Six ways to turn a job search rejection to your advantage

Six ways to turn a job search rejection to your advantage

Being rejected for a job can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you have invested a lot of time and effort into the application process. Although it may sting, keep front of mind that it’s a natural part of the job search process, and everyone experiences it at some point in their career. So how should you deal with it? Here are six ways that can help you manage the rejection and move forward positively.

  1. Give yourself time to process your emotions. Rejection can trigger a range of emotions, including disappointment, frustration, and self-doubt. It's important to give yourself time to process these emotions and acknowledge how you're feeling. Allow yourself to feel upset for a little while but try not to dwell on it for too long. Remember that rejection doesn't define you or your worth as a person or a professional- rather it’s a natural step on the journey to finding your next great job.
  2. Review and reflect. After you’ve processed the news, it may be tempting to put it in the “forget about it” pile. But that would mean missing out on a valuable learning opportunity. Take time to revisit some of the steps and stages and ask yourself:  How could the interview have gone better? Did I prepare for certain questions enough? Did my presentation highlight my strengths to the max? What could I have done differently? There is always room for improvement so use this experience as an opportunity to shed light on areas you could improve on next time.
  3. Ask for feedback. Self-analysis won’t tell you the full story of why you were not selected for the role so reach out to the employer or recruiter and request feedback on your application and interview performance. You can do this at the same time as sending the thank you email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and insights into the company. If the feedback feels generic or vague, don’t be afraid to ask for more detail. Especially if you have put a lot into the process. This information can be helpful in identifying areas for improvement and give you actionable insights you can use to strengthen future job applications.
  4. Reframe the rejection as an opportunity Receiving a rejection can be an opportunity to reassess your career goals and aspirations. Perhaps the job wasn't the best fit for you, or there's a different career path that you're more passionate about pursuing. I wrote here about questions to ask yourself when thinking about your next job which may be useful to review. Use the rejection as a chance to refocus your energy and explore new opportunities that align with your interests and strengths.
  5. Stay connected with the employer. Just because you didn't get the job this time doesn't mean you can't stay connected with the employer. Consider connecting with the hiring manager on LinkedIn or keeping in touch with the company through social media. This can be a great way to stay informed about future job opportunities.
  6. Keep going! Ultimately, the key to dealing with job rejection is to keep moving forward and not let it discourage you from pursuing your career goals. Stay focused, keep networking, keep applying and continue to develop your skills and experience. With persistence and determination, you will find the right job for you

Applying for jobs is hard and receiving a rejection from it is even harder. What’s important though is what you do after you’ve received that rejection. Working through these six steps can help you regroup and come back better prepared, more motivated and in better shape to land your next great job.