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Episode #129 – When You Don’t Get the Job: How to React and What to Do

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #129 - When You Don’t Get the Job: How to React and What to Do

Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about how to react and what to do when you don’t get a job that you want in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Samantha. As always, I’m glad to be here.

Samantha: Stacy, we’ve discussed this briefly before on our podcast, haven’t we?

Stacy: Yes, we did, when we were talking about best practices for working with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter. However, we didn’t get too far into the subject, and I felt that we needed to address it more fully today. This is an important topic for a number of different reasons.

Samantha: What reasons are those?

Stacy: First, there’s the issue of dealing with rejection. When a job seeker or candidate does not get a job that they really want, there’s the possibility they will feel rejected as a result of it. Feeling rejected can have an adverse effect on you mentally and psychologically, which means it can also have an effect on your career if you let it.

Second, there’s the issue of personal branding. What you do after not getting a job that you really want is part of personal branding. How you deal with rejection and adversity tells people more about you than how you deal with success. That’s a hard reality of life and also of the employment marketplace.

Samantha: That makes sense. Where would you like to start?

Stacy: When you don’t get the job, you should not take it personally. The reason for this is simple: it is NOT personal. It not a personal slight against you as a person or as a professional. You may be a great candidate. You might even be a top candidate within the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. However, that does not guarantee that you will be selected for the position. Typically only one person gets the position and multiple candidates are being considered. That is how the process typically works.

There is much that goes into the hiring process. There are a lot of criteria and considerations that determine which candidate receives an offer of employment, and there are a number of good candidates in the marketplace.

An employer could consider scores of candidates for their open position. Then it could interview between five and 10 of them. Then it cuts that down to a short list of three. Remember, there can be only one winner for each position. The organization is making a business decision by making an offer of employment to what they consider to be the best fit for the position.

Samantha: And perhaps that’s something that candidates should keep in mind, that the organization selects what it considers to be the best fit. Is it true that sometimes that’s not necessarily what looks like the best candidate “on paper”?

Stacy: Yes, that’s true. Fit is very important to employers. Regardless, if you’re not chosen for the position, you should not take it personally. If you do, then it could lead to bad feelings and behavior that will not help your situation or your career.

Samantha: What do you mean?

Stacy: As you can imagine, I’ve seen quite a lot in more than 20 years as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. This includes what happens when candidates do not get a job that they really want. Some candidates have a real adverse reaction to not being selected for the position. Some don’t take it well. Some have said rude things about the hiring manager or the employer including one person calling the hiring manager stupid for not hiring them. Some candidates have sent rude emails. Candidates have told hiring managers that they would regret not choosing them for the position. All sorts of things, none of which are productive in the least. That is not being a good sport. I highly recommend not doing those things.

Samantha: Is this what you were talking about in terms of personal branding?

Stacy: Yes, exactly. This is not behavior that brands a person in a positive way. It’s just the opposite, and when you do things like this, you pretty much kill any chance you might have of being considered by the employer again in the future. Not only that, but the recruiter is going to be less likely to want to work with you again, too. This is a classic case of “burning bridges” in your career. Sure, you feel a little better after lashing out at other people, but it comes at a price that could harm your career.

Samantha: So what’s the appropriate course of action when you don’t get the job?

Stacy: First of all, it’s important to point out there are two instances in which a candidate does not get the job. Those instances are that it might be a job at their current employer or it might be a job with another employer.

Things are bit trickier in the first instance. That’s because, of course, you still work for the organization that did not hire you for the position that you wanted. If that’s the case, then you must not appear bitter and you certainly don’t want to be sulking around the workplace. You may not like the decision, but for the time being, you have to live with it. You don’t want your boss or your co-workers to think that you’re a “sore loser.”

If the situation involves a job with another employer, then it won’t be quite as tricky. However, you must still be gracious about it. This includes writing an email to the animal health company hiring manager or veterinary practice owner letting them know that you appreciate being considered for the position. You want to appear thankful, positive, and upbeat. That’s the best way to brand yourself. And you never know: that same organization might have another opening in the future and you could turn out to be a prime candidate for the position. I’ve seen that happen a number of times throughout my career.

Samantha: Stacy, what about after the initial discovery, when you don’t get the job. How should professionals proceed?

Stacy: Once again, a positive attitude is important, this time not for personal branding purposes, but for personal growth. You should take this as an opportunity to be proactive about your growth as a professional. That means engaging in some sort of training or education and setting new goals for yourself, whether that involves goals with your current job and employer, with your career overall, or both. This is a good time to refocus your attention and your energies on what you want the most and formulate a plan for going after that.

The last thing you want to do is use not getting a job as an excuse not to continue growing. It might be tempting to throw your hands up and say “What’s the use?” But that’s not going to get you anywhere. This is not the time for self-pity, not if you want to continue moving forward.

Samantha: You talked about setting new goals for yourself at your current employer. What does that look like? And when you say that, do you mean just in a situation when the job you didn’t get was at another employer and not your current one?

Stacy: It could be either of the situations I mentioned, when you don’t get the job within your current employer or you don’t get the job with another organization or practice. It’s just more difficult if it’s your current employer. The key is to focus on providing more value, and we’ve discussed the importance of providing value before.

You can start by asking for feedback from your manager or supervisor. Ask about the areas in which you could grow or improve and then act on that advice once you receive their feedback. In addition, look for ways to assume more responsibility. And sure, the extra work is not going to come with a new job title or a raise, at least not immediately, but you have to view this as an investment. In essence, you’re making an investment in yourself and in your career. Eventually, you will receive a return on the investment that you’re making.

This is also a good time to add to your skill set, and by that, I mean both technical skills and soft skills. In fact, addressing soft skills is a strategic move. That’s because there is an overall lack of soft skills in the marketplace. Organizations are starving for employees that have a superior set of soft skills. When paired with the right set of technical skills, these soft skills can turn a good candidate into a great one and serve as a catalyst for career growth.

Samantha: And I know you might have already planned to bring this up, but what role does an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter play in all of this?

Stacy: I’m glad you asked, and yes, I was going to bring this up. If you react poorly when you don’t get the job and you lash out at a recruiter, then they’re less likely to want to work with you and represent in the future. However, if you respond and react in the correct way and you ask for their continued feedback and advice, then they will continue to help you find a great new employment opportunity.

And if you’re not working with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter, then you should consider building a relationship with one, especially if you’re disappointed about not getting job that you really wanted. A good recruiter has knowledge and expertise to help you reach your goals and your full potential.

Samantha: Stacy, as always, thank you so much for joining us today and providing all of this great information.

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Samantha, and thank you. Once again, it’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health Employment Insider!

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