What Does “Not Selected” Mean After Applying for a Job?

What Does “Not Selected” Mean After Applying for a Job?

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 So, you have seen an ad for a job you would love to have. You eagerly send in a job application, after which you check the status of your application every day. One day, however, you notice that the status of your application has changed to “not selected.” What does this mean?

The job application status “not selected” means that you are no longer considered a candidate for the position and that someone else will be getting the job. Several factors, such as not having the required experience, may result in your application not being selected.

It may be disheartening to find out you did not get the job. However, if you respond to the situation correctly, it will provide you with a great opportunity to learn, grow, and increase your chances of success the next time you apply for a position. 

What Does “Not Selected” Mean On Job Platfroms Like Indeed? 

Many job platforms like Indeed allow job seekers to find available positions, upload resumes, and apply for available positions. Some prospective employers will require you to apply via Indeed’s website, while others may require you to apply to the employing company directly.

If a job seeker has applied via Indeed’s website, the prospective employer can opt to assign one of the following statuses to the application:

  • Active
  • Awaiting Review
  • Reviewed
  • Contacted
  • Hired
  • Not Selected

The statuses are not visible to the applicant. However, Indeed’s website has a function that employers can use to notify you via email if the status assigned to your application is “Not Selected.” Therefore, if you receive an email via Indeed stating that your application was “not selected,” it means that you will not be getting hired by the employer.

The reason the organization did not accept your application might be due to a lack of certain skills, qualifications, experience, or knowledge required for the position. However, this is not always the only reason the company may not have opted to offer you the position.

A job application may also not be selected because the job requirements are no longer the same, the company may not be able to pay the salary you require, you may not be able to start on the required starting date. You may also fail to display certain core competencies required by the organization during a test, psychological quiz, or telephonic interview. 

Unfortunately, you will not always find out why your application was not selected, as companies do not always provide feedback to job seekers who have not been hired. Many organizations do not even let you know that your application has not been selected.

What To Do If You Are “Not Selected” For A Job 

Although you may not have been selected for this job, the employing company may have a suitable job opening again in the future. Therefore, you should politely thank them for considering your application and ask them to bear you in mind for future job opportunities. They will appreciate this, and it will make you stand out.

If done tactfully, you can also ask them if they would be willing to disclose why they did not select you. Asking this question will help you gain useful information that you can use to adapt your future job applications and boost your chances of being selected for the next available opportunity.

Do not get discouraged! Just because an organization did not hire you for this job, it does not mean that you will never get hired. Learn as much as possible and keep submitting job applications for the various positions you are interested in. Sooner or later, you will get hired. 

Ask The Employer Why You Did Not Get The Job 

Some employers may be hesitant to disclose why you were not selected for the job because they may be worried that you will file an employment discrimination claim against them with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is therefore imperative to phrase this question correctly.

Rather than asking why the employer did not hire you, ask the employer for advice on improving your applications to future employers. Start your email by thanking them once more for considering you and letting you know that you have not been selected. Then, ask them if they might have some spare time to give you pointers.

Some employers may be more comfortable providing feedback over the phone, while others may prefer doing it in writing. Therefore, provide the employer with both forms of communication as an option, and let them decide how they wish to provide feedback. 

Can You Reapply For A Job That You Did Not Get Previously? 

Suppose you were not selected for a specific job and see that same position advertised again after a few months or even a few years. In that case, you could apply again, especially if you feel very passionate about the kind of work you will be doing.

It is also good to apply again if you have acquired skills and knowledge relevant to the position since the last time you applied or were one of the top candidates being considered for the job. On this occasion, the other candidates applying for the job may not necessarily be as qualified or skilled as the previous candidate pool.

If you decide to apply again, ensure that you update your resume and cover letter. If you were a strong candidate previously, it might be worthwhile to mention that you applied for this specific position on a previous occasion.  

Increasing Your Job Application’s Chances For Selection 

Some large companies use applicant tracking systems, software tools designed to scan resumes and cover letters for keywords that match the keywords and phrases in the job posting. The applicant tracking systems save recruiters time as they do not have to go through each application manually to narrow down potential candidates.

Therefore, it is important to edit your resume and cover letter for each job application, ensuring that you highlight the skills, qualifications, and knowledge you have that are compatible with the job requirements. Be sure to include keywords that match the job listing so that the applicant tracking system selects your resume.

If you received constructive criticism from employers who did not hire you, use this information to improve your job application. 


When you are notified that your job application has not been selected, the organization will not be hiring you. It may be hard to know why you were not hired as there are many reasons employers reject applications, and they do not always provide feedback.

It may be hard to accept, but you can use this as a learning opportunity for prospects by tactfully trying to establish from the employer why they did not hire you. Edit your resume and cover letter with each job application to highlight your relevant skills and match keywords in the job listing.