.

You keep writing “I am interested” or “please review my profile” under many job adverts on the Recruiter’s LinkedIn page. Even though the job advert specifies that you have to follow the link to apply, you ignore this and keep asking the Recruiter to ”have a look at your profile”. This approach works against you as the Recruiter will see that you:

  • apply to every single job advertised
  • you don’t read job adverts and ignore job requirements
  • you can’t follow simple instructions (like clicking on the link in the job description)
What we recommend

Send a personalized message to a Recruiter on LinkedIn. In the message briefly introduce yourself (your name, your current location, qualifications, how many years experience you have and the role you are interested in; if you have moved from overseas include information about the type of working visa you have). Attach a current CV in Word format.

Do not send blank emails or blank messages with attachments to Recruiters. If a job advert has a link where you can apply, follow the link. Recruitment agencies use CRMs to easily manage Applicant details as they get thousands of applications.

3. Your English is not very good.

Your resume or your initial email/LinkedIn message is full of mistakes.

A recruiter will not take the time to correct your resume so that he/she can send it to the client. Mistakes in your resume might also mean that your  English is not very good, and you might not do well at a face-to-face or over the phone interview.

What we recommend

Improve your English. Ask someone who is a native or bilingual English speaker to proofread your CV. Make sure your resume meets the Australian standards.

4. You are not qualified for the advertised role.

The job advert says you MUST have at least five years working experience, you have only two and you still apply. You are a Civil Engineer with five years of experience working on a construction site, but you apply for a Civil Designer role because you want a career change and you have recently taught yourself Civil3D.

In both examples, you do not meet the job requirements. Recruiters report that over 50 per cent of applicants for a typical job fails to meet the basic qualifications for that job.

What we recommend

Read job descriptions carefully and make sure you meet all must-have requirements before you hit the “Apply Now” button. Tailor Your CV to the job advert you are applying for. Look for keywords in the advert and try to include them in your job application.

5. You have no local experience.

Some Australian employers are sceptical about hiring people with skills from overseas. The candidate might have very good English, a full working visa and working experience and still struggle to get an interview. The client might have implied to the Recruiter that they only want “local’ candidates.

What we recommend
  • Use LinkedIn to grow your professional network.
  • Find overseas qualified engineers support groups.
  • Apply for internships.
  • Find Recruiters who have successfully placed candidates without local experience.
  • Prove your excellent English by posting an article on LinkedIn that you have written yourself (you could write about interesting projects you have worked on in the past and why you have moved to Australia).
  • Meet Recruiters in person
  • Be persistent
  • Don’t put “Looking for a job” in your LinkedIn headline as you won’t show up in relevant searches that Recruiters carry out.

6. You have a bad reputation.

The Recruiter might have run some background checks on you and found out that you are one of those troublesome candidates (you get into conflict with employers or colleagues or both). They might want to stay away from you.

What we recommend

Treat your employers and colleagues with respect. Never badmouth your previous employer.

7. The client has cancelled the job, filled it internally or through another Recruitment agency.

While your experience, qualifications and skills might be exactly what the Recruiter is looking for, the role you applied for might have already been filled internally or by another agency. From time to time, roles get cancelled too.

What we recommend

If in doubt, get in touch with the Recruiter to confirm the job is still available and if they have received your application. This also gives you an opportunity to make a good impression on the Recruiter and prove that you are genuinely interested in the role.

8. You are harassing or annoying the Recruiter.

The Recruiter has acknowledged that they have received your CV, but you keep messaging him/her every day for an update. Please don’t. It’s OK to send one reminder message, but if you haven’t heard back, you should read between the lines (that means you are not considered for the job).

What we recommend

If you haven’t heard back from the Recruiter, follow up on your job application via phone and email. If the Recruiter confirms your application was not suitable, you can request feedback and advice to improve your chances next time.

9. And finally,…. the Recruiters receive tons of job applications!

These are the statistics: on average for each job opening there are 250 to 300 applications.

The first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted.

While some senior positions are hard to fill, entry to mid-level roles are popular and the competition might be fierce.

Sometimes, you might be the ideal person to fill the role, but you might have applied quite late and the Client wanted someone as soon as possible so they accepted a ‘less perfect’ Candidate.

What we recommend

On average, initially, Recruiters spend only six seconds on assessing a resume. You need to convince them (and the Client) that you are the right candidate for the job.

A good rule of thumb is that the fresher the ad the more chances it hasn’t been filled.


If you have been applying for jobs for a very long time and never make it to the interview stage, you might need to re-think your job hunting strategy.

You might want to re-write your resume and invest some time into upskilling and networking.

We wish you good luck!

If you are a Civil Engineer, a Construction Professional or a Surveyor who would like to be part of the infrastructure boom in Australia or New Zealand, register your CV here or search our jobs.

ConsultANZ Recruitment  –  We consult our Clients on their hiring needs and our Candidates on their career prospects.

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