Get your job search back on track with these tips. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Job-hunting can be incredibly frustrating and hard on your ego.
It's hard to stay positive if you're experiencing multiple setbacks, or have yet to land an interview in your chosen field.
Dealing with rejection isn't just a challenge you'll face while looking for work– it's also a vital skill to develop for overall career success. If you're looking to start your career, you may face a steep learning curve. The sooner you get to work, the more positive your search will be. Here are some tips and strategies to help you get started:
Vent, but do it privately
Not landing a coveted interview or being excluded from the next round of a hiring process can be frustrating! It's ok to share your disappointment – in fact, sharing may help you get over it, or put you in touch with some much-needed perspective.
Just remember to keep your venting private. Share how you're feeling with friends or family off-line, but steer clear of social media. While it's natural to want to put your feelings "out there," you run the risk of appearing unprofessional – which will only make things harder.
Spend time reflecting
Once you have gotten over being frustrated, reflect on your experience.
Look at what you learned from the application or interview process and decide what you can do to improve.
Take a look at the jobs you are applying to: are you missing important and necessary skills? How can you gain experience to make up for what you're missing?
Some employers may be willing to offer you feedback, particularly if you make it into the later stages of a hiring process. This feedback can help you identify possible areas of improvement – and may help you manage your feelings of frustration in a productive way.
Try to network with the hiring manager and leave a good impression; you never know when your paths may cross again.
Don’t give up
Every interview you go on (and every application you send) puts you one step further ahead than you were before.
It's important to focus on your forward momentum – giving up is not an option.
Be honest with yourself if you need to scale back your networking and job-searching for a while to recharge. It's better to spend less time in a productive way than to use up multiple hours accomplishing next to nothing.
Put things in perspective
Since looking for work can take up a lot of your time and energy, it's important that you make an effort to balance the day-to-day against the big picture.
Setbacks like not hearing about a particular role or not getting hired after a promising interview are not proof that you're doing something wrong.
There are often hundreds of applicants for a single position, and the final decision may be made based on factors no one could have predicted.
Job descriptions can't communicate every aspect of a position or all the qualities of an ideal candidate, so don't take it personally. You're doing the best you can.
This is one of the hardest things to do after facing rejection, but it's also one of the most important.
Even if you only made it through the first round of interviews, be grateful that you were given that opportunity. Many applicants weren't.
Don’t forget to show the employer that you are grateful for the opportunity to engage. Many applicants get so caught up in their disappointment that they forget to even send the hiring manager a thank you.
By sending a positive follow-up, you improve your chances of staying on the Hiring Manager's radar, while communicating how dedicated you are to the industry and the company. If your paths cross in future, you'll have already started building a positive impression.
Hold your head high
Hold your head high, even when faced with rejection.
Everything happens for a reason. Though it may be hard to see past the rejection, if you plow through it, you will eventually end up exactly where you are meant to be. It just may take some time and commitment.
Remind yourself that rejection is part of life. Sometimes you may apply to hundreds of jobs before you land exactly what you're looking for. Stay positive, work through it by following these steps, and move on.