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Job Rejection
Am I thinking crazy?
#1
Hi all, just after a little advice  Smile

I recently applied for a job but was rejected at the application stage i.e. not shortlisted for interview.

It’s with a great company and is a great job which I am definitely qualified for (fairly similar to my current job). Oddly though the job is still on the company’s website so it’s obviously not been filled yet.

I’m honestly really surprised that I’ve not been shortlisted. I’ve found the hiring manager on LinkedIn so was thinking of sending a short note to him to (politely) ask if there was any chance of me being reconsidered and/or seeing if I can some insight into why I was rejected.

Is this a good idea or should I just let it go?
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#2
I'd either let it go (karma) or, if you want to find out, contact them through the same matter as you applied. Have had similar myself in the past and the effort and energy I put in to finding out why just wasn't worth it.
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#3
Companies generally don't mind if candidates ask for feedback, but I agree with ken_85. Don't do it via LinkedIn - go through their HR department or wherever you sent your application to.

They may respond, they may not - but if they do, it might prove useful, Approve
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#4
It depends on the type of job and what the application process is.
I'm assuming that you had to attach your resume (CV) to your application on their website.  Be aware that many companies (in the US) use AI software to screen resumes.  Even if you're a perfect fit the software will reject you if you don't have the right keywords in your resume (and sometimes the right schools for department culture).  It is good practice to customize your resume for each job that you apply for (with all of the right keywords).  Don't use that same one over and over again.

Contacting the hiring manager directly is a good idea, but be careful how you do it.  (Contacting HR is usually a waste of time)  The way to do it is to send the hiring manager a "letter" with your resume at the company through the post (i.e. snail mail - ok, I'm old school. KK ) explaining why you're the ideal candidate for the job, i.e. what you'll bring to the job.  Assuming the manager has at least a dozen resumes on his desk you have to stand out above all of the rest.  Do that.

Years ago when I was hiring for an analyst job at a financial institution (masters degree or doctorate) I received such a letter.  I was impressed that the candidate had the smarts to identify me in such a large institution.  I gave him two interviews, but hired someone else.  So it goes.

Times have changed and I may be a duck out of water these days.  But that's what once worked.
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#5
Speaking as somone who employs lots of people…
When we advertise a job we get hundreds of responses (many people’s benefits require them to apply for a certain number of jobs per week) the majority of which are pointless and frankly the numbers involved are impossible to properly scrutinise and review. In order to get the number down to a vaguely processable number of CV’s I have a series of rules- if your cover letter has any spelling mistakes, is clearly a generic cut-n-paste or non existent then immediately you go to the no pile. There are several other relatively arbitrary rejection processes I go through just to get the numbers down to 20 or so CV’s that I can actually review in detail.
I work at a relatively small and specialist company, I know for a fact that recruiters in bigger businesses employ similar shortlisting protocols because to actually properly review ALL the applicants you get would be a full time job in itself.

Sometimes you can cheek yourself an interview by following up on a rejection but TBH right now job application is a numbers game and you’re probably better off making multiple applications and playing the system rather than trying to force one specific company to give you a second chance.
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#6
Ollie and Ken are right here.

No problem in contacting them again asking for feedback on why they rejected you. Nothing to lose.

I'd deffo do it through the same contact method as you applied for the job though. Certainly not direct to the guy you found on LinkedIn.
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#7
Not unless he was listed as the contact (vacancy/jobholder) for the application.

I would be inclined to e-mail, or write (rather than phone) - it makes the process more considered (they have to spell out the reasons why you weren’t considered). Although if you phone HR, they may be able to confirm if the job has actually been filled yet, or if the ad has been left up too long).

Also curious why you are considering changing jobs?? If due to redundancy, or organisational redesign, fair enough. But I couldn’t personally make myself apply for a similar job unless I had to, for all the reasons listed above.

Vacancyholders don't really give a shit any more - as evidenced by the heavy focus on buzzwords, use of active verbs/voice only. Or narrowing the application and interview process to highly specific scenarios rather than allowing you to talk free form and demonstrate your skills and abilities that way.

My contention is that a lot of managers today would not be able to apply for entry level jobs if they were subjected to the same criteria as today’s candidates.
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#8
(25-08-2021, 10:43 PM)ladsnet Wrote: No problem in contacting them again asking for feedback on why they rejected you. Nothing to lose.

You're assuming they'll tell you the truth.
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#9
Thanks guys, useful to have different perspectives so appreciate your help  :great:

I’ve thought about it overnight and still not sure whether to contact them but have decided contacting the guy via LinkedIn is the wrong approach. I don’t know for certain that he is the hiring manager - he is Head of ABC and the job is ABC Manager so its still a reasonable assumption (haven’t put the actual job title as it’s not relevant here). However I did find that he is much more senior that I thought which made me think that either the role reports to someone else, or the role itself is more senior than I realised so I may not be experienced enough for it.

My reason for contacting isn’t really to find out why they rejected me (though I am curious) but was to try and convince them to reconsider. I do hate the fact that CV’s and cover letters are screened before people actually read them but do tweak them to fit the job I’ve applied for. Obviously this time it hasn’t worked!

To answer Jumbler’s question on why I’ve applied. It’s not exactly the same as the job I do today but has a lot of transferable skills. I was interested as it stretches my knowledge (my job has a UK focus whereas as this one has a global focus) and I thought would open up more future opportunities.
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#10
(26-08-2021, 07:24 AM)deegee178 Wrote: To answer Jumbler’s question on why I’ve applied. It’s not exactly the same as the job I do today but has a lot of transferable skills. I was interested as it stretches my knowledge (my job has a UK focus whereas as this one has a global focus) and I thought would open up more future opportunities.

Does the job description say anything about preferring someone with global experience?  Even if not, it would probably be helpful if you can speak to an interest in global experience in your cover letter if you can't squeeze it into your CV somehow.

Always look at the position being filled from the hiring manager's point of view.  Who would you want to hire if you were filling that position to report to you?  The hiring manager has goals to meet and he needs someone with whom he can work to meet those goals.  I presume this is not production line work and has a creative aspect to it.

Lacking certain experience does not always rule an applicant out.  The best CV doesn't always win.  Sometimes the person who gets hired is someone who shows potential to come up to speed in six months after which he/she is superior to the best CV in the batch.  The hiring manager is always looking for someone with whom he can work, not always the best CV if that person seems troublesome.  Hiring is an inexact science; there's a subjective aspect to it (and sometimes discrimination).
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#11
The job is about business planning, data analytics and performance management. I do this today for a German company - I work in the UK office and report into the main German HQ on what is going on in the UK. The role I wanted is effectively the role one of my German colleagues does (hence why I’ve previously said it’s similar with transferable skills) working across many more markets but this time based for a UK based company.

I (obviously) felt like I was a strong candidate and to be honest fully expected to at least be interviewed. I think it’s the disappointment of being rejected (and pretty quickly at that!) that’s affected me.
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#12
Not necessarily in this case, but sometimes the hiring manager already knows who he is going to hire even before the process starts, but has to go through the motions (posting, interviews) to satisfy HR, contracting requirements or whatever.  It happens.  A lot.  In those cases the hiring manager will deliberately select candidates for interview who are inferior to the favored candidate.  It happens.  Who knows what happened here?

It sounds like the position that you applied for has a lot of decision making and creativity built into it.  That means that there will be subjectivity in the hiring process, not just straight to the best CV.  Still, it sounds like you should have gotten an interview if all is above board (and AI software didn't eject you).
[+] 1 user Likes Parsifal's post
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#13
(26-08-2021, 11:07 PM)Parsifal Wrote: Not necessarily in this case, but sometimes the hiring manager already knows who he is going to hire even before the process starts, but has to go through the motions (posting, interviews) to satisfy HR, contracting requirements or whatever.  It happens.  A lot.  In those cases the hiring manager will deliberately select candidates for interview who are inferior to the favored candidate.  It happens.  Who knows what happened here?

It sounds like the position that you applied for has a lot of decision making and creativity built into it.  That means that there will be subjectivity in the hiring process, not just straight to the best CV.  Still, it sounds like you should have gotten an interview if all is above board (and AI software didn't eject you).

Hadn't thought of it that way myself at all, and have seen it myself many times. Applied for a job a couple of months ago, they contacted me multiple times about arranging an interview (the job kept getting redefined because of Covid) and then they closed off the job application (and were REALLY apologetic about it.) They then made point of contacting me when it got re-shared, albeit with a few small differences. Amusingly the small differences have broken it for me, and I'm not applying. 

In current job, we're also short a few higher level people and I'm acting up in all but paper; they're trying to pull it off in such a way that it's all done properly and well, but still goes to me. So very possible that this was/is similar to that.
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#14
The higher up you go in the organization the more subjective the hiring process becomes (and the more important "connections" become). Wink
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#15
An article about this on LinkedIn:

Should you message a hiring manager?

Of course, customs may be different in the UK than in the US, but with globalization such differences are disappearing by the day.

I'm still in favor of a letter in the mail rather than a ping on LinkedIn (it's classier), but then I'm old school. KK
[+] 2 users Like Parsifal's post
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#16
(04-09-2021, 06:25 PM)Parsifal Wrote: An article about this on LinkedIn:

Should you message a hiring manager?

Of course, customs may be different in the UK than in the US, but with globalization such differences are disappearing by the day.

I'm still in favor of a letter in the mail rather than a ping on LinkedIn (it's classier), but then I'm old school. KK

Thanks for this, very interesting. Seems a lot of people were in favour of it but I think it really comes down to the individual. I know some people who would view it a negative if you contacted them.

I didn’t contact them in the end but the more I thought about it the more I felt that I really hadn’t maximised my CV and cover letter. So I took the slightly unusual step of resubmitting a completely rewritten CV/cover letter. It’s still in the review process (much longer than the first one) so who knows what will happen but even if this one is unsuccessful then at least I know I’ve done my best on it.
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