In a recent episode of ‘Call You and Yours’ on BBC Radio 4, callers described their despair and feelings of personal rejection when they received no replies from their applications. We then heard from an employer explaining that they felt they just couldn’t spare any time to contact each of the 190 applicants they didn’t interview – the lack of reply was a coping strategy for the employer rather than a personal reaction to each of the rejected applicants.
Whatever the intentions of employers however, students and graduates often tell us that the process of looking for a job does feel like a series of personal rejections; a lot of time and effort spent drafting applications and preparing for interviews, to then receive negative responses, or no responses at all. Experience of repeated rejection is enough to knock the confidence of even the most self-assured graduate.
Persistence and resilience are essential for successful job hunting in the current climate – yet positive thinking is often a tall order for graduates facing this situation.
Here are our top tips for remaining positive and optimistic despite job search setbacks:
· Ring recruiters for feedback where possible: you may get invaluable tips about how you can improve future applications and being ‘unsuccessful’ will start to feel less personal.
· Being involved in voluntary work can help you stay positive as well as boosting your CV and helping you make new contacts.
· Look after yourself during the job search process: take time out to relax, spend time with friends and family and do things you enjoy.
· View job search as a long-term process involving several rejections along the way: if you expect to apply for ten jobs and get one interview, you’ll feel more positive than if you pin your hopes on one application
· Reflect on your strategy to see whether you could make it more effective: http://www.careerealism.com/ has some useful tips
· Think about whether you could add a social element to your search: teaming up with a fellow job searcher (one with a positive outlook) or joining a Job Club can be helpful.
· Many graduates find that meeting with a Career Consultant can help them review their strategy and feel more positive- contact Careers and Employability to arrange a meeting: 01244 513 066 (Chester Campus) 01925 534 235 (Warrington Campus) – remember University of Chester graduates can use our services for up to three years following graduation