You saw the vacancy and its requirements. You are qualified, become ecstatic, and apply. The invite for an online test arrives, you wrote and passed! Yay! You are sent another invite for a “confirmation” test, and passed again.
That feeling of being a boss arouses within you. Is it not me again? Then you get called for assessment centre, and you passed – again! Then chat with the executives in the firm. Then the big wait commences.
A week after the chat, the mail drops in. “We are sorry to inform you that….” Expectedly, you become devastated about everything. What next? After what I said and demonstrated? The suits and shoes I wore?
The plans I had? The money I invested into transport, feeding and accommodation? The pictures to take? What else? Yes, it is never easy to be told you have not succeeded after an interview, especially if it occurs frequently, and worse still at the same firm.
As a seeker who just got “regretted”, you should remember you are not alone. The job market is extremely competitive with recruiters having many well-qualified candidates to choose from.
Suffice to say, it is a buyers’ market. At times, it is tedious. Competing in the labour market invariably increases one’s resilience and perseverance. This enables one to cope with the rigorous processes of searching for jobs later on.
Although, being sent a regret mail can be psychologically onerous, it can serve as an invaluable bank of knowledge for further hunts. Don’t give up, be positive. Here are the three ways you can address the situation:
1. CONTACT THE RECRUITER:
You can send the firm an email a short while after the rejection mail, where you courteously appreciate them for their time and service, and asking when similar opportunities can be made available. This could be an opportunity for your details to be kept for future openings.
Additionally, you could politely request on how you fared, and where you goofed. This will aid your search – at the firm or elsewhere – next time.
Ensure the conversation is concise, professional and appreciative. It is important to note that some recruiters won’t reply any questions, especially if you made it to the interview stage. Others will simply proffer trite statements.
2. IMPROVE YOUR EMPLOY-ABILITY:
Being an unemployed graduate proffers you the time to invest in building your core competencies. Programs that improve employ-ability include but not limited to learning a new but profitable language, volunteering for causes dear to you or becoming an intern for an SME. I suggest an actionable plan of realising your goal. Some of which are:
– Gaining extra work experience.
– Sourcing for new vacancy avenues.
– Refining your CV.
– Adopting a cold-email job-seeking approach.
– Using social media in aiding your search (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter etc).
– Learn new skills through online education (e.g. Coursera, edx etc).
Another way is through networking (I am not advocating mediocrity), but networking is a way of getting jobs, as most are not advertised. Meeting new people and pitching your profile. Humans give jobs, meet more humans; resourceful ones.
3. REFINE YOUR JOB APPLICATIONS:
To advance one’s prospect, it is important to work on the aspects of the application that have been missing. Common reasons for rejection include but not limited to:
– Not including the subject as specified.
– Poor spelling or grammar
– No originality demonstrated.
– Poor research about the firm.
– No value demonstrated in the career history.
There must be self-criticism, this time by doing so from a recruiter’s perspective, and ask very important questions. You should focus on what you can offer the particular employer.
Additionally, it is important to apply for roles you are suited for, and not roles that request for minimum of three years’ experience, when you have none.
Or roles that request for cognate experience when you possess none. Contrary to most graduates’ expectations, you are not likely to be highly paid in your first job or being assigned complex responsibilities.
Rather, your first job should be regarded as paid training – where the biggest reward of all is getting through the competitive recruitment process.
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