10 Steps To Recover From Job Rejection Quickly


Receiving a job rejection is always challenging, and like any other form of rejection, it might feel personal. 

However, getting rejected is also a normal part of the job search process. The chances are that sooner or later, most job seekers will need to face it. Knowing how to handle a rejection effectively is a key to moving forward in your job hunting process so you can land your dream job quicker. 

Here are some of the best tips on getting over a job rejection.


Step 1: What to do immediately after job rejection to reframe your perspective

One of the most important steps you can take to deal with job rejection is not to take it personally. If a hiring manager does not offer you the role you have applied for, it is not a reflection on you or your worth. 

Even though the rejection might hurt, consider that it might be a good thing. The role which you thought could be your dream job may not have been the best fit for you. 

For instance, if the position you applied for was not the right cultural fit, it’s possible that the work environment was indeed not right for you. If so, you would likely end up miserable. 

By not getting the role you applied for, you are now free to get back to your job hunt. You can apply for a much better-suited position in which you can thrive. 

The quicker you can accept the job rejection, the easier it will be for you to start to feel better and move forward. Additionally, learning from rejection will help you develop greater resilience. This is an essential skill that will serve you well after you end your job search process.


Step 2: Reach out to your family and friends, even if it feels like it’s the last thing you want to do

Dr. Guy Winch, a psychologist and a best-selling author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection reveals that one of the surprising facts about rejection is that it impacts our sense of belonging

Winch recommends reaching out to “members of groups to which we feel strong affinity” as well as reconnecting with those who love us. Soothing emotional pain is crucial to our well being and mental health. But it will also significantly help you when you are trying to deal with job rejection.


Step 3: Congratulate yourself on getting that far in the process

Did you know that only approximately 5% of all job applicants get to the stage of a face-to-face interview? A research conducted by JobVite’s Recruiting Benchmark Report found that only about five out of every 250 job applicants get the opportunity to attend a job interview.

With so few people who get to that stage, you owe it to yourself to take a moment to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Perhaps this time, you were not able to land the job you wanted. However, by going to the job interview, you have already beat hundreds of other job candidates who applied for the same role.


Step 4: Respond to the job rejection gracefully and position yourself for future job opportunities

Job rejection conversation is never easy. No matter how much it hurts at that time, thank the hiring manager or the person who contacted you for the opportunity to be considered. 

Each interview is an opportunity to expand your network. Don’t waste the effort it took for you to create these new relationships. 

It is not uncommon for job applicants to be rejected for a specific role, only to be contacted again in a few weeks or months. At that time, the company might want to discuss another role that becomes available. 

Make sure that you connect with the people you have met throughout this process. Include recruiters, hiring managers, and other stakeholders you have met during the interview process. LinkedIn makes creating these connections a breeze, so use it to your advantage. 

Expanding your network will also help you when you do an advanced search on LinkedIn. This will enable you to see if you have connections that can help you with your job hunt.


Step 5: Ask for feedback so you can understand the reason behind the rejection.

Whether you were notified about the job rejection via email or a phone call, use this opportunity to ask about the specific reason as to why your application was not successful. This is an essential step in your job hunt process, and it will help you learn from the experience. 

Not every hiring manager will provide a more personalized rejection note. However, the ones who do will give you valuable information that you can use to improve your interview performance in the future. For instance, you might find out that there is a specific skill set you need for the role. If so, you can use your time in your current job to develop it, if possible. 

Your main goal is to get as much useful information as you can. This will help you when you apply for other jobs, and in turn, it will increase your chances of success.


Step 6: If you have been receiving many job rejections, re-consider your approach

Perhaps you have applied for several different roles, and each application ended in rejection.

Take time to analyze whether there is anything you could do differently next time. If you keep getting rejected, you may be casting the net too wide. It’s best to avoid applying for a lot of jobs without taking the time to tailor your application to each role. 

Look back at the job interview invitations you have received and consider whether they were the best fit for you and what you have to offer. If not, look at what changes you can make to your resume and cover letter to start getting better quality interview invitations.


Step 7: Get help from experts such as career coaches

It can be tempting to use your first few days after losing the job opportunity to spend too much time on social media or watching TV. This can help you reduce stress in the short term. However, a smarter approach is to use this time to get help from professionals. 

Many job candidates benefit from hiring a career coach to help them consider different career paths, refine their approach, and prepare for subsequent interviews, i.e., by practicing interview questions and answers. 

Most importantly, a good career coach can give you job search tips specific to your situation so you can get better results and land the job you want. Some coaches can also assist with resume writing along with the cover letter help.


Step 8: Reach out to your mentors

If you are still struggling to understand the reason behind the rejection letter and what you could be doing differently, consider reaching out to mentors. 

A good mentor can provide you with career advice and job search tips from a different perspective. They can also provide valuable insights into what else you can do to get over the job rejection quickly. More importantly, they can help you learn from the experience and adjust your strategy. 

When reaching out to mentors, consider discussing with them applying to jobs which you haven’t considered before. They can provide you with ideas on different career paths.


Step 9: Ask for a second chance

Perhaps you haven’t heard back from the interviewer yet, but something has happened to make you feel that you have bombed the interview. 

Lynn Taylor, an author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job,” advises job candidates in the Business Insider to request a second chance after bombing a job interview

“People beat themselves up so much after interviews,” Taylor says. “I don’t think job seekers realize that there’s a human on the other side of the desk.” It’s very easy to forget that hiring managers and employers don’t necessarily enjoy rejecting applicants. Not every hiring manager will agree to your request, but when you have nothing to lose, you might as well try.


Step 10: Maintain your job search momentum

Each job interview allows you to improve your interviewing skills. Consequently, each job rejection letter brings you closer to getting your dream role. 

Use everything you have discovered throughout this process so you can learn from it, apply the lessons, and improve your chances of success. 

Review and revise any areas of your cover letter and resume that can be improved. Then, set up new job alerts and browse jobs that might be a good fit for what you want to do. 

Consider reaching out to new recruiters. If you haven’t done it yet, expand your search to social media where many companies post job opportunities. While you are waiting to hear back, continue to practice answering interview questions. 

Remember that a job search rejection is not the end, and the only way to fail is to stop trying! If you keep refining your approach and learning from experience, you will land the job you want.

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