Have you experienced job rejection at some point in your life? If so, don’t be discouraged. You’re not alone. Almost all of us have gone through the process. It is commonly encountered, yet it can be avoided. Though causing much disappointment, the reasons behind job rejection are oftentimes beyond your control. Among these could be: the cancellation of the advertised position due to recession or cost-cutting; the hiring of a more qualified person; or, the hiring of somebody based on “who-he-knows” contrary to the “what-he-knows” process.
On the flip-side, there are also many factors that are within your control. Below are common ones to take note of, with corresponding tips on how to prevent rejection:
Resumes and Cover Letters
Lengthy, irrelevant resumes – Limit your resume to 2 pages as recruiters only spend 6 seconds when screening. Ensure that it contains all the essential elements like the keywords indicated in the job posting plus any of your specific achievements that relate to the position being applied for. It should be error-free, no discrepancies like employment gaps, and with simple but effective format.
Irrelevant cover letters – Customize the cover letter for every job position that you apply for. Ensure to attach your resume when you send it via email.
Incomplete applications – Read the job ad properly and make sure that you comply with what the employer requires, i.e., video resumes, work samples.
Being late – Always come early for an interview. Arriving late will give the employer an impression of your carelessness and unreliability. Inform the employer ahead if you cannot be punctual on the day of the interview.
Being unprepared – Conduct a research about the company and the position being applied for before the interview. Nonetheless, do not forget to mention what you can bring to the table as the company wants to know how they will benefit from you.
Lack of technical knowledge or giving short and non-substantive answers – Respond in more detail to technical questions. Showcase your core competencies by elaborating your answers. Do it in a clear, concise, and engaging manner and give specific examples of competencies by using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) technique.
Inability to relate – You should relate your skills to the position being interviewed for or in addressing the company needs.
Lack of enthusiasm – Be energetic; show your interest and excitement about the job and the company.
Asking the wrong questions – Never ask about vacation and other related questions as this will reflect what’s on your mind.
Dressing improperly – Dress professionally and neatly as this reflects the type of personality that you have. Cover body prints or remove piercings, if any.
If you are not successful in securing a position, don’t despair. Never make the mistake of perceiving rejection as a sign of failure; rather, view it as a test to your patience and resilience. Rationalize it by thinking that the firm which rejected you is the wrong company and that you deserve a better one; yet, be cognizant of the stiff competition given the large population of job searchers composed of the unemployed like you, the yearly addition of fresh graduates, and those from recent company layoffs.
Make it a habit to analyze your job application process, what worked and what did not. Learn from each experience. Identify your mistakes, make improvements, and move on. There are plenty of opportunities out there. Widen your network. Connect and make yourself visible. Build your core strengths, be more competitive, focus on other opportunities, and continue to present yourself to the best you can. Don’t give up! Sooner than you expect, a better opportunity will come along.
M. L. Galvez-Ver | Contributing Writer