Job Candidates - Don't Wast The Feedback!
It doesn’t matter where you are in your professional journey. You never outgrow the need for feedback. Whether positive, negative, constructive, or flat out misguided, the feedback you receive should not be wasted. Even if you take the feedback, really think it through, and determine that it’s not accurate, the period of honest introspection can be helpful. Feedback is valuable for everyone, but this article is focused on the positive impact it can have for those seeking employment.
Embrace the feedback that you are given and don’t take it for granted. Far too often, recruiters/hiring managers are hesitant to provide feedback to candidates for a variety of reasons. Some just don’t care, some don’t have time, and others may be concerned that something they say will be used against them (our litigious society adds to this fear). Regardless of the reason, candidates are not given feedback about their resume and interviewing skills often enough.
So, if you are one of the few, don’t waste it. Take it and use it. Any adjustments that you can make for the next opportunity will be helpful. Don’t make excuses. Don’t get defensive. Just listen, self-reflect, and see how you may be able to present yourself better the next time around.
Not all feedback is spot on, and it is sometimes hard to see things in ourselves that others see. Here are a few things to ask yourself when you receive feedback about your resume or interviewing skills:
Is this feedback based on perception or reality?
This is where you have to take a good, honest look at yourself and ask the tough questions. So many people don’t take feedback if they feel that the person’s perception was wrong. News flash – perception is reality! In the hiring process, the perception of the hiring manager will be the determining factor. So, even if you think a perception is wrong, take the feedback and see how you may be able to manage the perception in the future.
Example: Is there a legitimate skill gap, or did I not do a good job of articulating my expertise in a given area. If it is a real skill gap, maybe you can work to close the gap. If you did not do a good job of articulating it, or writing it on your resume, work on ways to improve for the future.
Is there a pattern?
This is an important question. If you are hearing the same thing from several sources, but are not able to see it yourself, you should probably assume there is some validity to the feedback. Some things are very hard for us to see about ourselves. For example, if you are getting feedback that your communication style is abrasive or arrogant, look for ways to change that perception even if you don’t intend to come across that way.
What can I do better next time?
As previously stated, feedback is a gift. Take it and utilize it for the next opportunity. Don’t let it go to waste. Identify where there are deficiencies (perception or reality), and develop a plan to improve for the next time.
Just a few tweaks of your resume or interview style could make all the difference in the world. Don’t let pride get in the way of improving your skills. Take advantage of the gift of feedback in all forms.
This article focused primarily on constructive feedback. However, you may also receive positive feedback regarding your resume or interviewing skills. Take note of these things as well. Figure out how you can continue to leverage these advantages for future opportunities as well. Best wishes in your job searching!
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