We all have asked the question: Why didn’t I get the job? Let’s walk through a few scenarios on why candidate may not move forward in the interview process.

1. You Didn’t Meet the Basic Qualifications

The first, and the most common is not meeting all the qualification requirements. As an applicant, carefully reviewing the stated technical requirements and specialized experience prevent the applicant’s and the hiring manager’s time being wasted. If you meet the basic qualifications but not the specialized experience, you will likely not be rated as well qualified. Sometimes these requirements are outlined by the customer instead of the company. So, if your experience is in a different field entirely, while you may meet the bachelor’s degree qualification, you are not likely to move forward in the process.

2. Lack of Current Experience

The second reason relates to experience being from too long ago: While it is great to have a long history in management of intelligence analysts, perhaps it has been some time since you had your hands in collection and analysis within each of the intelligence disciplines.  In this instance, you are rated as qualified but may not get an interview because your experience is seen as dated.

3. Clearance Issues

Let’s say you left your previous position on the wrong foot and have an incident report on your clearance. Your security clearance can be suspended at any time and revocation can occur as a result of information discovered during an updated investigation. If this is submitted to the agency and is updated in your respective security clearance personnel system, you are not able to access classified information and therefore unable to obtain that cleared job.

4. They Need an Applicant Available Today

Every military branch has their individualized Transition Assistance Program to provide information, tools and training to support service members in their successful move from the military to civilian life. These trainings encourage service members to build their resume, network and apply for jobs, usually from 1 year to 6 months from their ETS date. While they are applying to different companies, they may be discouraged to hear that they need a candidate in the position sooner rather than later. These transition programs do wonderfully in guiding veteran benefits, education options, and other assistance, but prior to ETSing should focus their applications to fellowships or skill bridge internships.

5. Your Certifications are Out of Date

The DoD hosts several directives that set out the requirements of their workforce, whether military, contractor or federal employee. These are required trainings and certifications of DoD professionals carrying out IT duties. These required level certifications are contract requirements for certain customers, and if it is between two candidates, one who has the updated certification against one who needs to re-test, the customer will be more inclined to invest in the applicant who meets that testing requirement.

As you can see, none of these reasons have anything to do with your compatibility, personality or application process. When it comes to why most candidate’s don’t make the cut, the phrase it’s not personal, it’s business, absolutely applies.

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸