Denied a Job? How to Deal with Job Search Rejection

Being denied a job often gets job seekers off course in their job search journey. If you’ve been denied a job, learn what steps you can take to deal with the rejection and effectively move forward in your job search.

One of the inevitable parts of a career search is the beauty (and I use that term loosely) of job rejection:

  1. “Sorry, we’re not hiring.”
  2. “After careful consideration, you have not been selected for this position.”
  3. “Not now, but we’ll keep your résumé on file.”
  4. “We’re only accepting applications.”
  5. “Unfortunately, at this time we are pursuing other candidates”

No matter how you twist it, they’re all a form of job rejection.

Meaning they all have the potential to demotivate you during your career or job search and make you want to give up altogether.

…and that’s the problem.

Whether you’ve been denied a job via email or were told to your face that you simply weren’t “the one”, learning to handle job rejections can be the discipline you need to actually succeed in your job search.

Follow this one simple rule: Use job search rejection to your advantage.

If you’ve been rejected in the past, you know all-too-well the feeling you get when you realize you didn’t get the job. Were you not good enough? Did you say the wrong thing? Was your résumé not up to par?

Regardless of why you didn’t land the job, your motivation should now be to prove to yourself that you are indeed good enough…for the right employer, that is.

SEE ALSO: Who’s Involved in the Hiring Process

Ask for feedback

The first thing you want to do after a rejection is get better. To do so, you need to know more about where you went wrong. And who better to ask about this than the hiring manager that denied you a job?

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Doing so will help you gather some valuable information about your approach, your image, your résumé and other areas that may need a little cleaning up.

Doing this will also help you use that particular rejection to your advantage. You have nothing to lose and can only get better from the feedback you receive.

The best results for this tip usually come after a job interview rejection – when you are face-to-face with a hiring manager.

Nurture the Relationship

Sure, the hiring manager denied you a job. So does that mean you have to X him/her out of your life completely?

Of course not.

The average job search lasts 18 weeks. If a month or two down the line you are still in the same position, it wouldn’t hurt to reach back out to that hiring manager and see if they have any open positions.

Also, nurturing the relationship with the employer might be beneficial if you see another open position with the company in the future. At that time, you can reach back out to them and refresh their memory about your qualifications and interest in a position with the company.

Getting Past Job Rejection

Job seekers usually quickly become discouraged as an automatic response to a job rejection.

But, when you think about it, a face-to-face job rejection, job rejection email, or job rejection brandredresume.com/services/letter-writing”>letter is better than not hearing anything at all from an employer after sending over your résumé.

The challenge is getting past job rejection and taking your efforts to the next level in order to come out on top. A job rejection gives you a reason to scratch a job off your list of prospects and keeps you from wasting time chasing after an opportunity that was never there.

Use the strategies above for making yourself better and making the most out of your job search.

Have you ever been denied a job? How did you handle it? If you have more tips for dealing with job search rejection, leave them in the comments below.


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