Have you ever applied for a job at a company you really liked, only to get rejected? It’s a brutal feeling but most job seekers experience this at least once in their career. TopResume reports that up to 75 percent of resumes are rejected before they even get to the hiring manager. While rejection is a part of the job search, it doesn’t have to be the end of the process. Instead, keep looking for the right fit and stay on the company’s radar.
How do I stay on their radar?
After getting rejected for a job you've applied for, you may be ready to cut your losses and move on. However, staying on the company’s radar can position you to add new contacts to your professional network and become a top candidate for future job openings.
To maximize future job prospects with the company you want to work for, use these strategies from Jennifer Sukola, certified master coach (CMC) and career coach at The Muse.
Check in with your point of contact at the company. Resist the urge to send a generic follow-up. Instead, target your communication. "Use something you see— either from the news or your awareness about the company—to follow up,” Sukola says.
You can also provide an update that the hiring manager would find appealing. "The company might've been looking for someone with more experience or a certificate in something and that's why you didn't get the job,” she says. “Follow up and let them know you've added to your education." Consider the same approach if you’ve gained more experience, developed a new skill, or enhanced some other aspect of your professional brand.
Create a tracking sheet with your follow-ups
Document your follow-ups in a spreadsheet, notepad, or journal. Use this tracking sheet to stay organized and follow-up more effectively. "Be very intentional with it," Sukola says. She recommends including the following information in your record:
Date you applied for the role
Point of contact at the company
Networking events that the company hosts or attends
Your timeline for follow-up
It’s a good idea to start with these sections, but Sukola says you can customize this record with the information you find most helpful: "Make it your own! This is meant to keep you focused."
Follow the company online
You'd be surprised how you can advance your career just by keeping up with a company! Follow the company's LinkedIn profile to stay on top of updates and job postings. Track news updates to stay informed about company mergers, partnerships, and other newsworthy events. "Subscribe to Google news alerts and know why the company is in the news,” Sukola says.
How do I follow up?
Now that you have what you need to follow up, get to it! Here's how:
Use your last point of contact, such as the hiring manager or a member of HR. As for the mode of communication, Sukola suggests using the form of communication you last used with your point of contact.
Be proactive from the start. "Once you don't get the position, say 'I'd love to keep in touch, what's the best way to follow up with you?" Sukola adds.
Ask whether there are other positions they think you're a good fit for. This helps to reinforce your interest in working with the company and can encourage the hiring manager to keep you in mind as positions open in the future.
Should I apply for multiple positions within the company?
After not getting the job you wanted, you might be tempted to apply for other positions within the company. While this could be a good next step, you may want to consider a few things before applying. “You don’t want to be all over the map,” Sukola says. “Come in with a focus. It’s okay to ask the hiring manager where they think your skills might align with another role. There could be other roles with that same focus, but you don’t want to apply for just anything.”
It’s okay to apply for multiple jobs with the same company as long as the job aligns with your skills and experience. But, what if there are no other jobs available? “Go back to your tracking sheet,” Sukola says. “It’s not just about jobs that are open, but jobs that could be open. Or, jobs that could be created!”
In the meantime, Sukola advises focusing on relationship-building. “Build relationships in the meantime. Keep in touch. If you need to, ask how often your point of contact would like to hear from you.”
Most importantly, stay optimistic about your job search. Try to enjoy the process of pursuing your ideal company, even if it seems like no other opportunities will come along. “No open jobs right now doesn’t mean your chances are zero,” Sukola says. She adds that, in some cases, employees are leaving or retiring, which could result in a new chance for you to impress the employer!
About our source
Jennifer Sukola is a professional coach with an HR background. She enjoys supporting clients with all aspects of their job search including reviewing resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and interview preparation.