Often times when I’m talking with people who are job searching, they express frustration on how recruiters are or how they were treated on an interview or after an interview.  It’s clear in their voice that they are taking it personally.  I understand how and why you could be taking these things personal, but the truth is, there is no reason to take it personal, it’s not about you at all, only you are making it about you.

In the book The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, one of the four agreements is “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you.”  So when you don’t hear from a recruiter after they submitted your resume to a company or when you apply for a job and never get a response or when you interview for a job and you weren’t chosen, it’s not something you should take personally.

I’ve been in the recruiting industry for over 20 years and I will tell you what’s going on with recruiters.  Most recruiters you talk with are working in a staffing setting and they have goals and metrics to meet on a daily basis.  Recruiters get paid on who they get hired, not who they talk with and unless you are a fit for a job opening they have, they don’t have any reason, motivation or benefit in talking with you.  Some may think that’s rude or cold, but in reality, it’s just how the business is and it has nothing to do with you personally.  Just like you only contact recruiters when you need something, a job.  When you are working and busy doing your own thing, you don’t just pick up the phone to talk to a recruiter do you?  There’s no reason to take anything personal when working with a recruiter.  Recruiters are not sitting at their desks all day wondering how they can offend and upset candidates by not calling them or giving them feedback or not having any jobs to tell them about.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s “okay” for recruiters to not give someone feedback, but unfortunately, there are recruiters out there that are so overwhelmed with their responsibilities, they aren’t thinking about giving the courtesy of a simple phone call or email for feedback.  That’s a whole other topic I can get on my soap box about.

Same concept when you are applying for jobs and going on interviews.  Your resume is going into a database with hundreds and thousands of other resumes.  It’s like the lottery, you are hoping that your number gets picked.  There’s no reason to take it personally, it’s the luck of the draw.  Which is why just applying for a job is not enough.  Some of us are lucky enough to get our resume looked at and picked out of a database of people, but it’s not the best way to rely on getting a job.  When you go an interview, if you aren’t picked as their number one candidate, there’s no need to be offended and take it personally.  There’s no need to take it personally if you aren’t even picked to get an interview.  I have had candidates get so upset with me because my client decided to not move forward with an initial interview.  They try to justify why the client is wrong about why they are not choosing them and they get upset and take it personal.  It has nothing to do with you, it has to do with the client and what they want or don’t want.  No one is saying you are a bad person or that you aren’t good at what you do or that you don’t have any skills or good experience.   If you are offered a job and turn it down, should the company take it personally?  I’m sure you turned it down because the salary wasn’t where you wanted it to be or the commute was too far or you got a better offer.  It has nothing to do with the company itself, it’s about you and what you want.  It’s no different on the company’s side.

Stay confident about what you can offer a company and realize that not every opportunity you go after is necessarily the right one for you or the client.  Keep in mind that you are competing with a lot of other people, not saying anyone is “better” than you, it’s just they can offer different things that may be more appealing to a company.

Your job hunting experience will be much better if you don’t take anything personal, keep your ego out of it and remember to stay positive, because the right opportunity for you is out there and will present itself.

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