Making successful job applications

Jenny Wang is the average recently graduated international student. She made numerous job applications, and faced a lot of job rejection through that process. She also learned the most important thing about successful job applications.

Jenny studied a Masters of Nursing in Melbourne. She has always wanted to work in midwifery, a specialisation in nursing involving pregnancy and delivery of babies. This is a very demanding field but one which can offer enormous rewards for those who work in the field.

Making job applications

Once Jenny had finished her degree, she went right into job application mode. She made numerous applications to all sorts of employers in the field, hospitals, clinics, specialist practices and many others. This process is where she really got to experience the challenge and difficulty of job rejection.

Jenny Wang
After graduating, Jenny made a large number of job applications, with a difference.

Jenny was able to overcome the rejection letters and got an offer because of the choices she made. She did what is easy to say and do, but often isn’t done very much, or very well. She followed up, and she made people want to give her helpful feedback.

To follow up or not…

When you follow up, do you also reflect on how the recipient of your follow up experiences you?

Job rejection is a form of failure. You wanted the job, the employer didn’t want you give it to you, so you failed. Failure is not bad, despite like school and university often teaching us to fear it. It is a wonderful way to learn how to improve ourselves.

Failure is what success will grow from

Scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and the curious are fascinated by failure. Learning from failure makes them smarter about something they thought they understood. When you fail at something like a job application, how do you interpret it internally? How do you project your interpretation of failure to those you speak to in order to learn more about it?

Failure is fertiliser for success
Failure is like fertiliser, for success.

Jenny knew she wanted to get useful feedback on her job rejections. She needed to convince those who rejected her, it was worthwhile providing feedback that would help her make an improvement. This was how she’s end up making successful job applications.

Project an upbeat tone to the person you’re speaking to, do your best to show a positive and humble attitude. You’re more likely to be seen as someone “who just wants to improve themselves”. This is where the person who rejected you might share some useful commentary about how you can improve.

Making it appealing to help you

If a person feels awkward giving you feedback, they will either refuse or lie to you so you go away. “Your application was strong, but others were stronger” is a popular generic answer, and useless for you to improve from. “We’ll keep your application on file for future use” is irrelevant to the job application you just made.

Following up creates a good closing impression on employers. It helps you practice humility, manners and gives you one more chance to speak with that prospective employer

Applying each piece of feedback

Jenny sought to learn from everyone who said no. In every call she had with someone who rejected her, she applied a new piece of knowledge into her next communication.

One day she did something she’d always done in the case of job rejection, she followed up. This time, she followed up someone who had rejected her. Due to the positive impression she made this time from all the practice, she was ultimately offered a job. You never know when you’re about to be given an opportunity so imagine if that was the one call you didn’t make?

Bringing strong character to challenge

Jenny didn't let failure stop her
Jenny used the challenges she faced to help make herself and her job applications stronger. When she didn’t succeed, she kept going.

It can be hard to bring the focus and energy required for a professional follow up, but sometimes it has the ability to create a good impression upon employers that you can’t see the results of until later on. This is exactly what happened with Jenny and this is why an employer who initially rejected her, saw their mistake, changed their mind and offered her a job.

If you’re sceptical about what follow up can do for you, then here is a challenge for you.

Follow up the next 10 job applications, irrespective of the outcome you just achieved. Each time you do this, reflect on how that follow up went, and consider whether you think you genuinely gave that person a good reason to share something honest with you. You’ll might be surprised at how effective this is in helping you make successful job applications.

If you’re finding it difficult working through job applications and want to know how to make them stronger, Hoodic regular runs free learning events specifically designed to help job applicants. Look on our event page to find an upcoming event and register for free. If you attend and you found something useful, or even not useful, don’t forget to follow us up and tell us. :)