There is a reason why everyone fears rejection. Being swamped in university exams and assignments, spending hours writing applications, filling in competency questions, and tailoring CV’s and cover letters is tedious and time consuming — and facing rejection afterwards is an ordeal in itself too. However, the terms ’rejected’ and ‘failure’ are often confused, although in no way synonymous. Rejection is a part of the process. It’s important that you know what skills you’re not flaunting enough, where your writing skills can be improved and most of all, what job suits you most. So, read on how to keep you motivated throughout the short-lived rejection phase.

Onwards and upwards. Rejection can come at any stage of the application process. Whether it was straight after sending in your CV or a week after your interview, it’s never a moralising feeling. But, think of it this way – you’ve learnt something. If you had an interview, you practiced real life interview skills and got an insight into what questions employers like to ask. Take a note of all that you did, what you didn’t do and what could be improved. At this stage you are even entitled to feedback from your interviewer. So make most of the constructive criticism and take the advice on board. Once you’ve advanced those skills you may have been weak on, it would only make you that much of a stronger and competitive candidate in your next interview, potentially putting you in the lead against your competing applicants and landing you the job, as you have learnt and practiced what your fellow applicants are yet to learn.

Narrow down your job search. Many students reach out for as many jobs they can find on their job search. They overlook the fact that their CV needs very specific tailoring to each job and keep every application generic so that they can make as many as possible. Perhaps this gives the comforting illusion that they’re bound to get 1 out of 100. However, there’s nothing more shattering then getting rejection after rejection because no application is specific and focused enough. Here’s an encouraging secret – you don’t need to make hundreds of applications! To your surprise, it is okay to make fewer applications, but higher quality ones instead, tailored and modified to suit both you and the job description. This way, you’ll not only make fewer applications, but you’ll face fewer rejections and start receiving those interviews and offers instead.

Personal development. This needs to be consistent. Your personal development is driven by your motivation. There are many ways that you can help yourself develop including, gaining feedback, advice, looking into different industries and assess where you may be suited, talking to people in different industries, attending workshops, open days and so much more. All these will help you find where you most suit. Your job search should not be limited to surfing the net. You need to be proactive and physically search for what suits you best. By doing this, your exploration in the careers section will become more refined, and once you’ve learnt where you’re best placed, you will concentrate on accelerating the skills that they look for and advance further in the application process.

So, fear not. A rejection is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s central to personal growth as it allows you to realise what you’re not so good at and build on it. Keep yourself motivated and refine your search according to your personality, preferences and goals and you’ll find yourself landing a job that you really enjoy and are good at.

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