You applied for a job but you didn’t land it. You want to know what you can do to boost your chances next time, but you’re not sure where to start. Well, the first step you can take is to request feedback on your job application. It can provide you with invaluable insights that you can take with you moving forward. So, how exactly do you go about this? Talent’s Melbourne General Manager, Simon Yeung, provides his recommendations:
1. Be timely and specific
Yeung suggests asking for feedback relatively quickly after finding out you were unsuccessful, “your application will still be fresh in their mind, so they can provide you with relevant and detailed feedback”. It’s also a great idea to go in with specific questions so that the hiring manager can really hone in on what you want to know. You can ask what they perceived your greatest weaknesses to be, or whether your qualifications and experience were sufficient. You want your feedback to be as clear and specific as possible. This will allow you to easily identify where improvements can be made, and will enable you to work towards being that ideal candidate in future. Simon also recommends directing your request for feedback to the recruiter for the role, as it is not appropriate to reach out directly to the hiring manager. The recruiter will direct your questions for you.
2. Maintain a positive attitude
Yeung says that “maintaining a positive attitude is key”. Don’t go in on the defence when seeking feedback. Go into it with a positive attitude. All you want to do is learn at the end of the day. You aren’t going in there to interrogate the recruitment manager as to why you didn’t get the job – you want feedback as to how you can improve in future. Make sure to frame it this way in both your mind and in the way you approach the topic. Enter with an angry mindset and the manager will be thinking “phew, we dodged a bullet”. This isn’t what you want to be remembered for.
3. Improve yourself
Yeung suggests “asking questions for self-improvement”. Ask relevant questions that will allow you to make improvements within yourself. You want to be the best version of yourself you can be. Taking the time to collect this feedback and to self-reflect, will allow you to do just this. Maybe it involves upskilling or gaining more experience. Whatever it may be, it won’t only help you in your career, but will also allow you to be a more well-rounded, dynamic individual. How can you say no to that?
4. Don’t be sensitive
Yeung advocates for having a thick skin when asking for feedback, “Don’t be too sensitive when it comes to receiving feedback. It is meant to be constructive”. Yes, it might not be something you want to hear about yourself, but is something you might need to hear. Use it as motivation to be your best self. Maybe your qualifications or experience aren’t there, and that’s fine. The job probably wasn’t right for you. You now have the opportunity to apply elsewhere, where you may be a better fit. Otherwise, this is the perfect opportunity to update your skills so that you have a greater chance of landing that role, or similar, in future.
Yeung’s key takeaway is to “listen and listen!”. Actually listen to the feedback provided and take it on board. Don’t go in trying to change their mind. Take the time to reflect on the feedback given, and use it to ace your next application. There’s no point in asking for feedback if you’re not willing to accept what has been said and make a change. The way you handle this feedback is also a reflection of your character. Handle it gracefully and professionally, and you won’t be burning any bridges – it may just be that they even consider you for a future role!
Being rejected from a job isn’t fun, but consider it a learning experience. Gather your feedback, take it on board and you will be one step closer to landing your dream role.
Need help acing your next interview? Read our article about the questions you should ask your interviewer.
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