Managers Share 12 Most Common Reasons Why They Won't Even Reply A Job Applicant's Email

Are you guilty of doing any of these things?

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1. There's no email subject

"We get anywhere from a dozen to a hundred job applications every time we post a vacancy. If there's no email subject, we won't even bother opening the email, it goes straight to the bin.

"Accidentally sent a job application and forgot to add the email subject? Send it again, with the email subject. It makes a difference."

- Sayang, 41, marketing team

2. There's no resume or CV attached

"Either the applicant forgets to attach their documents, or worse, they write an email along the lines of 'let me know if you want to see my CV, then I will send it to you'. 

"That's an extra step for us. You're not that special. Just send everything at once the first time and if you're good, we'll contact you."

- Jamila, 37, media industry

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3. The email was so poorly written

"Doesn't matter what language you write in, just make sure your introduction email is impeccable in the language you choose. So often, we've received job applications where the writing is awful. Poor sentence structure, can't write basic grammar, spelling errors. 

"An example of a poorly written email: 'I am commitment to works very good'. It's especially appalling when they're applying for a writing position."

- Mat, 33, digital agency

4. Their social media accounts were red flags

"We never actively seek out a person's social media accounts. But nowadays, many applicants add links to their socials in their resume. I take this as an invitation to click and see, perhaps it's their portfolio and an example of their work. Sometimes it is. Especially for designers and videographers.

"However, there have been times when their social media shows them in a very poor light. A person added a link to their Twitter (now X) account. It was full of derogatory remarks against women, racist and discriminatory tweets, just awful things. I'm not wasting my time replying to a person like that."

- Cho, 39, advertising industry

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5. The applicant called us by the wrong company name

"This happens so often. It's a great way for us to quickly filter out the duds. I understand they just want to get a job, so they're spamming companies. But check lah the company name that you've added in your email.

"We get things like 'I've always been such a huge fan of [our competitor], and know I can make a difference on the team!' Internally, we're just like 'ok great, go work for our competitor lah'.

- Ana, 32, editorial team

6. No match in skills or experience

"Simple. We post the job description, including the requirements. Your resume doesn't show that you fit the requirements, no call back."

- Michael, 35, FCMG

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7. Too much experience for a fresh grad position

"This one does make me a bit sad. Sometimes, I do respond to ask why they are applying for what has clearly been marked as a fresh grad position, when they obviously have many years (often decades) of experience. 

"A lot of the time, they are just very unhappy at their current company. I wouldn't mind taking them on, but they are not open to coming in with a fresh grad salary, which is all we have budgeted for that position. I'd rather they just don't apply at all. It's a waste of their time too."

- FN, 45, HR

8. Resume shows the applicant has been jumping between companies every 1-2 years

"It doesn't matter how good you may be, if your resume shows you've been jumping from company to company in short spans, we're not interested. I've seen resumes that show a person leaving every six months to 18 months in full-time positions. We don't want to waste time training a new hire, only for them to leave after a few months."

- Jenner, 33, B2B

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9. Resume is full of typos and grammatical errors

"If you can't take the time to proofread your resume, that shows what kind of person you are. That piece of paper is supposed to be a reflection of you as an employee. 

"Once, we got a resume that stated at the top, 'my strength is that I am very detail-orientted'. Instant rejection."

- SWJ, 39, banking

10. The resume is more than two pages long

"One page is the ideal length, but I can accept a two-page resume. Anything more is too much fluff and no substance. I once received a resume that was over 10 pages long. I'm not wasting time reading that."

- Kitna, 54, oil & gas

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11. The cover letter was a template

"Cover letters are a great way to show who you are, what you're capable of, and why we should hire you. It is for your benefit. 

"We can tell if you use a template. We can also tell if it's copy pasted from ChatGPT. We have read so many. We will not contact you if you don't put effort into writing a cover letter."

- AL, 35, management

12. Their asking salary is above our budget

"There are times when applicants state their asking salary, which I appreciate. But if it's way above our budget then I won't bother to reply them. We get hundreds of applicants a day, we have to filter quickly."

- Jojo, 39, management

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