During April, JobsSunday has reviewed job searching and job fairs. Hopefully, many of the tips and suggestions have helped job candidates in their search for employment.
But the job market is still tilted in favor of companies who are hiring. There are many more job candidates than there are job offerings. Because of that disparity, many job candidates still have trouble getting interviews. And, sadly, many candidates still get job rejections.
Job rejection can be a tough thing to handle professionally and emotionally. Dealing with doubt and uncertainty can be just as hard as dealing with unemployment.
It’s important for job candidates to weather the “dog days” of job hunting by making sure they do not let job rejection get them in a funk and impact further searches.
Here are some tips to help deal with job rejection and its’ ramifications.
· Don't take it personally. Don't use the job interview as a measure of professional worth. The decision was based on the company's specific criteria and needs which may or may not have anything to do with interview.
· Don't get needs met through the interview. If a candidate is using the interview to satisfy professional validation, the results will be disastrous. Get needs met elsewhere and be authentically confident and polished.
· Feedback is a friend. It’s hard to ask for an honest and objective review, especially from someone just met. But in order to do better the next time, the job candidate needs to know if there are areas that need improvement. Ask the hiring manager who conducted the interview for direct and honest feedback.
· Do something with bad feedback. No one wants to hear that their portfolio looked sloppy; they were perceived as stressed, hesitant or scattered; or their technology skills were out-of-date. But just think how each of these points can be corrected. When bad feedback is revealed, be prepared to put a plan in place to fix the holes.
· Don't bring up the past. Its funny how failures have a way of drudging up past failures, as well as all the negative feelings associated with the failures. It's as if our collective unconscious kicks in and the failures of our past come forward. Stay present; don't let the past take over.
· Focus on strengths. It's easy to blame oneself and focus on imperfections when faced with a job rejection. The candidate needs to focus on what they’re really good at, and passionate about. No one is perfect.
· Ask questions. Ask questions to learn from the experience. What could have been done differently? What was learned from the interviewing process? How could any answers been handled differently? Ask questions and focus on learning and growth for the next interview.
· Accept reality. Accept that rejections are a part of the job search. Be prepared to handle the emotional sadness that comes with rejection. Know that rejection is going to happen repeatedly, and accept it as a part of life.
· Keep it in perspective. Being rejected doesn't mean that a candidate’s professional qualifications and personal attributes are anything less than spectacular. Employers weigh many considerations when recruiting staff - many of these factors are beyond a candidate’s control.
· Accept responsibility; don't blame others. Without blaming or beating oneself up, accept responsibility for a part in the rejection. Take ownership for any contributions.
· No one is alone. Job candidates need to know that every day, countless others are sharing their experience. Seek out others -- the mutual support and shared knowledge will be enormously helpful. Connect with others.
· Take a break once in a while. Go to the gym or do some other type of activity that provides a break from the job hunt. Looking for a job is a full-time job itself, but candidates need to have a healthy way to unwind and refresh.
Looking for a job is never easy. When the competition is as fierce as it is these days, it’s even more challenging. Job rejection will be part of that challenge.
The key for candidates is to keep a cool head and a positive attitude. In the end, things usually work out the way they are supposed to.