Don’t take an employer’s 'rejection' personally

Something that is shared with me by many of the job seekers with whom I’ve had contact is that they take “rejection” personally. My response to that is always pretty simply put: DON’T.

Remember, hundreds of job seekers send resumes in response to just about any job opening/posting, and usually only one of them is made an offer for employment. That means there are hundreds of “no thank you” letters sent/phone calls made. 

Assuming the hiring manager is doing their job well (although this is sadly not the case in all situations, it is in most instances), candidates who are not selected must realize that there was most likely another candidate who:

  • May have been perceived as a better fit with the company’s culture
  • Had more experience in the related industry
  • Did a better job presenting their success stories using specific examples of how they applied the skills and competencies being requested (of the “ideal” candidate) to ultimately produce exceptional, outstanding results on a consistent basis

It is also possible the successful candidate did more to “knock the socks off” of the interviewer(s) by doing some or all of the following types of “extra effort/extra mile” activities as part of their interactions with the company:

  • Showed up a couple days early to do a dry run on the route and timing necessary to ensure prompt arrival for the interview. Used this visit to introduce themselves to the receptionist (aka, the “Gatekeeper”) to begin building that relationship
  • Produced something memorable to share with the interviewer(s), which clearly demonstrated that the candidate did a lot of research on the company, understood their issues/problems/areas for improvement, and then provided a document discussing how they could help to resolve/turn around such problems
  • Demonstrated excellent communication skills via follow ups (from thank-you cards to phone calls or emails to check on the status of the selection/interview process)
  • Asked well thought-out questions during the interviews, which demonstrated their laser-focused attention during such discussions
  • Proved, via their resume and interview discussions, that by bringing them on board, they were going to ultimately make the hiring manager look great to his/her boss.

I’ve run in 5Ks & 10Ks, and always found that there is only one winner…and the other participants did not take this personally. If anything, those who were there to win the race (versus just running in the race, regardless of where they finished), used the “loss” to motivate themselves to do a better job of preparation for the next race…in order to be in a better position to win the next time around.

Figure out what it takes to “win” the job search “race” and then do a great job of preparation and execution on “race day.”

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:25 AM, 08.07.2012