There comes a time in a student's life when you need to start the most dreaded process in the world: job hunting. Either for a placement, a spring insight, a summer internship or a graduate role, nobody wants to start applying to their dream company and to receive a boilerplate response that begins with "Thank you for taking the time...".
As I have been blessed enough to land my desired job for my dream company, you can imagine that I have received plenty of these dreadful emails and multiple feedback calls in which I was told that "unfortunately, this time they went ahead with another candidate". But, fortunately, I have learned a lot from them, and these are five things that might be useful for you:
1. Rejection is unavoidable
Statistically speaking, sometimes you are rejected for some positions. At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game, and in order to make sure that you will eventually land a position, you need to plan your journey through the applications seasons. Start early, do your research and be optimistic. Find your support system - maybe students going through the same process and make sure you take advantage of networking and different workshops.
2. Sometimes, rejection is redirection
I am sure everybody saw a job for an organisation, thought that it is the perfect one and then got disappointed by not getting it. I know I did, recruitment circle after recruitment circle. So I hope you will hear this out from me. As draining as it is, think of rejection as a sign that although you were on the right path, you did not find your dream position as of yet. Maybe you did not fit in the corporate culture. Or it was not your best day when you had the interview. The key is just to reflect on your performance and try to improve next time.
3. Learn from your mistakes
Have you not prepared enough? Were you too quiet in the assessment centre part? Maybe you did not understand entirely the job description and what it entitled. Reflect upon each and every experience and write down what you can do better next time. Being reflective helps you improve. Ask for feedback from recruiters - that is a gift.
4. Treat the interview as a two-way street
When somebody asks you, "why do you want to work for them?" they are assessing your motivation for a particular job. However, interviews are also opportunities for you to learn about the culture and spirit of the organisation, the career progression, the team in which you will work and generally more about the role… basically learn about them! Ask questions at the end. Try to assess whether or not you will see yourself working there in the near future. If the answer is no: maybe you need to reconsider your options!
Finally... Your time will come
If you are resilient, learn from mistakes and prepare diligently for different recruitment processes, your time will come to shine when somebody finally says YES! You just need to be patient.