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Dealing with Job Search Rejection

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Hunting for a job can be a gruelling and distressing experience! It means developing an excellent resume, having the precise qualifications, sharpening your interview skills and also having that ‘something extra’ to outshine the others.

In the past, we have given you tons of advice on resumes, dress codes, interviews and various job search techniques. But what happens when you get everything right and feel that the job is in your bag, only to receive a call or email later telling you that the company chose to go a different way? You feel rejected and demotivated, right? Such a situation can get pretty demoralizing, but is something most job seekers have to go through. Trust us when we say it’s not something you experience alone! But how do you tackle this rejection and failure and turn things around? And do you see these situations as obstacles or hidden opportunities to learn about ways that don’t really work?

Here are few tips to learn about your personal brand and unearth opportunities in the face of setbacks and failures:

Face it head -on:

Although situations and results differ, it is at times plausible to turn a “no” into a “yes” and turn a rejection around. If your prospective employer tells you they’re going with some another candidate, politely ask them for a more detailed feedback. You can also ask them about the experience, credentials or qualifications they felt were missing. And if you still think that you were perfectly qualified then try to find ways to highlight skills that can give you an edge over the other contender. But don’t sound desperate or make emotional appeals — instead, give the employer a genuine, tangible reason to hire you.

It’s never personal:

There could be a hundred reasons why you didn’t get the job, and most of them might have nothing to do with your performance. They could be from the rational to the absurd. For instance, they might have withdrawn the position due to a bad economy, or were looking for MBA professionals. Whatever be the reason, don’t get discouraged or take the rejection on yourself. You were good and gave it your best shot! So stay positive and maintain your sense of well-being. A lot of times candidates don’t handle the rejection too well and take it out on others. This can cause a lot of harm. Don’t get defensive with the hiring manager, or turn to social media to openly whine about the employer. By doing so you might burn your bridges and harm your future prospects with the organisation. So act like a professional and leave on a positive note. You never know when the next opportunity comes calling!

Evaluate the situation and take accountability:

Was there anything you could have done to avoid the situation? Something you could have anticipated if you’d been clearer about your intent? Did you walk into the interview unprepared or unaware about the company’s culture? Look back at the entire process and think of things you should have done differently or areas where you think you could improve. Take accountability for places where you fell short and let every interview be a learning experience. When you do this, you see things clearly, learn from the experience and move on.

Start Afresh:

Let Go, Let Go, Let Go! Don’t carry interview baggage around with you. Recognize your emotions and thoughts and start afresh with a renewed focus and attitude. Alter your CV to match new openings and fully research and gear up for the new opportunities. If you made slip-ups in your last interview or went in unprepared – learn from them and make amends. Each company is different and has a different definition of the ‘ideal candidate.’ So keep your skills fresh and up to date and your hunger to constantly learn alive.

Nobody likes rejection and it’s never easy! Your confidence takes a hit when you experience one! But the good part is– it’s momentary! So stay positive and motivated, keep your spirits high and work hard. And give everything your best shot!

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