Heard these words? Feeling dejected and frustrated?
It’s not nice to be told ‘no’ after putting effort into crafting a great resume and cover letter, meticulously researching the company and being genuinely interested in the opportunity. Perhaps you were interviewed for the role and missed out, or didn’t gain the chance of interviewing. Either way, unfortunately, hearing ‘no’ is a harsh reality in a job search.
Times are tough. Economies are struggling globally, businesses are closing their doors or laying off large numbers of staff, and competition for roles is high. With all of these factors at play, you are going to hear ‘no’ in your job search. You need to be resilient, absorb it, anaylse your performance and then move forward with a positive approach.
The first thing to do upon hearing the dreaded ’thanks but no thanks’ is to ask yourself a few questions:
If you didn’t receive an interview:
If you did attend an interview:
Obviously if you’ve answered no to any of these questions you have the chance to rectify the situation for next time. Don’t beat yourself up, use the experience to improve. We’ve all made mistakes in our approach and it’s through errors that you usually learn the most. It’s not the end of the world.
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, perhaps you need to accept the fact that this just wasn’t your lucky day. Good people miss out on opportunities all the time. From your perspective you possess all the right skills, experience and knowledge required for the role. You feel you’re a perfect fit. What you don’t see, however, is all the other applicants who also believe the same.
Maybe another candidate had similar experience, knowledge and skills to you, but what gave them an edge was specific product knowledge, a particular skill that was seen as an advantage to the role but wasn’t essential; maybe they were referred by someone and that gave them the edge. Of the multitude of reasons why you may have missed out, none are worth beating yourself up over.
When I was recruiting it wasn’t unusual to have 2 or even 3 candidates that really stood out. There have been times when all performed brilliantly at interview and the decision to chose one was difficult. Sometimes it came down to the quality of reference checks; if the person was known to the client, either directly or indirectly; other times it was my client’s ‘gut feeling’ that ultimately determined who was chosen.
The point I am trying to make is that you have no idea about all the pieces that make up the decision making process. Being told ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean you failed at any part of the job search process: it just means someone else had an edge on this occasion.
For every role there is but one successful candidate. It’s hard to stay positive in the midst of the stress of a job search, but you must. Just because it didn’t come to fruition this time doesn’t mean it won’t next time.
© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant
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