Whether you have a particular career goal in mind, are a new graduate or are tentatively looking for a job, any job, rejection is one of those issues that you have to come to terms with. The job market fluctuates so significantly on a regular basis that even if you are a highly qualified, competent and intelligent candidate, there’s no guarantee you’ll find a job. It’s hard not to get despondent when you’re met with tons of rejection emails, interviews that seemed so successful but then no word, but it is important to learn to deal with rejection and its role in your wider job search.
It happens to the best of us
Employers are looking for the best possible candidate for every role whether you’re a wannabe typist or a qualified botanist and to be the successful candidate you need to match the job in question better than anybody else who’s up for consideration. If you don’t, you won’t get the job, however well you interview because the employer needs the person who they are convinced can do the job competently. If you’re not a strong enough candidate, you won’t get the job and equally, if you’re too strong a candidate it’s likely you won’t get the job either as they want somebody who will stick with them. If you apply for a filing job and have a degree in the law, the likelihood is you’ll be bored within a few short weeks and try and move on, which is bad for the company and they realise this at the interview stage.
It is very easy to take rejection as a personal attack, especially when you believe the job was perfect for you but it happens to hundreds of people every day and you need to develop a thick skin if you’re going to survive in the job marketplace.
At least you’ve been noticed
There’s nothing worse than applying for the tenth ‘dream job’ of the week and hearing nothing, absolutely nothing. At least receiving a rejection letter, email or phone call means you’ve been noticed. Most of these rejection letters will state that there was a huge volume of applicants yet sometimes you’ll get a statement such as ‘you don’t meet the role specifications’ or ‘you’re not a good fit’ which gives you a chance to evaluate your own skill set and whether you’re presenting yourself in the best way.
Reevaluate and Move On
If you’ve been rejected for several jobs in the same sector or at the same level, use this experience to consider a different angle or tack. Maybe you need to be finding listings at a lower of higher entry level. Whether you rely on online, newspaper or magazine listings in your job search, it’s important to ensure you’re applying for roles that match your experience level or you have the prerequisite qualifications required. Many people say that whilst you’re job hunting, you should dedicate as much time to your hunt as you would dedicate to a full time job and this is certainly a sensible way to go about it, ensuring that you have the perfect resume, attuned interview skills and are aware of your strengths. Knowing what makes you stand out is essential so when you next get to the interview stage you can show them everything you’ve got. Moving on from rejection can seem hard but dwelling on the past or wondering what else you could have done won’t change the outcome, simply evaluate how it went and move onto the next opportunity.
Keep it Real
Perspective can be hard to come by when you’re surrounded by endless “No Thank Yous” and it is extremely to think finding a job will never happen but really, it will. You may need to rethink your strategy, ask yourself some home truths and really push yourself to try new things but it will happen. A rejection doesn’t mean you’re worthless and it certainly doesn’t detract from the strength of your skill set and qualifications so don’t allow it to make you feel that way. Many of the factors which result in your rejection are simply beyond your control and more due to the employer than your personal profile.
Learning to accept job rejection is essential to ensuring you continue along the right path and when you do find that job, you’ll really appreciate it.
Courtney Harrison is a freelance writer who covers finding listings on the Internet for jobs and services for a social media and search company. Everyone will deal with rejection at some point in their careers; the key is to just keep on searching.