We all know what it is like to get rejected from jobs we have really wanted, and even those we just applied for to pay the bills – trust us, we get it! And even though it is a hard pill to swallow, sometimes getting rejected can be a great lesson on what you might need to improve on to ensure you stand out the next time you apply for a position.
It is pretty common to feel crushed after finding out you didn’t get the job you wanted and you might even wonder why you were unsuccessful in the process but rather than wondering to yourself, try asking those questions to the right people and find out how you can prevent this from happening again in future.
To help you take the right steps, here are some tips on how best to handle job rejection:
- Ask for feedback
There is always going to be a reason as to why you didn’t get the job, whether it be you were underqualified or there was someone else who was simply a better fit for the company. Whatever the reason, you deserve to know. So, contact the employer of that position and ask them for feedback as to how you could improve your application or interview skills for future opportunities.
- Match resume to role
Employers will tell you what they are looking for in position descriptions and job adverts, and yet, many applicants continue to send the same standard resume and cover letter to employers. This can often be the reason you were unsuccessful as it lacks detail relevant to the job. With keywords relevant to the role now frequently being sifted through in HR software, your application may be binned without even reaching the recruiter’s desk! So, next time you apply for a job, ensure you are tailoring your application to the skills and requirements stated in the description and ensure you focus on keywords they may be looking for.
- Call the recruiter
Although it might sound daunting at first, it could also be beneficial to pick up the phone and call the HR Manager at the company you just applied to. This way you can let them know you have submitted your application and that you are really interested in the role. Taking that initiative will keep you front of mind, ensuring they notice you and showing them just how committed you are.
- Body language
If you made it to the interview stage but were rejected, it could mean the interview did not go well. This could be due to your body language; something employers pay special attention to during the interview. If you are nervously shuffling around in your seat and avoiding eye contact, the interviewer could take that as a sign that you are not confident you can meet the expectations of the role. When going for an interview, ensure you keep up eye contact, speak confidently and sit up straight. This will show the employer you are passionate and confident. If you are nervous, let them know – everyone gets nervous but sometimes just admitting that can help you, and the interviewer, relax.
And don’t forget to smile!
Don’t take it personally
It is important to remember that everyone experiences job rejections, especially from positions with a large number of applicants. There are many industries that are overpopulated and therefore do not have enough jobs to advertise to the large number of job seekers within that industry. So, instead look into those industries that are currently experiencing skills shortages and perhaps retrain so you can transition into that new career.
- Make the most of rejections
Being rejected is not always the worst thing. In fact, it can be a good thing! Often, we apply for jobs that we thought we really wanted and realise down the track it was a good thing we didn’t get that job, for a myriad of reasons. Think of it as finding the right fit for you and then do everything you can to find it. Sometimes, the opportunity will come when you least expect it, so once it arrives, you must learn from your previous experiences and think about what you need to improve on in order to get the job.
As you can see, there are many ways to help you deal with rejection and ensure it does not happen again. The most important thing to remember is that rejection just makes you sharpen yourself and be more determined to get what you want, so see it as a step forward.
Now it’s game on – use what you have learnt and go get that job!
Paul Miles, Managing Director for the BUSY Group Ltd, has also been rejected from jobs – and ones he didn’t even want! Watch what he has to say about how to handle job rejection.