How To Deal With Silent Rejection
Dealing with constant rejection can hugely damage the confidence of us young graduates trying to get on the job ladder. There is, I find, only so much one can be told the word no, or worse, totally ignored, before the black clouds appear and the confidence and drive to apply and send out CVs wanes.
Is there anything worse in this world than to pour hours into a job application, and end up not hearing anything back? Nowadays it seems even getting to the interview stage is getting harder and harder for the average graduate, and I know of many friends who have literally spent months sending out CVs and covering letters, and filling in tedious online application forms (what would you say is your worst quality? Hmmm) and hearing nothing back. Nothing. Not even a polite and vague email of rejection.
The Hardest Part
Rejection and outright unacknowledgment from employers sucks, but a common mistake made by many is in taking the rejection personally, because, believe me, it isn’t. But it is ignorant. I mean, how hard is it to send a generic email of rejection? Please? At least then we at least know that they GOT our CVs. It’s hard for me to think of anything more embarrassing then having to email companies to see if they received my applications, often slaved over for days before pressing send. And still hear nothing back from them. Cruel. (And yes, I’ve done this more than once…)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that times are tough for young graduates. The job market is over saturated with bright young things wanting to get on the career ladder, and applying for jobs is becoming a full time job in itself for many.
So why does this silence happen? Where do all these applications, which took hours, and blood sweat and tears to finish, go? Do the people in charge of hiring not realize how tough things are out there, or do they simply not care?
I do understand that sometimes employers are overwhelmed by the amount of responses their advertisement receive. In my last job, an ad placed in an evening London newspaper received literally hundreds of responses. I can understand that it is impossible to apply individually to that many people. But what about those online applications where one has to fill out each page? Surely, surely they can send out generic emails to those of us unsuccessful.
How to deal
So how can we deal with this silence? Unlike being unsuccessful after an interview or a trial, where at least there is the option of getting feedback on ways to improve, the wall of silence offers us no which options.
One way is to narrow down the amount of jobs you are applying for. Though this might seem counterproductive at first, applying for fewer jobs means you will be able to spend more time on every individual application, and tailor your CV much better.
Another way to hopefully prevent the silence is to have a few trusted friends (who ideally have good jobs or work in recruitment!) look at your CV and basic covering letter (if you have not already done so), and see what they think. It is astonishing how easy it is to miss a massive error on your own CV: a fresh pair of eyes can do wonders.
Finally, keep calm and stay focused. Think about where you look for jobs, and if you feel you are having no luck with one website or recruiting service, try another. Personally, I had no luck using one major newspaper job page, but great luck with another. Look around and try applying through different places- it may surprise you.
So try not to get frustrated or upset. Remember that were all in this together, and it is important to keep confident, keep improving your CV where you can, and keep applying. You may not be landing those dream roles now, but 12 months is a long time, and who knows where you will end up in the future. Your working life is a long one, so stay happy, relaxed, and focused*, and keep going.