Finding Value in Job Rejection

No matter how resilient and optimistic you are, hearing ‘no’ over and over again when you are on the job hunt is tough. ‘Am I not good enough?’ ‘Is there something wrong with my resume?’ ‘Did I say something wrong during the interview?’ ‘I really thought it would go the distance.’ It will, you just need to go further. There is strong value in job rejection. All you need is the right mindset to stay motivated and keep going.

It’s not personal

A job rejection doesn’t always mean you’re not good enough. Maybe you were good enough, but someone was just better. It is not a personal attack nor was it a professional attack from the employer. Keep in mind that in recruitment, there are different factors at play, and you can’t focus on aspects you excel at.

The employer or recruiter is doing what is best for their organisation. That means recruiting the ideal candidate for the role. It just happens that you weren’t that candidate. But, pretty soon, you’ll be that candidate and someone else will feel the same way you did before.

You need to be kind to yourself and avoid fixating on the negative side of things. This is important here in Australia and across the world with millions of people on the job hunt. Most of these people lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Grant Blashki, lead clinical advisor of Australia’s Beyond Blue said employees and job seekers ‘go well beyond their jobs.’ He also urges everyone to avoid ‘thinking errors’ and to remind themselves that the situation will improve over time. ‘Our work life is important to many of us, but it’s not what makes us who we are,’ he said.

Ask for feedback

‘I demand justification!’ Not that aggressive though. It would be advantageous for you to make it a habit of asking recruiters for feedback after job rejections and even when you get the job. This is ideal for entry-level employees who are just getting started. Good and bad feedback are both good. Good feedback gives you something to build-up on. Bad feedback reveals room for improvement.

Expect that some recruiters won’t provide any feedback at all. Assess your job application process and determine what went well and what didn’t, then ask why, on your own. On our previous Career Advise blog post, we shared timely tips for jobseekers amidst the pandemic. One of those is to upskill and reorient oneself. Feedback you get after job rejections might help you get a clear target on what to learn and develop.

It’s not you, it’s them

In some cases, it is not on you. Many organisations post up phantom job openings, basically vacancies that never existed in the first place. Their purpose for doing such thing is to build-up a candidate database they can contact in the future for real job openings. This is not a practice Quay Appointments support and we encourage our clients to avoid this talent pooling approach as it can damage your brand quickly in the candidate market.

It is also possible that you are overqualified in terms of skills or experience. Recruiters are going to be mindful of your target salary. They want to make sure as much as possible that your target salary suits their budget for the role. Many qualified candidates get rejected without being asked the question, ‘how much is your target salary?’ Or by making other unfounded assumptions.

Keep Going

It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a bad day or maybe even a bad week. Here in Quay Appointments, it is part of our culture to always provide feedback to all job applicants. Feedback after a successful or failed job application goes a long way in bringing you a step closer to the right job for you.

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