After perfecting your resume, acing the interview and waiting for a call, you finally receive a rejection letter when you were expecting a job offer. This happens to many job seekers, and it can be a tough pill to swallow. However, with careful interview and follow-up strategies, it is possible to turn a potential job rejection into a new career.
Ask the Hard Questions
It is important to ask good questions during the interview, such as inquiring about the key challenges of the position as well as any issues that the company has faced in regards to the role. Be prepared to provide the interviewer with a plan as to how you will address the company's needs. In addition to these questions, ask the interviewer how you compare to other candidates, and what, if any, reservations he may have about hiring you. This information comes in handy if you don't receive a job offer, and you will have the necessary information to try and change the interviewer's mind.
Sending the hiring manager a thank-you note after an interview is common practice, but if you end up not receiving a job offer, sending an influence letter might be a better strategy. An influence letter is designed to address any reservations the company may have about hiring you. In your letter, discuss your success and accomplishments in previous positions, the ways in which you can meet the company's needs, and key points that were discussed during your interview.
Keep in Touch
It is important to keep in touch with the hiring manager or recruiter after you receive a rejection, especially if you've had a face-to-face interview. If another candidate narrowly beat you out of the coveted position, consider yourself among the pool of qualified runner-ups. If the chosen candidate doesn't work out for whatever reason, the hiring manager has a ready-made shortlist of preferred candidates to choose from, including you. Your chances of a potential job offer are greater if you stay at the top of the hiring manager's mind.
If you've done all you can and the rejection sticks, don't take it personally or doubt yourself. If the hiring manager gave you feedback, use that information to improve your profile for the next new career opportunity. Dedicate the time to improve your resume, cover letter, wardrobe and interview skills. Reach out to others in your industry through networking events, seminars and trade shows. Whatever you do, don't give up.
It takes work and dedication to transform a job rejection into a job offer. By anticipating a company's needs, being prepared to ask for feedback and keeping in touch after the interview, you increase your chances of a future job offer, even if it doesn't come as easily or automatically as you might have hoped.
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