Posted by Robert Half on 18 November 2014
Dealing with job rejection can be very hard not to take personally. Use these five helpful tips to remain at the top of your game when job hunting.
Let it go
After an initial outpouring of frustration with people you trust, let the negativity go. Pent-up anger won’t aid your continuing search for a job. Most important, never aim your ill feelings at the company or employer who denied you the role. It’s a small world, particularly in certain industries, so venting your resentment might come back to haunt you. Who knows? You may reapply for jobs at that company down the track.
Use the opportunity
Ask for constructive feedback – not all employers will provide this, but it’s worth asking. A phone call is a much more productive forum for this. Employers are often unwilling to put their thoughts in writing for fear of future litigation, so send an email requesting a brief chat. Don’t forget to use the network of contacts you’re establishing along the job-search path – ask the interviewer if they can suggest relevant leads.
Be self-aware enough to look at how you present yourself to others. Think about how you answered key questions. Are you highlighting your experience in the most favourable light? Take these tips on how to improve your interpersonal skills during the interview.
Focus on your strengths
Although there may be areas you can improve on, remember that you have your own unique value proposition and passions. Focusing on these will provide the renewed energy and momentum you need to get back on the job search merry-go-round and nail the next interview. Positivity and passion are two characteristics employers value highly, so bring those areas to life in your resume and during the interview process.
Don’t take it personally
Not getting the job is unlikely to be a conscious vote against you. It’s more likely that another candidate’s experience and personality resonated stronger with the interviewer. Choosing a candidate for a role is very nuance-driven. Speculating on the exact reasons you weren’t chosen won’t bring you joy. Remember, in this climate, there are more people than there are jobs, so you’re not alone.
Be kind to yourself
Sustaining a positive mental attitude will kick depressing thoughts to the kerb. Do this by treating yourself to rewarding, happy behaviours. Meet with friends, maintain personal interests that fulfil your life outside work and exercise! There’s no greater way to boost the happy hormones (endorphins) than by working up a sweat.
For something a little different, try a yoga class to renew energy and bring a sense of calm to your job-searching endeavours. Giving to the community or others will also bring perspective. Consider volunteering – whether it’s with a purely altruistic focus or to gain more experience within your industry. You’ll feel good by making a contribution, and it’ll be a nice break from job hunting.