Saturday afternoon, after a pleasant lunch with a friend, I checked my phone and found an e-mail from the Peace Corps, with the subject line:
“Peace Corps Application Decision.”
My fingers trembled as I tapped the screen anticipating good news.
I’ve been waiting to hear back since I applied in July 2014.
Imagine how I felt when I read:
“Thank you for your application to the Peace Corps. We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you an assignment at this time. Each year, the Peace Corps receives many more applications from qualified individuals than we have assignments available.”
Shock, anger, and every other emotion you can come up with, hit me at that moment.
So I decided to call my Peace Corps recruiter to ask, “WHY DID THEY REJECT ME???”
I’m the Gutsy one who wants to help people and serve in another part of the world. I’m over 50, speak fluent French, have leadership skills, a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science, and I’ve expressed my enthusiasm at every Peace Corps social event in my area.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
I knew I wouldn’t get an answer over the weekend, so I did what I always do when I’m rejected:
Thankfully, I have a back-up plan which is to take the Cert-TESOL course in Greenwich, London, so I can teach English anywhere in the world. That’s my Plan B, and it’s an added credential for MY NEXT PEACE CORPS APPLICATION.
My wonderful recruiter called me on Sunday night. We had a long chat and she recommended I reapply ASAP. She took the time to read through my resume, and give me some tips on how to improve it, and customize my skills and experience to the positions that are available on the Peace Corps website.
My mistake, now that I look back on my resume, is that I made a bullet point list of past jobs and volunteering experience rather than explaining my ACCOMPLISHMENTS in EVERY role. I guess my resume is outdated, and today’s resumes need to be specific.
As an example: “delivered 2 key-note addresses as well as 10 additional public speaking engagements” and “consistently initiated weekly blog posts with fresh content twice weekly”.
Apparently the Peace Corps wants a more focused approach from each applicant, rather than stating, “I’m available to do anything, anywhere.” In the past they wanted this flexible attitude, so I guess now, with the increase in applicants, it’s become more competitive and you have to show them how you can be of maximum benefit to the Peace Corps.
When I got rejected by a publisher, my adrenaline kicked in and I said, “I’ll start my own publishing company and promote my books with all my energy.”
Now it’s time to use my “gutsyness” and move ahead. NOTHING WILL STOP ME.
HAVE YOU BEEN REJECTED? IF SO HOW DID YOU COPE? Please let me know in the comment section below.