“The most important thing to understand is that there are very few people in this world who can claim that they’ve never submitted an unsuccessful application,” says Nomawabo May, Team Leader: Student Advisory Department at Oxbridge Academy.

“Given the tough competition for most vacancies, it is a fact that even highly qualified and experienced candidates sometimes face rejection. That means that you should not automatically view rejection letters as a reflection on your abilities or on your desirability to hiring managers.”

The key is to not lose hope and to continue working on your personal offering until your search is successful, May says.

“Of course, this also means that you can’t continue submitting the same CV with the same qualifications and experience in perpetuity, hoping that one day, someone will bite.”


Get input from others

There are numerous experts who can give you insight into how you can represent yourself better, or who can tell you what may be missing from your applications. As with anything else, a fresh set of eyes can provide a fresh perspective. Speak to student advisers at the institution where you studied or are still studying, or go see an employment agency to determine where your skills might be appreciated.

Additionally, spend time online researching career paths in your chosen field. You may find that your skills are sought-after in an area other than the one in which you were focusing your job application efforts.

READ MORE: Skills you’re better off leaving out of your CV

Get input from those who rejected your CV 

It’s a tough one, and will require some courage, but the hiring team who rejected your application may hold invaluable information that can get you on the right path. When thanking them for their consideration of your application, mention that you would be interested in future opportunities at the company. At the same time, ask whether you can discuss your application with someone, as you would appreciate their insight into which additional skills or experience they would have found valuable. Some may choose not to respond, but many will be happy to assist in this way, which will have two benefits: firstly, you will get a clear indication of where your application fell short and secondly, your determination to succeed and to work on yourself may make the decision-makers take a second look at what you have to offer.

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