“Not Getting the Job” Should be a Learning Event

Posted March 18, 2013 by

Virtual Career Consultant logoThe scenario plays out all too often. You get the call that your resume was selected; you land an interview; and then…silence! Days, perhaps weeks of uncertainty pass, until you finally receive the dreaded email stating “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Getting rejected for anything is devastating, but getting rejected for a job can be very unnerving. The immediate reaction for most is to obsess over what went wrong. Did I blow the interview? Am I too old? Was the position filled internally? While wallowing in self-doubt is the easy way out, rise above your pessimism and take the opportunity to conduct an honest assessment. Follow up by asking why you were not the right fit. Perhaps ask the interviewer if he or she could offer you ways to improve so you might become a better candidate for the company in the future. The interviewer won’t think any less of you, and if you don’t ask, you will never know.

Feedback received from hiring managers or recruiters, is always valuable, and you should always be gracious. Regardless of your determination as to their reasons for rejecting you, smile and thank them for giving you ‘wonderful help’ and ‘wise insights. Your sincerity will be appreciated. Also, your considerate listening to his or her reasons will make the hiring manager feel good about you. And a hiring manager who feels good about you will want to help you.

Make sure you are enrolled with a trusted, established career consulting firm. It can only benefit you to talk through your experience with a professional individual who possesses hiring knowledge and expertise. Relate what transpired with your interview and see if your recruiter has any valuable input on what you might have done better. Perhaps you need to assess your cover letter and resume. Go back and read the job description again, and compare it to your resume, assuring that your resume includes keywords that were in the job description. Would a reader be able to recognize within 10 seconds that your qualifications are relevant for the job? If the resume does not include language from the job description, you might be missing a major opportunity.

You should consider paying for a professional critique or rewrite of your resume. If you are stuck in a loop and are receiving no valuable feedback, you probably won’t change, and that could mean the difference between getting selected or rejected for a position. If you are really interested in the company, and think you might be a fit for future positions, don’t be afraid to periodically keep in touch. A few weeks after your interview, send an email to HR or the person with whom you interviewed; to show interest and to see if any new positions have come up. Make sure to include any new experiences or skills you have gained in the meantime. If you don’t have any updates, that’s okay—include an article you think they would find interesting instead. Remember, timing is everything. If you are staying in touch with someone, it is easier for him or her to keep you in mind for new job openings as they arise.

Whether or not you are chosen for the job, the most important thing you can do as an interviewee is to stand out from the pack. And by showing that you are interested in the company long-term and that you are continuing to improve your qualifications—even when you didn’t get the job—you will do just that.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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