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Career Advice

5 Reasons for Rejection

Rejection from a job you've had your heart set on can be soul destroying.

Negative thoughts can take over and lead you to conclude you lost out because you:

  • Have a distinct and unprecedented lack of talent 
  • Are universally disagreeable 
  • Are a complete waste of workforce space 

Stop right there! In fact, there could be any number of reasons why you didn't get the job, the majority of which aren't personal.

You're good but you're not right
The current economic climate makes this one all the more likely. You are a good candidate – possibly even a superb one. But with so many CVs being put forward for a single job, competing candidates might just be more on target than you. If this is the case, don't give up. Carefully tailor your CV and covering letter each and every time you apply for a job. Together they can form a persuasive argument that your skills are a neat fit. And remember, if your CV is strong, at some point your own personal and unique experiences will hit the mark.

You didn't look the part
What you chose to wear could have been the clincher. Make sure you understand the culture of the company you are applying for and dress accordingly. If you wear a stuffy suit for an interview at a media company they might assume you won't fit in. And whatever the company, scruffiness is a bad idea; your clothing must show how keen you are to impress. If you think you're one of many being interviewed, then consider wearing something that will keep you front of mind – think a bold tie or bright accessories, rather than a chicken suit.

You came across as a negative person
This is an easy trap to fall into, particularly if you're leaving a job you hate or you've just been made redundant. People want to work with optimistic and upbeat people, not individuals who complain and bad mouth their colleagues. No matter what negative feelings you're harbouring: smile, be enthusiastic, and show the interviewer you would be enjoyable to have around.

Your needs can't be met
Usually you'll be asked what you're looking for in terms of company culture and career development. Someone who likes small companies with flexible working practices won't be chosen to work in a corporate and structured environment. And if you voice ambitions beyond the job you've applied for, such as progressing to management, you won't be a good choice if no such opportunities exist. Companies want to know they can give you what you need, or they'll be risking time and money on a candidate who's liable to up and leave before too long.

Your guess is as good as mine
It's possible the company changed their mind about the position or decided to put recruitment on hold. Perhaps the person interviewing you had an argument with their wife that morning. One of the other candidates could already work within the company or has a friend or relative in the business. With so many factors beyond your control it's unhelpful to assume it's all down to you.

So next time you lose out on a job:

  • Don't jump to conclusions based on nothing more than your own insecurities. 
  • Give the recruiter a call and ask them what went wrong. 
  • You may be pleasantly surprised; it could be something simple to fix or a lucky escape on your part.

Speak to your family, friends or your Job Place Consultant; they'll restore your confidence and help you bounce back fighting.

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