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How you deal with rejection after an unsuccessful job application or job interview is the key to getting your career back on track. Of course, your first reaction will be disappointment but there really is no time to waste in feeling remorseful about the outcome, instead, follow our advice below and you’ll not only feel more positive but your career prospects will also improve.
Be prompt, professional and positive in your response. The idea is to aim to keep the door firmly open for you for future opportunities or if the selected candidate falls through for some reason. Be thankful and complimentary and stress that you would love to contribute to their team at some point should the opportunity arise. If you have any kind of professional social media presence or your own blog you can mention it at this stage which may encourage a follow-up.
Remember there could have been any number of reasons why today wasn’t your day. The selecting panel may have gone with someone else based on an additional certification or a candidate may have worked on a project they’re connected to, whatever the reason be sure to understand that the decision will have been based on certain criteria being fulfilled and not to take it personally.
So that you may build on your strategy for your next application or interview, seek feedback (preferably by phone). Some employers will be vague for fear of litigation but some will be able to offer honest advice that will help you understand their decision and how you can improve going forward.
Make a note of all of the things that you feel went well in the interview or that didn’t go quite to plan. Once you have a clear idea of your own strengths you’ll be able to focus on deploying more of those in your next interview.
Could the problem be that you are not searching for the right jobs? Try expanding your job search and double checking that you have thought of every type of position that you could apply for given your skill-set. Perhaps the salary band you’re aiming for is too high or it could be that your CV places you as over-qualified for the types of role you’re applying for which can be off-putting for some employers.
Don’t assume that you know how to answer certain questions well. Take some time to do a mock interview and really practice fine-tuning your personal pitch. In all likelihood you will only get one shot at this so make sure it is as perfect as can be.
If you are repeatedly facing rejection email after rejection email before you have even got to interview stage, consider where your CV may be lacking. Is it that others in your pool have more certifications or experience? A recruiter can offer advice if this is the case and the type of qualifications that various employers prefer.
If you find yourself out of work for any length of time, the quicker you can find a voluntary position the better. You will be building on your skill-set, appear resourceful and active to future employers and you will also feel useful, this will help keep you positive and focussed whilst still applying for your jobs of choice.
As well as not taking any rejection personally it can sometimes be helpful to remember that there’s always someone that has been through the rejection process many more times than you. In a competitive market finding your niche and a way to stand out from the competition is crucial. We also have some advice on how to make a lasting impression and get found by employers.
PSR International is a leading provider of construction recruitment services in the United States, Canada Far East, Middle East, Europe and Australia regions. PSR has expertise in recruiting mid to senior level civil engineering, building, interior design & fit-out, property & real estate and MEP staff. With offices in US and the UK, PSR International provides a unique consultative approach and proven mix of recruitment methodologies. PSR International was opened by James Sanders in 2016.
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