“I’ve never been rejected from a job,” said no candidate ever! Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, you’ll have experienced that heart-wrenching feeling of “we regret to inform you but.…”, and we can all agree, it’s not nice. According to career coach Orville Pierson, the average job seeker gets rejected by 24 separate decision makers before they get that life-changing “yes”. This probably isn’t the news you’re looking for, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Whether you’ve recently graduated, or you’re on the hunt for your next career move, you will get there. It’s only a matter of time. But until then, we have some pointers to help along the way. So, brush up on your interview skills, take note of these 10 tips, and you’ll be a job-seeking pro in no time.
1.Ask for Feedback
This is a perfect start. Employers are not legally required to give candidates feedback, but a lot of them will be totally chuffed you asked. Not only can you make notes on how to be a stronger candidate for next time, but you can also build up a relationship with the employer – which puts you in a good light if any future opportunities arise.
Even if you decide the job wasn’t really for you in the end, compliment the employer and ask how you could improve. If they say they hired someone based off more experience, ask them what type of experience the other candidate had that made them stand-out.
2. Take A Couple Days out of Your Job Search
Your Mental Health is more important than a job search, no matter how urgently you need a job. Take a step back and look after yourself. Rejection is tough, and if you don’t give yourself time to recover, you’ll experience burn out. How can you effectively job hunt if you’re emotionally frazzled?
3. Refine Your Search
After you’ve taken some time off to process the rejection, it’s now a good idea to refine your search. Remember: Interviews are a two-way street.
Yep, of course you have to be the right fit for the role. But the role also needs to be the right fit for you.
The employers interviewing you will know the job inside-out, and halfway through the interview they may realise it’s not suitable for you, or that you’ll hate it 6 months down the line.
Ask yourself, during that interview, was there anything you disliked about the role? Any specific tasks they mentioned that secretly made you think, “eurrgh…”
If you’re currently nodding your head, then great news – you dodged a bullet.
If there were areas of the role you didn’t like the sound of, chances are the employer picked up on that – especially if you went into detail about one specific area of the job and left other important bits out.
Use this experience to refine your job search, change the key words around a bit, and look for job specs that excite you.
4. Keep Building A Strong Network
We can’t stress this enough: If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, download that app now!
Connect with employers who work at companies you’d love to work with, keep an eye on opportunities they post and, better yet, send them a message! Looking for job ads is fine, and you will eventually find your dream job, but sometimes an amazing opportunity is only a DM away…
Change your preferences on LinkedIn to open to work and add the type of roles you’re interested in. Remember to add in all your relevant experience too, just to make sure employers know you’re perfect for them.
5. Take some time to Upskill and add it to your CV!
Interested in Content Marketing? Take a content marketing course online. Interested in Computer Science? There’s a course for that too. In fact, the list of free courses online is endless, and most of them come with a fancy certificate to show your achievements.
Upskilling by taking online courses and webinars impresses employers, and you’ll learn so much whilst doing them. It’s one of the best ways to develop professionally. Not to mention, it’ll look great on your LinkedIn!
6. Reflect on past Interviews, and think of important questions to ask next time
Is there something you instantly regretted saying? If your answer is, “Yes let’s NOT talk about it,” – then please know, we’ve all been there. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and blurt out an embarrassing mess of words.
Most employers won’t care though. They’ve been interviewing nervous candidates all week, and at this point they’ve seen it all. Rather than cringe to yourself, the most important thing is to learn from your experience.
Next time, ask questions that make you stand out Ask about day-to-day tasks. Ask who you’d be working with. Ask if there’s any up-coming projects you should know about. Ask the questions you wish you’d asked last time!
7. Remember, past rejections are not personal
It’s so easy to get caught up in: ‘Did they hate me? Am I the worst candidate ever?’
The simple answer is… no!
They read your CV, they interviewed you, and you clearly had the skills for the position. At this point, it might seem like the only reason they rejected you is because they ‘didn’t like you.’ But sometimes, that’s just how it goes, and that’s completely OK. These employers interviewed thirty other applicants, and there could be any number of reasons for their decision.
Think of it like this, you applying for thirty other roles at the same time isn’t personal either! Hold your head up high – the job market is tough!
8. Research the successful candidate
This may seem a little creepy at first, but there’s nothing wrong with checking out your winning opponent, and with LinkedIn it’s so easy to do. If you follow the company, click ‘people’ and take a look to see if there’s any new faces – the biggest hint is their new job description…
Once you’ve found them, take a look at their LinkedIn profile and experience. Do they post more than you? Have they done bits of volunteer work or charity work that make them stand out?
Please don’t beat yourself up about it though, use it as an advantage.
If there’s anything you see on their page that stands out to you, look at gaining those types of skills and finding those opportunities.
9. Stop Over-Analysing
If you’re on step 9, and you’ve done the previous 8 steps, it’s time to move on from that last rejection, and really throw yourself into your job search.
We often think, what if we said this in an interview, or what if we went the extra mile and did that…
It’s now time to act. Don’t over-think it. Move on!
10. Remember, every rejection leads you closer to your dream job!
Trust me when I say, every rejection is a blessing in disguise. Each rejection is one step closer to your dream career which you absolutely, 100% deserve!