Before you go sinking into a state of depression over numerous failed job applications, the most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone.
Literally hundreds of millions of people get turned down for jobs around the world on a daily basis, so no, it’s not because you’re not capable.
“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,” says Nomawabo May, Team Leader: Student Advisory Department at Oxbridge Academy.
“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.”
READ MORE: How to make jobs come to you
Here are a few things you can do to help improve your job hunt.
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.
Get constructive criticism from experts and people who support you
A fresh set of eyes can often give you a different perspective and an objective person might be able to advise where you could be going wrong.
It’s worthwhile to take the time to do thorough research around potential career paths in your field of choice. 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.
Use the holidays to your advantage
Many people wait to resign at the end of the year in order not to forfeit their bonus or 13th cheque so December is quite a busy time of the year in terms of vacancies.
READ MORE: Why one-size-fits-all CVs are a no-no
So despite recruitment agencies possibly being closed for the holiday period, don’t let your job search stop.
With fewer applicants throwing their hats in the ring during this period, your application is likely to be met with less competition and to have a better chance of standing out.
You can also use your holiday period to expand your skill set.
Consider a niche short course in your field, or a completely unrelated one that will add an additional skillset to your arsenal.
“Sometimes searching for work is work in itself, and ultimately, successful candidates should treat the process with the same commitment and dedication they would show in the workplace,” says May.
“With each application, reflect on what you did well and what you could have done better, and continuously work on honing your skills, personal brand and presentation. Most of all, do not get discouraged, but keep believing in yourself and keep working steadfastly towards your goals.”