Careers advice in Australia blog

Why does my job application get rejected?

If employers are not offering you any phone calls, interviews or jobs for work in Australia – you have a problem.

The problem may be your cover letter, resume or even your “personal brand” is just not working. You’re hitting a brick wall, and you’re not sure what to do.

Don’t worry. There’s hope.

Here are the reasons why your job application gets rejected – and what you can do to land a job in Australia.

1. Crummy cover letters lead to job application rejections

Employers will not offer you a job, if your cover letter is:

·        Generic

·        Long

·        Poorly written

·        Repeats what is already in your resume

·        Non-existent

What you need to do is write a concise and customised cover letter.

The cover letter should introduce the reader to who you are and how you will fit into the job.

2. Poor resumes lead to job application rejections

A bloated and poorly formatted resume will have the reader dismiss you instantly. Your resume must impress the reader within the first 3 seconds.

Make sure your resume stands out with:

1.     A short and sharp profile statement at the top (think 3 punchy bullet points with keywords highlighting your key skills, experience and expertise).

2.     List of your key skills in bullet form (with examples/evidence) to highlight this particular skill

3.     Employment achievements

And make sure it conveys:

·        Who you are

·        Where you have worked

·        What you did at those jobs

·        How you made your achievements

Overall, it needs to show the value you can bring to a company.

3. Your resume lacks your experience

Make sure you highlight the skills and achievements that will be of most interest to a hiring manager or employer. Put in examples of how you overcame certain problems and delivered results.

Readers want to read about problems and resolutions.

4. Your keywords are all wrong

Hiring managers use resume-tracking systems to scan your resume for key words that relate to the job or company. You can find these keywords in the job description.

Make sure you pick out several key words from the job description to use them when describing the value you could bring to a company (see point 3 above).

Don’t go overboard, though. Hiring managers will reject your application if it looks like a copy of the job description.

5. Spelling and grammar mistakes – automatic job application rejection! 

Poor spelling and grammar will significantly lower your chances of getting a job in Australia. Make sure you check it, re-check it, and then check your resume again. Ask your friends to read it too.

Don’t forget, Microsoft Word has advanced spell-checking options. You can turn them on to get a thorough spell check on your resume.

6. You have not followed instructions

Some employers require a cover letter, some need you to apply via their online system, and some need a portfolio in pdf format. The list can go on.

Such requirements can be a chore, but you need to follow an employer’s instructions on how to apply for a job. If you don’t, a hiring manager will perceive you as someone who cannot follow instruction.

7. You don’t network enough

Make sure you search your network – usually via LinkedIn – to discover key people in your network (recruiters and hiring managers) and make more contacts.

It’s also wise to attend job and networking events in your city. Take advantage of any people you meet and connect with them online. You never know who’s looking for workers for their company.

8. You have a poor personal brand

A poor personal brand will make it harder to seize an employer’s attention. It takes employers three minutes to research who you are online and decide if you are suitable for the company.

Make sure your social media profiles (LinkedIn in particular) are inviting, smart and well presented. Get rid of any unsavoury photos or comments. You need to be your best in every aspect of life.

Need to discuss things further?

We know how tough the Australian job market can be, so we hope the above list helps you in finding a job in Australia.

Need to discuss things further?

For a free consultation, get in touch now.

We wish you all the best in job search.

Careers Team @ ACECIS

4 Responses

  1. Geetha Yedla

    Hi Naren,
    I am currently looking for opportunities based in Melbourne and I have 4 years of experience as a “Software Quality/Testing Analyst” in Manual, Automation and Database Testing. I would be really glad if you could let me know if there is any volunteering position available to get local experience.

    1. Naren Chellappah
      Naren Chellappah

      Hi Geetha, the testing market in Australia is tough. If you look at SEEK there are a quarter of the jobs advertised when compared to developers. Even we are finding it extremely hard to find testing internships for our clients and recommend moving to a different area – where there are more jobs i.e. technical support and development in emerging technologies and platforms. Perhaps send us your resume (check out the ACECIS website contact us) so we can take a look and advise you further.


  2. Nitin Bose


    I’ve recently migrated to Australia and been searching for a job but with no success. I have applied for over 100 jobs in the last month but all of them got rejected, infact I’ve created a separate folder to store all the reject emails, as a collection. I have 18 years of experience in Presales, post-sales and project management in IT/ITES hardware, networking and software industry with experience with multiple customer verticals.

    I had worked in MNCs in India in very high job grades

    Please suggest me the way forward.



    1. Naren Chellappah
      Naren Chellappah

      Hi Nitin,

      Welcome to Australia! My goodness, 100 jobs and all rejected? Sorry to hear – clearly there’s something not right with your application or profile i.e. local experience. Sometimes for senior pre/post sales IT roles they ask for Australian experience. However, with extensive experience with global companies you should be getting a better interview response than that. Can you please email a copy of your website via the ACECIS website? If you visit the contact us page you can upload it there. I’ll get back to you with my assessment on how we can make it better and how you can get interviews. All the best, Naren

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