| May 2022 |


Is there such a thing as rejection resilience? - Empowered Decision

How can I buffer against job application rejection?

WRITTEN BY: Michelle White

The dreaded email…. “Your application has unfortunately not been successful….” – we all know how awful it feels to open your inbox to this message. The immediate reaction is often – “what did I do wrong, I thought I was perfect for the role…” followed by a deflated feeling of rejection.

If it is of any comfort, it is highly likely you did nothing wrong. There are countless aspects, decisions, dynamics and situations at play which are completely out of your control during a job search process. The best way to cope with this inevitable unpleasant feeling is to develop a bit of a tough skin, expect you will probably not get feedback and rather focus on what you can control in giving yourself the best opportunity to land that role.

Some ideas to simultaneously initiate to increase your odds:

1. Apply and wait – Rather than sending that one perfect application to that one perfect role, or even worse not applying at all as there isn’t an exact fit, playing a (thought through) numbers game, could increase your odds. By no means am I suggesting you send out a myriad of random applications, but rather to select a handful of interesting, aspirational, and challenging opportunities – a luxury you have in a skill-short market in many industries.

2. Research a recruiter who specialises in your area – An experienced recruiter will have a finger on the pulse of the market and relationships with companies often allowing for insight and a heads up you are not privy to. The recruiter will also give you valuable feedback which companies are hesitant to do.

3. Company websites are underrated – Companies often encourage exceptionally skilled candidates to apply for a generic role such as “leadership or management or a change agent” with no specific requirements. This talent search tactic is frequently used by fast growing companies who have a gap at a certain layer of the organisation or who are looking to attract unique talent.

“Control the controllable”


4. Who do you know – Leverage the power of an endorsement or an introduction. Connect with previous colleagues on LinkedIn and do not be hesitant to ask a close connection to put a good word in for you or to pass on your Resume to a decision maker.

5. On that note, refresh and update your LinkedIn profile – Many recruiters, talent acquisition consultants and line managers actively use LinkedIn as a primary source of identifying talent and could potentially present and exciting and new opportunity where you have some negotiation leverage as your skills are in demand.

6. Prepare and Practise – for interviews! This cannot be stressed enough and understanding how to articulate your value, your values and your desire to work for a company is priceless in the selection process. You cannot wing this, and specific preparation is required for each opportunity.

7. No One Size Fits All Resume – Your Resume becomes a powerful branding tool if you understand how to adapt your written presentation to each application. There are subtle ways to attract attention, allow the reader to connect with you and demonstrate your unique value. It is well worth developing a quality base document and then adapting each application.

Enjoy this process of discovering new opportunities and arm yourself with confidence, grit and resilience.