Regardless of how it's sugar coated, job search rejection has a tendency to leave a lingering taste of defeat. And that isn't conducive to confidence. And when 38% of hiring managers agree to dismissing candidates who didn't smile or show confidence, any anxious body language will say a lot more about your attitude than any artful answer ever will.
Yet, the glass-half-full job seeker knows that perspective is important to gaining employment. Take these tips into consideration for keeping a positive attitude when you get the negative news:
1. Get your feedback
It's unlikely for a hiring manager to directly communicate why you weren't top pick, but he or she will relay that information to your recruiter. Interviews are nerve-wracking enough, and feedback will help you refine and hone any potential weaknesses or mistakes you're making when meeting a hiring manager face-to-face. Ensure to always follow up with your recruiter after your interview.
2. Take action
If your rejection feedback seems repetitive, identify how you can overcome that specific weakness in your interview.
Are hiring managers dismissing your candidacy due to lack of company knowledge? Brush up on pre-interview prep tips! Is your body language suggesting a lack of interest? Get engaged! Are there training programs or workshops you can take to gain more experience in your field? You may want to seek out more junior roles, volunteer opportunities or local meetups that will put you on the same level as your competition.
A great rule of thumb is to only apply to jobs you're qualified for, otherwise you're responsible for your own application fatigue. Sure, transferable skills can be taken into consideration, but new grads shouldn't be applying to positions looking for 3-5 years' of experience.
3. Don't burn bridges
Always follow up with a thank you email, and remain positive. You may not have been a fit for their organization, but the hiring manager may know of an outside opportunity he or she could refer you to. And if you really feel like you still want to be a part of the company, let the hiring manager know you would like to be considered for future opportunities.
4. Give yourself credit
A lot goes on behind the scenes when an organization is hiring. And when it comes to interviews, there are a lot of things you can control, but there are also a lot of things you cant. You may have been the perfect cultural fit but lacked one year of experience another candidate had -- or vice versa, the definition of the job may have changed during their hiring process, or they could have even hired internally.
Remember: A recruiter receives an average of 250 resumes per corporate job posting, and YOU got an interview!
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