what does not retained mean on job application

what does not retained mean on job application

What Does “Not Retained” Mean on a Job Application?

When you receive the status of “not retained” after applying for a job, it often leaves you feeling confused and discouraged. Understanding what this notification means is the first step toward regaining your confidence and taking the next step in your career journey.

What Does “Not Retained” Mean?

Essentially, when you are “not retained” it means that the employer has decided to move forward with another candidate for the position. This does not necessarily reflect on the quality of your resume or interview, as there could have been any number of factors involved in their decision.

No Personal Reflection

Employers often offer a “not retained” status rather than personal feedback largely to protect themselves legally. If a rejected candidate contests the legality of their status, such language comes across as less personal and more of a professional business decision.

Not Leading to a Rejection

If you receive the status of “not retained”, it is important not to let it affect your confidence. A “not retained” status should not be interpreted as a definite rejection, instead it is seen as a professional decision taken without comment.

Moving Forward

When you receive a “not retained” status, there are a few key things to remember that will help you move forward:

  • Don’t take it personally – This decision likely did not happen because of a specific fault on your part, and was instead a professional business decision.
  • Continue learning – Refine your skills in the areas where you may have come up short and never stop working to develop your career.
  • Remember you have value – Take the “not retained” status as a learning experience. Remember that you have plenty to offer, and use it to further your career.

The status of “not retained” should not be seen as a sign that you are not qualified for the position. Instead, use this as motivation to continue refining your skills and pushing forward in your job search.


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