As the job market slowly returns, competition for work will likely be even more intense than before the COVID-19 crisis.  The impact will continue for some time, with large numbers of people seeking new employment. Unfortunately, for many, this will mean having to deal with being rejected for a role they really wanted. It’s never a good feeling but we’ve got some tips on how you can turn being rejected into a role into being a stronger contender for the next one you go for.

If you didn’t get an interview, you can email the hiring manager to ask why. It isn’t usually a slight on you as a candidate; sometimes a company is obliged to advertise but has already chosen an internal applicant or budget changes may mean the vacancy no longer exists. Hiring managers sometimes have so many applications that they only consider a few. You can´t control these things, but asking the question lets the company know you´re still interested.

If you did get to interview stage, most companies will provide feedback on your performance which you can then use to your advantage in the next one – it’s always worth asking for this and then practising your answers based on what they have told you.

If you weren’t successful for a reason you can’t help, or you don’t get feedback, you can still work at improving your chances.  Things to consider include:

  • Did you follow the instructions about how to apply? Always do exactly what they ask, no more and no less.  It´s like taking an exam and often designed to catch out people who don´t do what is asked
  • Is your CV adapted to their job description? You need to make a few changes to fit each job, especially with online applications as these are often checked using application tracking systems.  Note any keywords in the job advertisement and fit these into your CV, so the system picks these up
  • Keep busy, improve your skills. Some people suggest voluntary work, which can help you pick up useful skills and fill any gaps in work history
  • Use your network and ask for help with any issues bothering you
  • Remember that we are here to help you with your CV, cover letter or interview advice!

Most importantly, don’t take it personally and don’t let it make you lose confidence.