You’ve sat down at your desk for weeks on end sending out countless applications and follow-ups but you’re still not receiving any positive responses. You may be feeling vulnerable and disappointed by these job rejections, but don’t let that dampen your fire.

Allow your emotions to serve as a motivation for you to keep on trying by exploring new avenues. You can use it as an opportunity for some introspection, assess your value and what kind of problems you can help to solve for the companies you intend to apply to. Perhaps you can even take this time to sharpen your communication skills to get your point across in the best way possible.

persistence is key to finding a job

Let your persistence be the driving force in your job search. Allow it to encompass your need to fully understand what is fueling the rejection and figure out the best solution to work through that obstacle. Be patient and use all resources at your disposal in your job searching and your efforts will pay off in the end.

job search persistence
job search persistence

In some cases, it might just not be the right time for the company to hire someone, or there might be a lack of resources. This is especially true during a pandemic where many companies have made their interview processes much more stringent and longer. Companies that have an attractive brand may also receive thousands of applications for just one role. Hiring managers will be swamped with hundreds of job application emails and your application might be left with no response.

don’t take it personally and learn from your experiences

It is crucial to remind yourself not to take the rejection personally. At the end of the day, it is just business. Once you figure out the best way to detach yourself emotionally from the job rejection, it would be so much easier for you to overcome feelings of devaluation. The turning down of your job application does not explicitly signify that you were not qualified for that particular position. If you are really interested in the role, you should take it a step further and ask your job interviewer why you were rejected so you know what you have to work on.

Don’t be afraid to fight for what you want. Potential employers are able to spot persistence from a mile away. The ability to remain steadfast when faced with adversity is a sign of a great employee. Don’t hesitate to send an email response, or even a text message, to ask why you were rejected and if there are other more appropriate jobs within the company that you can apply to instead. You can also get the interviewer’s advice on what you did well during the job interview and their opinion on areas you could improve in.

keep calm and carry on

Even in the face of job rejection, you’ll need to remain graceful and respectful. You do not want to burn any bridges, especially since there is a chance that you may cross paths with them in the future. It is an important social etiquette to abide by, and would be beneficial in other parts of your personal life.

how to respond to a job rejection
how to respond to a job rejection

As companies could be swamped with job applications, you should be more mindful about giving them more time to respond to you, as well as respect their time and waiting a little bit longer to follow up with them. Even if the process ends up in an application rejection, you should be responding graciously and at the very least, let the employer know that you are keen to work with them in the future if an opportunity ever arises. 

identify your skills gap

Rather than focussing on the job search rejection, recognise that you’re doing well given such extraordinary circumstances. Use the hiring manager’s feedback to analyse your skill gaps and why you were not fit for the role. There are many assessment tools available online, such as Pymetrics, WebMentor Skills, and KnowledgeSmart to understand from a third-person view. They use behavioural and critical skills assessments to evaluate job seekers to measure their unique capabilities and weaknesses.

You can also use this time to re-evaluate your priorities, such as the types of career, organisational culture and management style that allows you to realise your true potential in a working environment. 

some questions you can ask yourself to reset your career goals:

  • What job roles sounded interesting when I was younger but never pursued?
  • Who are the employers that I’ve always wanted to work for? 
  • Do I perform better at work when I have more autonomy or does having a structured process work better? 
  • What in-demand skills are in trend with my career? 

upskill and reskill to increase your hiring attractiveness

Once you are aware of what you need to work on, you can consider signing up for professional training courses or re-skilling programmes. You can also consider engaging a career coach to help you figure out which of your skills are transferable and target your applications to organisations that could use those skills. 

As the saying goes, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. If you want different results, then you must be willing to try different approaches. When you take these extra steps in your job search, you are showing prospective employers that you are willing to invest in yourself rather than sitting around and waiting for things to happen. 

If you are currently employed, considering taking on a project to help bulk up your resume. If finding a job is proving to be difficult, consider taking some time off to upskill and re-skill yourself or be open to take up a contract role for on-the-job training. 

invest in upskilling and reskilling
invest in upskilling and reskilling

4 must-have professional skills 

Regardless of your career or the industry that you work in, here are the top 4 professional skills you’ll definitely need to make it. 

1. business language 

The clarity of your communication can greatly affect your professional image. Workers who are able to articulate better are more often highly evaluated and stand out more. Not only will a good command of language help articulate your mind clearly, it also makes it easier for others to understand what your motivations are. You may also want to consider improving your second language to expand your portfolio to other markets. 

If you have struggled with writing a business email or commanding a room during a presentation, consider taking a part-time or short-term business language course. 

2. basic financing and accounting skills

Regardless of what career you’re in, you’ll need to manage budgets as you climb up the career ladder. Whether it is managing expenditure budgets or projecting manufacturing output calculations, it is always good to brush up on simple accounting and financial skills. 

Many employers value workers who know how to optimise the budget effectively and are very attracted to candidates who can propose changes and initiate projects that will lead to higher revenues and lower costs. 

3. social media marketing 

It is very rare to use a fax machine these days. Everyone has an online footprint and are actively communicating and connecting with their loved ones on social media apps. But your social media activities should not just stop at sharing funny videos or inspirational quotes with your friends and family. It is critical for professionals across all careers and industries to have good social media marketing skills to successfully navigate the digital marketing world. 

Having a strong personal online brand and being able to connect with professional peers to discuss market trends and news can help build your online presence. And before you even know it, potential employers could be reaching out to you directly on LinkedIn! 

4. data analytics

A basic understanding of data analytics would be a useful tool in your belt. Having good data analytical skills means that you have a good understanding of trends and can help map future scenarios that can help the company save costs. It teaches you logic and problem solving skills that you can apply in every aspect of your career, and may even open a few doors for new career opportunities. 

While it may look daunting, not all data analytics skills are technical and difficult to acquire. Data analytical tools are used to all companies to help make informed decisions. The most traditional form of data analysis uses spreadsheets with advanced Microsoft Excel knowledge. Most global companies use data dashboards that are powered by Hubspot and Tableau, or have built their own proprietary dashboards for sales tracking or manufacturing production. Find out what are some of the commonly-used dashboards in your industry and sign up for professional courses to learn the basics. 

Employers are more likely to hire candidates who know how to use different dashboards as they require a shorter onboarding and can get the ground running. So make sure that you list your data analytical skills on your CVs! 

You have to be willing to try new things and embrace change and continue investing in yourself so that you stand a better chance at securing a job the next time. Remember that no matter how qualified you are, nobody gets a job on their first try. It’s all about perseverance and adapting to the new normal, and most importantly, keep your chin up! 

If you’re looking for a job, head over to our job portal to look at the newest job openings in the market! You can also keep reading up on career advice hub

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