Everyone has been there. You’ve applied for fifty jobs, got twenty interviews and each one has seemed like “this is the one”, and yet, you get another letter with the headline “We’re sorry your application has been unsuccessful…” It’s enough to drive even the most determined job hunter to despair. But, when you’re at your lowest and luck doesn’t seem to be going your way, this is the time when you should buck up and fight. And here are a few techniques to help you do just that!
Find out what went wrong
First of all, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken, so you need to find out and that means potentially asking the company that turned you down for feedback. It can seem a little bit odd, but it’s worth plucking up the courage to send the HR manager an email and ask them outright. Something like this:
Thank you for your letter dated 4th November.
To help me better prepare for other job applications, I would be grateful if you could give me a brief explanation as to why my application was not successful, or what the successful applicant did better.
This would be a great help in ensuring I can learn from the experience and be prepared for future interviews.”
If you find yourself losing out on lots of jobs over time, you might find there’s a pattern that you can break. But, you need to know what’s going wrong first.
Prepare for bad news
A friend of mine failed in eight applications for very similar jobs. He was very skilled in the type of role he was going for and he should have had no problem getting any of the positions. However he was constantly being knocked back. He decided to ask the companies why.
Only three of them replied, and each one said the same thing – his arrogance let him down. It might seem petty, but personality is just as good a reason to employ someone as skills, and, in this case, it meant he missed out on lots of jobs. It was a shock, but he realised that he tended to be arrogant in conversations, and he’d obviously let this happen in interviews, too.
He didn’t let it get him down, though. Instead, he got on with the task at hand and made it his goal to be different, to change the way he was and force his personality down a few notches.
And then he got a job.
Are they the right jobs?
Very often, when people get desperate for a job, they begin to look for anything that will enable them to pay the rent, in short, they end up going for jobs which they’re really not suited for. And guess what? They don’t get them.
So, focus. It’s the hardest thing to do in any walk of life, but it’s absolutely essential to ensure you are going for the right job with the right people. Whatever job you go for, the interviewer can tell if you’re only doing it because you’re desperate.
You may well be asked the question, “Why are you looking to leave your current position?”, it’s quite common and it’s a question I always answered with “I’m not…”
Put simply, I was never actually looking to move from my current role, I loved every one I had, however, I may have seen in this new job a chance to better myself or gain more experience. Many people say very different things, though. They will say “I hate my boss” or “the working conditions are terrible” or “I need more money so I can go abroad more often.” These are not good reasons to leave a job at all, and they give the wrong impression to your interviewer.
This one may sound odd, but the best thing you can do is to get out and socialise more. A friend of mine never went out when she was job hunting because she didn’t feel up to it. She would simply withdraw into her shell and stay in when all her friends were going out, and that’s the worse thing to do.
Get out more. You don’t have to spend loads of cash to have fun. Get out of your comfort zone, enjoy the company of others and when you’re invited to dinner, a drink or lunch, go. Meet new people and expand your horizons, it will have multiple benefits, including making you feel better and getting to know more people.
All in all, rejection isn’t a time to sit back and mull over all the bad things in life, instead, use it as a springboard to do better and get a greater understanding of how you can become a better person, more desirable to employers and more importantly, get the job you deserve.