What To Do Once You've Been Knocked Back From A Job



Full-Time Digital-Agency Illustrator Jobs Canberra, Mid-weight Design Packaging-Designers Recruitment Geelong, Senior Web-Design Recruiter Sydney


They say hindsight's 20/20, which is a nice way of reminding us that often we need a little time and distance from things to be able to properly assess them and figure out exactly what lessons there are to be learned from certain moments and experiences in our lives.

 

And one of the hardest moments in anyone's career is being knocked back from a job you wanted. With that in mind, we approached a number of our super talented candidates and asked them, have you ever been knocked back from a job? What was the reason given? And most importantly, how did you handle it?

 

There's some fantastic nuggets of wisdom in their answers and we couldn't wait to share them with you below.

 

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Ha, Graphic Designer

 

Have you ever applied for a job and been knocked back?

All the time, graphic design is so broad. There are times I apply for jobs where I been decline the job due to missing certain experience and skills, such as Web devloping skills like html coding etc.

 

What was the reason given?

Lack of experience and missing certain skills required for the role.

 

How did you deal with this?

At the time, I called up the studio to ask for feedback for why I didn’t get an interview or job role. Most of the time they won’t bother but sometimes you will get a response. It is fundamentally good as a junior to ask for feedback as it will help your growth to becoming a better creative and designer.

 

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Adam, Art Director

 

Have you ever applied for a job and been knocked back?

Yes, a few times. I was a senior art director and was looking to take a back seat for a little while and applying for more junior roles.

 

What was the reason given?

They thought I'd get bored, or had too much experience and move on to something else.

 

How did you deal with this?

I actually took a break from design altogether and went and got my forklift licence, then spent a year working in a warehouse. Which was probably one of the best decisions I've made, I got my passion for design back and ended up landing my dream job at the time.

 

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Luke, Senior Developer

 

Have you ever applied for a job and been knocked back?

Yep, a long time ago.

 

What was the reason given?

 Not enough experience

 

How did you deal with this?

I kept trying and finally got some experience with a local design studio. The industry has matured a lot since I started. If I was starting out now, my first step would be to directly approach the head of digital at a big agency for experience, or the owner of a smaller agency. Most of them are actually nice people so just find them and shoot them an email or call them, tell them your situation and ask of they have any junior gigs or jobs you can do. You'll get straight onto big brands you can brag to your friends and family about and will look great in your folio.

 

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Patrick, Finished Artist

 

Have you ever applied for a job and been knocked back?

Anyone that tells you that they have never been knocked back is either lying, or is so amazingly awesome that they have super-powers. Honestly, it's a part of the industry. Every studio, every corporation and every design team have their ‘ideal’ person. The studio is often a very close-knit environment, and is usually under a fair bit of pressure. If someone is to work within the team, they need to ‘fit’. This can come down to individual personality, but also, to the specific skillset. Many studios are made up of a small team, and only hire new blood if either someone is leaving, or if they require someone to expand on a particular area. The candidate needs to be flexible, have either the exact skillset that the person leaving has, or be willing to train to their level. Ideally, you will have even more skills that the previous person, allowing the studio to expand their ability to get the work done.

 

Imagine, two designers with identical training, same amount of time in the industry, even working at all of the same places in the past. But one has been studying coding, AR or Web Design as well. This person, although they have not worked in those areas, would probably be placed higher on the pile of CVs, as they have potential to assist in other areas. A Designer with 12 years experience does not always outrank a Designer with 2 years experience, that has also designed web, touched on Fashion Photography or animation.

 

What was the reason given?

The good places will tell me bluntly that my skillset does not match what they are after. Unfortunately, there are many places that may try and sugarcoat it. I would much rather know the reasons directly, and be given the opportunity to elaborate on an overlooked skill, or even the chance to expand my skillset for future opportunities. I have had experiences where I have presented my folio, answered their questions, and thought it was all going great, then at the end of the interview I have been told that unfortunately the position was filled, but they will keep my CV on file for future reference. Another interview was for a Part Time position in the CBD. Once at the interview, I was told that the position did not exist, and that they were after a Full Time Designer in Bayswater. Not cool.

 

How did you deal with this?

I take it with a grain of salt. Look at it a different way. Would you want to work for a company that is honest with you from the first instance, or one that evades confrontation, or outright lies to your face? Essentially, the bad ones have done your job for you. The good places often will give feedback, answer questions, even recommending ways to fine-tune your folio for future positions. I always remember the advice that a designer or creative is ALWAYS worth something. Learn to take criticism, especially when it is constructive. Always remain polite and courteous in an interview or when representing yourself or your agency, but do not become a doormat. Learn from the rejections, improve your skillset or your ability to sell yourself, work on your confidence if you need to, and get back out there!

 

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Narelle, Senior Finished Artist

 

Have you ever applied for a job and been knocked back?

When I first started working in design, I was living in Auckland, and I managed to get every job I went for. When I moved to Melbourne I didn’t get one single job for months! It was a tough market to break into. Its probably worth noting that by this time, you could complete 3 year design degrees and Australia was very hung up on ‘degrees’. I only had 10 years working experience behind me.

 

What was the reason given?

That was the other shock moving back to Australia. You wouldn’t even get a call to say you hadn’t been successful so you never knew why you didn’t get the job. Recently I’ve noticed that people are less keen to hire you if you don’t know 95% of the job requirements. Even if you’re a proven fast learner, have the drive to take on the challenge of new skills, etc.

 

How did you deal with this?

I just kept going. It was hard and I started to think maybe I didn’t know anything and wasn’t ever going to get a job. But eventually I did and it was great. But these days I think its both easier to find work, and also harder, as there’s so many places companies can go to ‘check you out’. I’d say personality plays as big a part in the hiring process as experience does. Being confident helps, but so does honesty.