You usually feel pretty good about your work experience, education, and your resume. That is until you start looking for the job of your dreams. Suddenly, your alma mater isn’t as impressive as your colleagues’ schools and your previous experiences don’t look as appealing. Your resume just didn’t sparkle the way it seemed to just a short time before.
So what happened?
Everyone who’s ever applied for a job knows that no matter how high your self-confidence was to begin with, it’s going to take a hit, especially if that search seems to go on and on.
Often, it’s not your fault at all. You could be doing all the right things, but the stars just haven’t aligned for you. Someone else could be a better fit for the job, or the hiring committee might already have had someone else in mind when they put up the mandatory posting. In these cases, all the things you’re doing—writing amazing cover letters, getting star references and putting together an enviable resume—won’t make one iota of difference.
I have news for you. Job hunting—especially for a job that’s highly sought after—is hard! Still, with a positive attitude and a determined mindset, you can keep plugging away, and over time, your efforts will eventually pay off.
Here are three bad things that happen to every job applicant—and how you can bounce back:
Not hearing back after an interview
“We’ll call you and let you know,” the hiring manager said after your interview. You thought the interview went fairly well. You said all the right things, and the manager seemed sufficiently impressed by your experiences and your resume.
As you shook his hand and left the building, you felt a bounce in your step. You imagined yourself sitting in your new office, telling your friends you got the job and went home to wait for a call that never came.
Ouch. That hurts, especially when you gave it your all and thought you nailed it. But it happens to everyone. Maybe one candidate was perfect for the job. Maybe hundreds of people applied. Maybe the manager was planning to promote someone internally. Keep in mind that just because you weren’t chosen doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have been great at the job. Don’t let this crush your ego. Keep working, and another opportunity will come up.
The interview went poorly
Then there’s the flip side of the coin. Maybe you knew the interview went badly. You froze at a question or screwed up some information about the company. Maybe you didn’t know an answer to a question. These things happen to everyone, and usually, lack of preparation is the problem. Tell yourself that you will do better next time, and prepare for that interview.
Now you think that you’re not as good as you thought you were
You really wanted the job, and when you didn’t get it, your ego was crushed. Take this as a learning experience. Maybe you’re still short a few qualifications or need to boost your cover letter or be more confident next time. Take the opportunity to brush up on some skills, and when the job comes up again (and it will trust me—people move on), you can apply again, and next time, you’ll be ready.
Remember, these things happen to everyone. The key is to learn as much as you can from applying to jobs and going to interviews. Practice makes perfect. Eventually, you will find yourself ‘ace-ing’ that interview for your dream job.