You are here

"Not Qualified" – You're Kidding Me, Right?


It can be frustrating when a CareerEngine job posting seems to be a perfect fit but you get the annoying brown oval telling you otherwise. This blog article will cover the reasons (and solutions, if applicable) for a non-qualifying status.

When perusing job postings on CareerEngine, clicking on the title of the job will take you to a page with details of the position, including why it is you don’t qualify. Look on the right sidebar of that page for a section titled “Application Status.” There it will have one (or more) of the following error messages.

  • You do not match the desired Applicant Type for this position:  This is the most common error and occurs for one of two reasons. The first reason is that you haven’t activated your SAL. Go to the news feed on the homepage of CareerEngine, look for the red key, and follow the instructions to activate your account. After activating, this error more than likely will have disappeared.  If not, it might be due to the second reason. The second reason this error occurs is that the applicant type chosen when you SAL’ed doesn’t match what the job posting requires.  You might have chosen “career employment” while the posting is looking for “interns,” or you chose “intern” while the posting wants “co-ops.”  If that is the case, you could consider changing your applicant type by re-submitting your SAL. The link for resubmitting is also on the news feed of the homepage.
  • Your major is/are not among those specified for this position:  Often, engineering students have a diverse skillset and experience in areas outside of their specific major. As such, there may be postings for which you think you are well qualified, but since you don’t match the requested major, you receive the error. You can circumnavigate this roadblock by submitting a Major/Degree Override Form. Information on how to use this form is located here.
  • You do not match the desired Degree Level for this position:  Students pursuing a graduate degree are often troubled by this one. If a posting requires a BS, many MS and PhD candidates, although well-qualified, aren’t eligible. Use the Major/Degree Override Form. Information on how to use this form is located here.
  • You do not match the desired Work Authorization for this position:  Work authorization (the filter that describes whether you can work in the USA with or without visa sponsorship) is generally non-negotiable. Employers set this field based on their company’s HR practices and we do not have the ability to alter their choice. If, however, you think the work authorization filter has been set in error, please contact us at so that we can investigate.
  • Your GPA does not fall within the desired range for this position:  Some employers require a minimum GPA. If you hope to apply to a non-OCR job posting and receive this message, there is nothing we can do to change this non-qualify error. If, however, you are applying to an OCR posting (On-Campus Recruiting; where interviews occur in our office), we have a small process in place that gives you a shot at having your resume seen. Learn more about this process here.
  • The drop period for this position has not yet started. The drop period start date is posted below:  This simply means that the employer is not yet receiving resumes. Look on the right sidebar of the details page to find information on when they will begin accepting applications.

Keep in mind that all postings are put into the system by hand, and errors can and do occur. If you find a posting that doesn’t make sense (perhaps a welding position that isn’t accepting welding engineers, or an internship that won’t accept “intern” as an applicant type), please let us know. We can only fix mistakes if we know about them.

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” - John Quincy Adams

About the author

Laura Pizoli

Laura Pizoli is the Information Associate at Engineering Career Services.