Don't give up! How to turn a job refusal into an acceptance

There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to job-hunting: you will be rejected at some point in your career. When the inevitable happens, and the door closes, one thing you should never do is walk away from it.

Job interviews can be highly stressful. After fine-tuning your CV and perfecting your cover letter, you’re then called to present yourself to employers in the most glowing light possible. After thoroughly researching potential questions and reciting the answers like some kind of possessed soul, you go in and give it your all. Alas, your inbox lights up with the dreaded rejection letter days later. So what do you do now?


Step 1 - getting your head around rejection


After all that work, you didn’t get the job. Yes, it’s frustrating, and you’d only be human if you flailed your arms in disappointment and proclaimed how it “wasn’t meant to be”. But what if it was, and you’ve given up at the first hurdle?


Think of it as a stepping stone - every time you make a connection in an interview, you’re adding a name to your contact book, not to mention building the skills you need for the next one. There’s no dead end here; you’ve simply earned more stripes in the career game.


Step 2 - send a sincere thank you note


Sure, you probably don’t feel thankful this very moment, but the hiring manager still thought you were good enough for the role, despite you losing grip on it at the last stage. Be sure to thank the people who invited you for the interview for considering you in the first place, and express your wishes to be considered in the future - your graciousness definitely won’t go unnoticed.


Step 3 - start asking questions


The first, and most obvious question, is why. Some employers will give you feedback to your weaknesses, and why you didn’t fit the bill in this case - and what have you got to lose? You’ll never know if you don’t ask.


If the employer in question has specific doubts about your experience or performance, use them to your advantage. Maybe it’s something you can strengthen, and you never know, you may be number two or three in the shortlist. If another position ends up vacant, that little bit of keenness could be the key to success. Whatever you do, don’t sound frustrated; and definitely don’t challenge the employer’s decision - engagement and good vibes are vital here.


Step 3 - if all else fails, keep looking


As the old adage goes, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, and with 30.7 million people now employed in the UK (the most since records began), you’re currently in the best place to catch them. The sectors brimming with vacancies include IT, recruitment, healthcare and construction. Another great market for job-seekers is the financial sector: with countless administrator positions and roles in internal auditing in banking available. Check out Barclay Simpson internal audit job vacancies for plenty of exciting opportunities, and remember, failure is not an option. Good luck!

Views: 270

Comment by Matt Charney on January 16, 2015 at 1:23pm

Once it's a no, it's a no, no matter what else you happen to do. Of course, by the time you know it's a no, the position has already been filled by someone else. Nice thoughts in theory, in practice, completely asinine. Also, if your inbox lighting up with rejection letters is a common frustration, we must be doing something right with candidate experience.


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