Career Paths

Landing Your Dream Job, and How to Deal with Rejection

min read
Natalie Lee

Dealing with Rejection

1. Know Yourself

When you apply for a job, you’re essentially trying to market yourself. With marketing a product, you have familiarise yourself with the product’s features, and this concept applies to job searching too!

The first step is to know what you want to do! Once you recognise what career path you’d like to pursue, it will be much easier to narrow down the specific jobs to apply for. If you’re unsure, check out platforms that give you career suggestions based on your skills.

Another integral part of knowing yourself is identifying your skill-sets. Once you achieve this, you can refine the jobs to apply to by matching your skills with the requirements of job listings. In relation to this, knowing your value is also crucial. Understand the value that you’re able to add to the company, and convey it to your interviewer.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to apply for something that you may feel under-qualified for, because job requirements are often just guidelines, not something rigid or definite. You may make up for a fault in one area with another attribute you have.

2. Resume & Cover letter

While it may be tedious and time-consuming, you must tailor your resume to each job you’re applying for, even if the jobs all belong to the same industry.

  1. Include keywords in your resume that corresponds to the job description
  2. Make sure you’re aware of how the Applicant Tracking System works
  3. Make sure your resume and cover letter don’t overlap. Your resume should reflect skills and professional experiences. Your cover letter should show who you are as a person.

3. Interview Preparation

Begin by conducting research on the company that you want to work for. This may include researching the industry and what the company is responsible for within that industry. It will also be very beneficial to conduct background research on your interviewer. You may also be asked to suggest improvements to the company, so have a few ideas in mind before your interview! Most importantly, prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewer, as it shows that you are interested in the role and came prepared. They can be about:

  1. Goals of the company
  2. Growth opportunities of the company
  3. Specific questions regarding the role
  4. Company culture

4. Bring the Right Attitude- Confidence is key here!

Many applicants might have similar skill sets and qualifications, so ensure that you stand out amongst the crowd. Having a go-getter attitude and being confident in yourself goes a long way! Your attitude also relates to your level of preparedness, as being prepared means that you’re eager for the role.

5. Social Media is Everything!

Make sure you optimise your LinkedIn profile. When a potential employer looks you up, this is the platform that they’ll most likely use. However, don’t neglect your other platforms. For bigger companies especially, they will likely conduct a background check of you through your social media accounts. So, make sure that your accounts are private, or that the content you’re posting won’t jeopardise a potential opportunity.

Dealing with Rejection

Job applications don’t always end in a success, as the job market is quite rough. After a few rejections, you may start doubting yourself. However, you shouldn’t see it as a defeat, but rather a valuable learning lesson. Once you’ve received a concrete rejection, you should take these steps:

Reflect on what went well, and more importantly, what went badly.
This can range anywhere from your CV, your interview, or whether the job was actually suited to you. These are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Did my CV reflect my skills and experiences accurately, whilst being tailored to the role being applied for?
  • Did I dress and act professionally in the interview?
  • What could have been done differently?

Email the company asking for detailed feedback (only if you have progressed to the interview stage). Ask them why the job wasn’t offered to you, and what you could have improved on.

After some self-reflection, decide whether you want to take some time to develop a certain skill or jump straight back into your job search!
If it’s the prior, look for courses you can take, or workshops you can attend to master a skill that will help you land your dream job. If it’s the latter, remember that perseverance is key to success. Maintain a positive attitude if you can, but if not, keep in mind that your dream job or at least the stepping stone to it is out there waiting for you!

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