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.