Nothing is more frustrating than applying for a job and not getting a response. All anyone would ask is a simple reply by phone or email stating why you were not chosen for the position. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee you will hear from a company either after you apply for a position or gone through an interview.
Being left with no answers could easily spark a sense of failure. For some, the feelings of rejection are so strong they find themselves slipping into a funk in which it becomes increasingly difficult to push forward in their job search.
Here are some feelings you may experience when not getting a call back:
Loss of confidence: Applying for a position for which you feel confident you have the qualifications, yet being overlooked can crush a person's will to continue. As the number of applications and no call backs stack up, you may question yourself and your abilities.
Feeling shut out: Not getting a call back is bad enough, but when you can't get anyone to let you know what could be hampering your chances of landing that job can be even worse. Is it your resume? Was it your interview? Was it just your personality? Was the interviewer having a good or bad day?
Frustration and anger: You have applied to a substantial number of job postings, spending hours every day in pursuit of employment. As the radio silence from potential employers stretches out, the doubts may mount in your mind about everything from your own self-worth to your decision to leave the military and more.
Getting strung along: Some veterans I've worked with have stories of actually getting a call back or hearing that an interview went well, but then there is never any further follow-up from the company. This could be for any number of reasons — including the company simply deciding not fill the position after weeks of back-and-forth interviews with potential employees.
If you find yourself facing this scenario, there are some actions you can take to improve your odds of getting the outcome you seek.
These are just a few of the feelings you could struggle with when you look for employment in the civilian world. Separating from the military is difficult enough without adding this kind of anxiety into the mix. And it's not really much consolation to know that these feelings are quite understandable when you have left a fairly secure career in uniform and are trying to figure out how you're going to support your family and pay the bills.
If you find yourself stuck in this kind of situation, you may have to step back to the drawing board to come up with a different plan.
In my next column, I'll do just that — take a look at what kinds of tweaks you can make in your approach that could boost your chances of getting a call back or an interview.■
Steven Maieli is the founder of TransitioningVeteran.com, which highlights links to federal, state, for-profit and nonprofit veterans benefits and other resources. He also writes a blog on transitioning veterans' issues at www.transitioningveteran.com/wordpress. Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.