Jane Lowder Jane Lowder is the founder of Max Coaching, an agency that specialises in providing coaching services to individuals and organisations. Jane is passionate about assisting individuals to clear existing career confusion and maximise their career satisfaction. To find out more view Jane’s full bio or visit the Max Coaching website. Follow Max Coaching on: twitter and facebook.

Job Application Rejection: Should You Take it Personally?

Written by Jane Lowder, Max Coaching

“I have an undergraduate degree, a masters degree and a teaching certificate yet I’m on Centrelink benefits because I can’t get a job” stated the frustrated, and somewhat bamboozled fellow in the back row of the seminar I attended yesterday. And why shouldn’t he be bamboozled? ABS statistics show that the more qualifications a person has the more employable they are and the higher the salary they are likely to attract. This fellow had a valid expectation that he should have little trouble finding work.

Most often people see job application rejection as a rejection of themselves, their qualifications and experience. In many cases this is just not true, and there is something that can be done to improve prospects.

The truth is that employers and recruiters will reject or accept job applicants for interview on the basis of the first impression they make. One big mistake many job seekers make is to leave it to the interview to put their energies into making the best impression.

There is one extremely critical step before the interview - the first contact with a recruiter or employer. This is the one that in most cases will make or break your chances. Ironically it is the step that most people put the least amount of time and energy into. You know what I’m talking about; it’s the resume.

When we want to make a positive first impression on a person we will pay attention to our appearance, we will plan our opening statement to them, we will think about what style of communication will impress; serious conversation or witty banter for example, and we will tailor our interaction accordingly. So why does all of this good strategy go out the window when we write our resume?

Take a copy of your resume and run it through this quality test:

  1. What does the appearance of it say about you? For example, is it laid out neatly and professionally, is the font style appropriate, is there enough white space so that the reader doesn’t feel bombarded?
  2. What message does it give about your capabilities? If you are applying for a sales role does much of your resume content focus on your sales experience, skills and past achievements? Many people make the mistake of listing everything they have done. How will your filing experience prove your suitability for a sales role?
  3. Does your resume make you sound irresistable? So when are candidates irresistable to employers? When they demonstrate how effective they can be in and for an organisation. Spell out the positive impact you have had on past organisations to inspire potential employers with the promise of all the benefits they would enjoy as a result of hiring you.

If you have not spent 10-20 hours developing your resume you haven’t spent long enough.  Before sending out your next round of job applications take your resume and give a critical once over.  How does it rate against each of the points mentioned above?  If it doesn’t stack up well don’t even bother sending it out to more recruiters until you have improved it.  Remember that first impressions make the most lasting impact.

So the moral of the tale is: If you are not winning you interviews don’t take it personally, it may be your resume that is not representing all your fabulous strengths and capabilities.  Spruce up that resume and see if things don’t start to change.

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One Comment

  1. Good for people to know.

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