Getting a new job in the public affairs or communications industry is no mean feat. Whether you are in employment, have been made redundant or decided to quit and start anew, getting a new job can be a laborious process, often filled with rejection.
The reality is that it could take two or three (sometimes more) interviews before you land on your feet. It is imperative that you approach each and every interview with a positive and confident attitude, and if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.
Ask for feedback
A rejection email or phone call can be tough to swallow. Responding with a feedback request is completely normal and can give you a better idea why you didn’t get the job. It is worth noting that some companies do not offer personalised feedback, which can be frustrating, but it is always worth asking. Recruitment agencies are useful in this scenario as they will have an established relationship with the company, and can ask on your behalf.
Use the comments to better yourself
Constructive criticism is the key to bettering yourself next time around, and offers you the chance to work on your weaknesses. Once you have received feedback, you can outline where you went wrong, and what you did right. Do not dwell on the negatives for too long; use them as a jumping off point for improvement.
Don’t lose hope
Don’t take it personally
“You aren’t the right fit for the company”; “there was a stronger candidate than you”; “you’re missing some of the skills required for the job”. These are just a few comments that are bandied about during the rejection process. Some of them are incredibly frustrating because they don’t offer room for improvement and can seem very personal. But this isn’t the case. Every interview process is different and no matter how prepared you are, sometimes the chemistry just isn’t right. The important thing to remember is that this isn’t the one and only opportunity out there, and you always have another chance to make a great impression.
When you are dealt a blow all you can do is continue. Be diligent and don’t let the knock-backs keep you down, or affect your enthusiasm. Failure is a natural process that will eventually lead to success.
Adopt a new approach
Narrow your search
Having a range of skills and experience can be a great thing in the communications industry, as it means you have the edge on others who don’t share the same expertise. However, many would argue that you need to refine your skills to fit the role. Specialising your search to areas that you would like to work in, means that your passion for the sector will shine through in the interview room.
This doesn’t mean that you should downsize your search; volume is essential, whether you are on your first, second or third interview.
Revisit your CV
Your CV is your calling card, and the first thing that a prospective employer judges you on before the interview. If you have received a rejection email or call, talk to recruiters about how you can translate what is on your CV to the interview room. Individuals can forget to flesh out what they have written, and simply end up regurgitating what is already outlined on their document. The interviewer knows everything that you have listed on there, so make sure you can offer examples and expand upon the points you have provided.
Continue learning and developing
If you are given feedback that outlines how you are missing specific skills and experience, look into signing up to a course or attending a workshop to further your knowledge.
The road to getting a job can be a bumpy one, and for those out of employment, the stress factor is even greater. But you can get through it, and we are here to help should you need it. If you would like to read on some interesting articles in Forbes and the BBC.