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Handy tips for pushing through job application setbacks

We understand – there’s nothing more demotivating than putting everything into a job application only to receive an automated rejection months later. It’s tough out there. With hundreds of graduates vying for the same roles, it can seem like there’s no way in. But just because there’s more competition, doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. Here are some of our top tips for staying level-headed and rising to the top of the pile.

Have a few irons in the fire

This is an old phrase, but what we mean is send out a few applications at a time. By lining yourself up for a few separate opportunities, the process of waiting to hear back will be far easier. Get a rejection? No problem! Because you’re still up for three other opportunities. However, this doesn’t mean you should apply for jobs in huge batches. Don’t apply for things you’re not excited by – it’ll show. Equally, don’t forget to customize your applications to each individual job posting – no copy and pasting!

Get familiar with spreadsheets

This might not sound like much fun, but it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run. Use an excel or google doc to track the applications you make, the days you submit, the responses you get. This will help you collect any feedback and also remind you to follow up on any applications you don’t hear back from. This tip is especially useful if you’ve had quite a few setbacks already. Review the applications you’ve made and you can even add in any application deadlines you’ve yet to meet. Get organized and you’ll find this process a little less painful than before.

Go easy on yourself

Don’t waste time beating yourself up over missed application deadlines, bad interviews or job rejections. It’s likely you’re doing your best and the more you stress over it, the less likely you’re going to be to find your next opportunity. Try to remember this is a learning experience because whether you notice it or not, your applications are probably getting better and your interview technique too.

Stay energized and productive

Unemployment doesn’t give you license to stay in bed until mid-day, watch tv in your pajamas, think about working on your CV, but then play video games instead. Treat this time in your life like a job in itself. Get up in the morning, get dressed, get to work. Once you’ve got a position fixed and a start date, then you can enjoy your freedom a bit. But right now? Your spare time should be put aside for research and writing cover letters.

Open your mind to all available options

Particularly if you’re at the start of your career, you might reach a point after a certain number of setbacks where you need to re-evaluate. If you aren’t being accepted for your dream job because you don’t yet have the experience, consider seeking out an internship or graduate program first. Equally, think about other ways you could boost your applications. There are some great websites where you can take online courses to develop your skillset.

Finally, remember that everyone has to start at the bottom and work their way up. Things might be difficult now but persevere and you’re sure to be rewarded with something great. Good luck!

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