What To Do When You're Not The ‘Ideal Candidate'

You’ve probably heard the term best fit or ideal candidate quite a bit if you’ve been applying for new jobs, submitting college applications, or simply sifting through your long-term career goals. Employers know who they want, and usually what they want, in the hiring process. However, sometimes that’s not always clear on the other end and candidates can find themselves with many mixed messages. (Psst! Can’t get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) Aspiring to be the perfect fit for a new position is a job in itself. After all, no one’s perfect, and everyone is unique. But what do you do when you’ve received the infamous rejection email for the umpteenth time? How will you possibly bounce back from not being the best fit after nailing the first or second interview, time and time again? Here are a few ways to grow as a candidate, and own not being the ideal fit:


1. Learn more about who the ideal candidate is for the job.

Not only is it good to know who you’re competing against, but it’s also good to assess what other candidates have in common, and what traits your dream company looks for in candidates. Why? Because you’ll be able to better understand if you really fit in. For example, if you have a hard time taking charge of tasks on your own but find yourself applying for jobs that offer little structure or support, you might not be the ideal candidate for the job.

2. Don’t let rejection stunt your growth.

Let’s say you didn’t get the design job of your dreams despite having a portfolio with years of obvious hard work. So what? Use rejection as a way to perfect your skills and toughen your skin. Maybe you were just one year shy of necessary job requirements or maybe your skill set needs some fine-tuning. This is all perfectly okay. Sometimes we don’t get the things we want because we just might not be ready. You could re-apply to the same company later on and end up getting the job. Don’t let your job search get in the way of your personal growth. At the end of the day, what you master will speak for itself in future opportunities.

3. Avoid displacing anger.

Never communicate with a recruiter, hiring manager, or anyone else in the hiring process while under the influence of anger. You may say something that could damage your reputation and cripple your career. It’s okay to feel hurt after putting in time for a job or opportunity you really wanted. But after the hurt, it’s best to just let it go. You aren’t your feelings, but you are your work, so make those rejections count, and keep it moving! You won’t always be the ideal candidate, but don’t let it stop you from shining elsewhere! Comment below with creative positive ways you’ve handled rejection. After you’re done, head over to Work It Daily’s YouTube channel, hit subscribe, and learn more about how you can dominate the hiring process.

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