The umpteen ways they can decide NOT to hire you for that dream job.

Back in our parents day, if they wanted a job, they went down to the Personel Office, filled in an application form in pen, and where were hired on the spot.  For the next 35 years, with benefits and full pension.

Unlike today, where companies can decide NOT to hire you,  based on the following:


1. Your cover letter has typos.

2. Your cover letter starts with “Dear Sir/Madam”, implying you’re a lazy bastard who didn’t do their homework because you don’t know the name of the hiring manager.

3. Your c.v. has typos.

4. You c.v. is on garishly-colored paper which makes it look tacky.

5.  Your email address is @Hotmail or @gmail, implying that you’re a homeless drifter, with no permanent residence.

6. The computer douchebag-robot scanning your on-line application automatically rejected you, because your c.v. didn’t include the right “key words”.

7. The computer douchebag-robot automatically rejected you, because you’re the 3001st applicant, and the automatic cut-off is 3000.

8. You show at the interview too late.   Or too early.

9. Your shoes are scuffed. (No kidding, I was once interviewed by a bozo who took this seriously!)

10. You handshake is too mushy.   Or too hard.  Or too sweaty.  Take your pick.

11. Your fly is undone.

12. You’re nervous and there are sweat stains on your clothes.

13. You have a food or coffee stain on your shirt.

14.  You don’t make the right eye contact.

15. You don’t appear to want the job that badly.

16. You appear too desperate for the job.

17. You use bad body language (like crossing your arms).

18. You didn’t research the stupid company, and come up blank when they ask you: “What do you know about our organization?”

19. They see how messy your car is in the parking lot, and they judge you based on that.

20. They take you to lunch, and you order something too expensive.

21.  The person taking you to lunch brings you back late, throwing the afternoon interview schedule off, and pissing everyone else off in the process.

22.  They trap you with one of those stupid interview questions that has no right answer:  “Tell me, when did you stop being an axe-murderer?

23. There’s a hiring freeze, starting the day after you apply.

24.  One of your references hesitates for a few crucial nanoseconds on the phone, when they’re asked about you.

25.  You’re not hired, because you’re a woman.   Or a man.   (Sexual discrimination works both ways, these days).

26.  You have the flu, which just happens to fall on the interview day.

27.  You apply to the Federal Government without knowing anyone on the inside. (Why don’t’ you apply to be an astronaut, while you’re at it?)

28.  You have a PhD and the job doesn’t require one.   They assume you’ll be bored so they wont’ hire you.

29.  You answer 99 out of 100 interview questions correctly, but it’s the one you get wrong that blows your chances.

30.  You could be perfect for the job.  But they’ve already decided to hire the boss’s 2nd cousin, and they’re just interviewing you out of “due diligence”.


Good Lord.  It’s a wonder how any of us even have jobs, at this point.

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21 Comments on “The umpteen ways they can decide NOT to hire you for that dream job.”

  1. Deb Says:

    Yup. #28 “You’re overqualified.”

    My roomie is running into that roadblock. He’s since decided to dumb down his resumé and see if that works.

  2. Brett Legree Says:

    You should always dumb down your resumé if necessary.

    I mean, withholding the information isn’t the same as fabricating it, right?

    If I apply for a job in (say) a nuclear power plant, they don’t really give two shits whether I can compile a Linux kernel.

    So I leave that part out.

    Likewise, I tend not to put on my resumé that a dream of mine is to paint myself orange and run around naked at the Beltane Fire Festival in Scotland.

    Of course, they might read that about me *here* and decide not to hire me anyway 🙂

  3. Friar Says:

    Yup…I’ve learned that the hard way. Instead of “PhD Studies”, one could put down those four years as “Research Associate” for the University.

    How about #31?

    The company finds out what you’re REALLY like when they google you and find out what kind of crappy blogs you visit. 🙂

  4. XUP Says:

    See this is where the “open and transparent” hiring mandates of the federal government are far superior. If your cover letter and CV can match the key words (preferably the exact phrases) of the Statement of Qualifications you’re halfway there. If you memorize the PR propoganda from the website of the Department you are applying to you will pass the written exam and if you can spew forth more key phrases than anyone else during the interview, you can come dressed in a straight jacket and flip flops driving a donkey and they’ll hire you — unless there’s a hiring freeze…which there almost always is. And it really doesn’t matter who you know or how long you’ve been with the government, everyone has to go through this process for promotions or new jobs.

  5. Friar Says:


    As far as I’m concerned, the Govt. is totally out to lunch when it comes to their hiring practices for trying to recruit the “best and brightest”.

    When I was out of work 6 years ago, I became quite the expert at networking, pounding the pavement, getting in through the back door and talking to right people. Basically, doing all the right things.

    During those 9 months, I interviewed everywhere and ended up with three lucrative job offers, with a fourth one of the way.

    Yet during that same time period, I couldn’t even get ONE lousy single interview with the Govt. Despite having a PhD in Engineering, living in Ottawa and being fluently bilingual.

    Go figure.

    Actually…the Govt. DID call me back once…2-3 years after I had applied. What a bunch of bosons….I didn’t even remember what the job was for at that point! 🙂

  6. Brett Legree Says:


    It is a lot like that here, too – which explains why we have a lot of sheeple who are really great at copy/paste, filling out forms, and talking in Newspeak at the water cooler.

    Doubleplusgood, that!

    Unfortunately when the shit hits the fan and (say) a reactor springs a leak, no one has a fucking clue what to do, so we have to hire consultants from the US to fix the problem.

    I understand the system, but it doesn’t stop me from pointing out that the system is completely broken.

  7. Friar Says:


    I did one of those “Written Tests” once.

    You basically would have had to have been briefed ahead of time on what to write. Preferably by someone who’s done the test before, and who’s worked in that department.

    Needless to say, I failed miserably. Despite beign a published author in peer-reviewed journals, they said I “couldn’t write”. The hiring manager said in so many words I’d never work in her department.

    Fast forward several months later. A private company gave me some written tests. Fair ones. I passed with flying colors and was offered the position of EDITOR for a technical writing department. And not just some Mickey Mouse company. They did contract work for the Govt, in fact.

    Again, go figure.

    I have to agree with Brett on this one. The system is completely broken.

    (*ends rant*)

  8. Eyeteaguy Says:

    This is not a funny post.

    This post is too close to the truth.

    I’m going to pack my backpack and go live in the woods.


  9. Friar Says:


    Aww..come back. I promise the next post will be funny.

    (*Holds out a peanut*)

  10. Brett Legree Says:


    I’m coming with you.

  11. Eyeteaguy Says:


    you can’t come with me. By definition a hermit is someone who lives alone. Go get your own wilderness.

  12. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy and @Brett

    Wow…the thought of your two guys alone in the woods…

    Major Geek-fest…You’ll be boring the woodland critters to tears with all your Linux-talk.

  13. Steph Says:

    You totally have to read these (they get really funny as you move up the numbers)

  14. Friar Says:


    Some of those are pretty good. Gonna have to bookmark that one.

  15. Brett Legree Says:

    I thought a hermit was a spiced cookie made with molasses, raisins and nuts.

  16. Friar Says:


    You should not blog and bake.

  17. Hi Friar,

    And don’t forget #31 – Your skirt is too long.
    #32 – You’re not blonde.
    #33 – You’re too old (but they won’t admit that)

    I have a friend who applied for a job, was totally qualified, had experience, but was rejected. Instead they hired a cute young blonde who wore short skirts, but lacked experience.

  18. XUP Says:

    Oh ya, I forgot to mention that the entire hiring/promotion process usually takes at least a year — that’s from when you actually go write your test. From when you apply could take another year just to hear from them. Does it actually say we hire the “brightest and the best”??? ha ha ha…we wouldn’t even know what to do with them. We really hire the dullest and whoever’s still left out there without a job after 2 years

  19. Friar Says:


    There’s a definite advantage to being a good-looking blondie. Especially since a lot of hiring managers are male.

    The Blondies not only beat out other women out of jobs…but us guys too.

    A YEAR? HAHAHAH! They expect job applicants to hang around and wait THAT long?

    Good Lord. No wonder the Govt. is screwed up.

    Present company excepted, of course.

  20. Mary Says:

    @Barbara They also want someone that will accept a lower salary. Experience = expectation. I have a friend who was told that she did not get hired because her qualifications put her starting pay outside the given budget for the position. She didn’t even get to negotiate.

  21. schrodinger Says:

    Reason #6,482,231: The company just likes to hold out carrots on sticks to see who will go through their rigourous hiring process and laugh when the person falls for the line, “You’re hired!”, and then gets all hacked off when they never actually get to START the job (as in, the supposed ‘new hire’ never get a start date or a paycheck). That’s happened to my husband 4 times already– with major companies. He even filled out the (U.S.) W-4 tax form, completed e-Verify, filled out the I-9, had a successful drug test and background check with references and everything. That us never done unless there is (supposedly) a true hire. Bull sticks.

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