Job rejection - Take a lesson from the world of romance

Frank Hutton

There’s possibly only one thing worse than hearing nothing back after having sent out a barrow load of CVs. That’s being rejected for the role that you had interviewed for and thought you’d got.

Being rejected can be a painful experience at whatever stage it happens and can be debilitating if it seems to go on constantly. Being told to find the positives is good advice but it’s a bit like being told there are plenty more fish in the sea or pebbles on the beach when you’ve just been dumped.

OK, so what can you do about it? Taking the analogy further, look at it like finding a new partner.

Most of us think we’re not good enough for the people we like the look of; we’ve been rejected perhaps and our self-confidence has been dented. But the truth is that: most of us do find someone eventually, we all can learn skills to improve the process and our success rates, and we can be pleasantly surprised that people ‘out of our league’ can still choose us!.

Recruitment and romance bear many similarities. Simply understand some truths about the recruitment process which will help you to see it’s not personal and that the statistics show you will be successful in the end, if not sooner.

Choosing someone else over you isn’t necessarily rejecting you.

It’s not unusual, especially at CV sifting stage for a potential employer or recruiter to have to make a difficult choice about who to keep in the process. There are some really great people out there. Exactly what makes a great person varies in relation to the job in question. Your time will come - statistically it’s true. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes longer. Perhaps on a different day with fewer applicants in the mix, you would have made the cut. That’s not something you can control.

It’s not always a professional making a considered decision

Mostly, the people making key decisions will not have recruitment as their main job. While initial selection is often made by HR or a recruiter/resource specialist comparing you to a set of criteria (not always made entirely public), it’s often the case that the actual selection of who to meet for interview and who to hire is made by someone with no interview training or even previous experience. They will be looking for someone who will impress them or just stand out from the crowd (much as you do when finding a partner).

Your CV wasn’t even seen

Sometimes these days there is just so much response, certain employers who do not follow set procedures will decide to stop looking at fresh CVs after a certain time, as they have a good enough selection of people in front of them already. They are not trying to find the best person in the country for the job, just someone who can do the job well. This is something you can control. Get responses to advertisements in early; make time to respond. Discipline yourself to act swiftly and record that favourite TV show in favour of crafting your application letter and adjusting your CV.

People recruit people they like

The ‘gut feel’ approach is something we all do naturally as human beings; and it’s the key root cause in my opinion of why you can seem like a sure fire candidate for a role on paper, seem to do fine at interview but just get nowhere. It’s something largely beyond your control. However, you can learn skills and techniques that help you avoid transmitting negative messages to your interviewer. Body language, dress, speech can all play a part. We are experts in this and can help you learn how to turn these things to your advantage.

The vast majority will find a role

How long will it take to find me a new job or new working life? It’s another one of those questions I’m asked constantly, understandably. For most people out of work, it’s less than 6 months. It’s rarely less than 3 months from initiation to start date but it does happen. However for some it could take as long as 12 months. Having studied the Government figures, they show that there are people out there for whom employment will always remain a challenge due to their personal circumstances and background, but for 84% of you, you WILL find something within the year. It’s the most likely outcome. It's beyond your control but this time working in your favour.

And finally...

If you’re looking for love, don’t give up.  Just get wiser and understand there’s someone out there for you.

If you’re looking for work, don’t give up.  Just get wiser and understand that the right position will be out there for you; but, unlike love, it won’t come looking for you. You need to find it.

If you want to talk about any of the issues this piece raises, or would like a free initial consultation then call 0117 299 3035 or email letstalk@huttonand.co