Are you already at your 10+ application wondering why there is still no result in sight?  Most of the time, corporations do not mind helping the candidate out by offering feedback on the application. Or by providing a transparent reason for rejection. Which could bring some clarity. It is, however,  not entirely the company’s blame for your rejection every single time. 

If you are in the situation mentioned above, chances are that something is done wrong. We have talked with three recruiters to give us their insight on why many candidates do not pass to the next selection phase. All three agreed to the following points:

1. Applying for a role that is not suitable for your skillset

Like in many aspects of our lives, quality tops quantity. Applying to internships is no different. When recruiters see you put in an application to all the possible offers they have, it gives them a first negative impression. Why? Because most likely you aren’t suitable for all the offers. It will show that you did not take the time to analyze the opportunities.

2. Over or under-doing your CV

A CV can say a lot more about yourself than the actual content. Some of the reasons why recruiters won’t accept your CV can be vast. If you have grammar and spelling errors, you are out of the game very fast. If your CV is too hard to follow and does not have a neat design, again, it can be a point of rejection. Failure to align your experience with what the opportunity requires can be a missed chance to stand out.

3. Not being original

Cover letters show more to the recruiter than your CV. It is, therefore, a secure tool to use to your advantage. Just like your CV, you need to change it to fit this new opportunity. Sending in a generic cover letter, even failure to change the company name in the letter can get you rejected. Obvious why. You send with this a sign that you do not place value on completing tasks well. You also show you are not serious about this offer.

Girl writing on paper

4. Being unprepared

If you show up to an exam unprepared, you will know that it will not go well. The same goes for an internship/job interview. It has to be the bulletproof step you can make to get you out of the process. It makes the recruiters ask themselves if you are genuinely interested in the position. Or if you finish your task effectively.  

Next time, do your research about where you are applying. This way, you will impress by aligning your ambition to the company’s, and the recruiters will see you fit for the role. 

5. Lack of creativity

You finally made it to the interview phase, and you reply with the same answer that every other candidate answers. There is nothing wrong with telling the recruiter your age or hobbies. However, do not list them down. The person taking your interview has heard these answers probably tens of times today. And the recruiter will forget about you once you are out of the door. Tell a story behind all the hobbies. Highlight how it connects to the role or purpose of the company. 

Group discussion

6. No curiosity

At the end of the interview, a recruiter will offer you a space to ask questions. The most common scenario they are having is the candidate being happy with all that was said, and they have no more doubts. It might not be a reason for the interviewer to reject your application. Still, it is always good to ask some questions at the end. Ask about how a typical week looks like or how they would describe the company culture. This way, you show that you are interested in this position and want to know more about the company. Information you cannot find online.

7. Follow-up constantly

After the interview, there are still chances for you to get rejected. How? One thing that can go wrong is the follow-up. If the company wants to hire you, they will for sure get back to you. There is no point in sending them an email asking about the status every two days. It is a red flag because this can give the impression that you are a difficult person to work with. Instead, send them a thank-you note right after the interview and follow-up with them if they did not answer at the time they promised.

3 people taking a photo with a frame

Do you find yourself falling into the same traps? It is about time to change your strategy. Slow down for a moment and evaluate the opportunity thoroughly. Learn more about the company and role in-depth, and align your CV, cover letter, and answers accordingly. To help you out more, which of the points listed above would you like us to elaborate on more in a future blog post?

However, if you feel now more ready than ever, why not take a look at our internships with AIESEC?

Special thank you to Laura Puescu, Sara Moreno, and Jack Low for the insights provided! 

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