Overcoming Setbacks During The Recruitment Process

Overcoming Setbacks During The Recruitment Process

Throughout our careers, we will all come face-to-face with a setback or two – no matter how intelligent or experienced we may be. This can be in the form of a failed project at work, a risk that didn’t pay off, or rejection when applying for a new role. Rejection, in particular, can be tough to overcome – many questions may circulate in your head as to why you weren’t successful. The reality is, setbacks are a common step in the recruitment process and assist us with fine-tuning skills required to take those next steps. For some tips on overcoming setbacks commonly faced during this process, see below. 

Don’t let a failure discourage you

Failure is one of those unpleasant but inevitable parts of life. In both our career and personal life, it can be easy to focus on the negative things, rather than celebrating the triumphs. In a recruitment sense, if you landed an interview but didn’t get the job, the fact you received an interview is an achievement in itself. Your resume, cover letter and application obviously grabbed the right person’s attention, and getting noticed among often a sea of applicant is half the challenge.

Read more: 5 Reasons To Embrace Failure

Resilience is key during recruitment, as it can sometimes take significant time to secure the right role. Seek.com.au spoke with Chandler Macleod consultant Matthew Callow, who advised candidates to stop, breathe and get back in the game after a setback. “Job hunting is survival of the fittest. You have to keep moving. You may have missed your target this time, but over the hill is a whole pasture of opportunities,” he said. Maintain the level of focus you had when you first began the job hunt, and eventually your failures will lead you to success in a great role.

Also read: The Power of Mental Strength and How to Build It

Seek constructive feedback from missed opportunities

If you find yourself coming close to the role, but just missing out, try to determine what was letting you down. Often recruiters will offer up feedback as part of the rejection process, but if they don’t, be proactive and request it from them. While companies are not obliged to offer feedback, it certainly can’t hurt to ask if it will assist in your job search.

In most cases, feedback is very practical and can assist with getting you over the line in the next interview. Once received, don’t just acknowledge the feedback – actually take it into consideration, even if you disagree. Reflect on why you think they have perceived you in that way and how you could improve in your next job interview. You never know – one small change could be the key to success in the next round.

Also read: 4 Skills That Will Impress Every Hiring Manager

Act on what let you down

As we touched on above, it’s important to make changes and adapt according to the comments you receive, otherwise the efforts in seeking feedback will be somewhat wasted. If it’s simple changes to your CV or the examples you provided, take the time to plan out how you would approach those aspects differently next time. Sometimes the employer is looking for someone with a different qualification or level of experience. Consider whether that is something you’d like to pursue, as this could be the missing piece of the puzzle that will help you land your dream role.

For AIB MBA Graduate Benjamin Hennessy, despite ten years of general management experience, his obstacle was a lack of qualification. He regularly received feedback that indicated that employers liked him, but the successful applicant often possessed a degree. After completing his MBA, Mr Hennessy found that so many new doors opened. Overcoming setbacks in this instance is all about being adaptive and understanding the field you’re trying to break into. If it means further experience in a particular area, you may need to invest the time before you can achieve the level of role you desire.

Reflect on your goals often

When facing and overcoming setbacks, it’s easy to lose motivation and feel defeated. We all embark on the career change journey as we’re motivated towards something in particular, so keep this motivation in mind throughout. Whether it’s an increase in salary, a need for a culture change, or a desire to be more challenged – remember this during the setbacks. It can be helpful to write down particular goals and plan how you think you can get there. Along the way, the plan can be altered to incorporate feedback, and with time, you will land the role you have been searching for.

Related read: How The MBA Can Help You Land Your Dream Job

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.  

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