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Why Aren't You Getting Internship or Job Offers?

If your interviews are not resulting in job offers, there are positive steps you can take to turn things around. Ask yourself if you did all the items below to increase your success and if any of the factors leading to rejection might be reasons that fit your situation.

Factors leading to rejection

The following factors leading to applicant rejection were reported by employers. Do any of these describe you?

  • Lack of career planning - unclear goals
  • Inability to express yourself clearly - poor voice, diction, grammar
  • Poor personal appearance - over- or under-dressed
  • Lack of confidence and poise - nervousness, failure to look interviewer in the eye, ill at ease
  • Poor scholastic record - just got by, no improvement over time
  • Narrow interests or failure to participate in activities
  • Made excuses - evasive, blamed others, condemned past employers, hedged on unfavorable factors in record
  • Merely shopping around - used interview to practice
  • Unwilling to start at the bottom - expected too much too soon
  • Late to interview without good reason
  • Asked no or poor questions about the job and company
  • Did not research the job or company - unprepared
  • Little interest and enthusiasm - passive, indifferent, unmotivated or no sense of humor
  • Overemphasis on money and/or status - interest only in best dollar offer
  • Lack of tact or courtesy - outspoken, impulsive or cynical
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of experience - inadequate training
  • Intolerant - not accepting of others
  • Poor handling of personal finances
  • Unclear on salary range
  • Limp handshake - not assertive
  • Marked dislike for school work
  • Overbearing, over aggressive, conceited, “a know it all”
  • Sloppy application form, resume
  • Wanted job for only a short time
  • Unwilling to relocate, travel

Many qualified applicants respond to openings for professional positions. You get only one chance to leave the right impression, so take the time to do your homework. Consult with a Career and Internship Services counselor to maximize your opportunities for success.

Increase your chances of receiving a job offer

  • Be sure your qualifications match those listed in the job description.
  • Clarify your career goals and practice articulating them.
  • Submit a complete, well done, application and targeted cover letter and resume. Written materials must be perfect.
  • Research the company thoroughly so you can speak knowledgeably about how you can add value to the organization.
  • Describe in your written materials and in the interview how your qualifications, interests, personality and values fit with the organization and position and how you will add value to the organization.
  • Prepare for the interview.
  • Dress for the interview by researching appropriate attire for the industry.
  • Establish a positive connection with the interviewer(s).
  • Be enthusiastic and clear that you are interested in the position.
  • Follow-up with a thank you email message or letter restating your interest.