About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

Receiving a job rejection dents your confidence, makes you doubt your abilities, and, can spiral out of control to the point of frustration.

Receiving a job rejection email dents your confidence, makes you doubt your abilities, and, if not dealt with, can spiral out of control to the point of frustration. It is one of the popular questions in my inbox this week, and for a good reason.

Why do I keep getting rejected for remote jobs?

It’s not possible to highlight every reason you have received a rejection for your remote job application, but in this guide, we will touch on three areas that you should focus on improving first.

Why do I keep getting rejected from remote jobs?
Applicant tracking software

You should first know that companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to shortlist candidates.

A few years ago, this was unheard of, but with the increase in job seekers looking for remote opportunities, the demand is such that companies have no choice but to use software to automate the process.

It’s very likely that when you apply for a remote job, within a couple of hours, a rejection will hit your email inbox.

It is soul-destroying when you receive a rejection, but there are a few tasks to do to increase your chances of receiving an interview invite.

Compare the job listing to your resume

While this isn’t environmentally friendly, print out the job advert and highlight the essential criteria. Then open up your resume and go through the highlighted keywords on the job listing and make sure you have included them in your resume.

Areas to focus on are essential skills and experience. Software that they need you to be familiar with. Personality traits that are mentioned in the job listing. Think about how working from home might impact the role, and then include any personality traits or skills that will be required.

With applicant tracking software, keywords and job specifications are entered. AI will then highlight the essential criteria for shortlisting.

No fancy graphics, layouts or fonts

The ATS must read your resume; if it can’t, it comes down to whether the recruitment team will go through any resumes that the software cannot read. Companies use this type of software to save time, so likely, you will not be shortlisted, and no communication will be sent to you.

Keep it simple, silly.

You do not need to add your profile photo or cat pictures! No flashing fonts, gifs, or video embeds. Yes, seriously, no fancy graphics, odd layouts or fonts make it unreadable to even the human eye.

Tailor your resume for each job

It feels like I am a broken record but please, focus on quality over quantity when applying for remote jobs. If you use the same resume for every job you apply for, you will fail, and rejections will continue to appear in your inbox.

Last week, while on a client call, it was brought to my attention that they had applied for 20 jobs last week. This sends alarm bells into my head because no one can apply for that number of employment if you are tailoring every resume.

Can I repeat this? Quality over quantity every single time, please.

Be honest with yourself; do you make any of these mistakes? I suspect if you make the changes highlighted in this guide, you will drastically increase your chances of beating the applicant tracking software and getting an interview.

Hopefully, this guide answers the question, why do I keep getting rejected for remote jobs?

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