Choose your course

Advanced search

Why being resilient is so important when you are job-searching - Careers

Resilience is important in two main ways when you are job searching. Firstly in how you demonstrate your resilience to employers during the application process (in your CV, covering letter, application form or the interview itself) and secondly in the way that you deal with the disappointment of rejection after an unsuccessful job interview.

What is resilience?

Ask yourself these three questions:

How do you feel when you come up against a challenge?
How quickly do you recover from failure?
How do you respond to constructive criticism?

If you are able to adapt to changes and challenges, pick yourself up and bounce back from failure and use criticism in a positive way, then you are already a pretty resilient person!  It’s a bit of a cliché, but resilience is the ability to "keep calm and carry on" despite setbacks. Resilience can be something you have naturally but it is also possible to learn to be more resilient.

Resilience is important to employers as it demonstrates that you can deal with challenges and that you believe in yourself. It shows a positive mental attitude and that you’re generally a pretty optimistic, flexible and responsible person – all valuable traits to employers!

How to demonstrate resilience in your job application

  • Show how you adapt to change by giving examples of when you’ve reacted positively to a new challenge
  • If asked how you would respond to criticism at work, demonstrate how you’ve used this in a positive way and what steps you’ve taken to overcome any issues
  • Give examples of times you’ve worked extra hours, covered for a colleague, taken on new responsibilities or learnt new skills for your job.

If this is your first job then remember to use examples from school, College, any clubs, societies or voluntary positions you’ve held – these are transferable skills that are important to employers and show a "can-do" attitude. Use examples to show how you’ve grown in confidence during your time at College.

Annoyingly, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the first job you apply for and it can be very discouraging to get that first rejection email or phone call after a job interview.  However, this is another example of the importance of resilience! Try to turn it into a positive; you’ve gained really useful experience by even attending an interview. You’ll be more aware of what to expect next time and feel more confident in answering questions and understanding the process.


Need more help?  Contact our impartial Careers Advisers who can make an appointment for you to discuss your job search further.

Join the discussion