5 Ways to bounce back from a job rejection
Nobody likes being turned down from a promising job offer. The truth is, trying to convince a group of strangers to hire you is not an easy thing to do. Not getting that job you’ve pinned and prepared so thoroughly for doesn’t make you a failure.
Allow yourself to go through the grief but not for too long. Even though you did not get a job offer, there are lessons to be learnt. Take time to re-attune your focus towards improving your CV and interview skills, which will improve your odds for upcoming applications.
1. Dealing with rejection
The most important rule about dealing with rejection is not to take it personally. Respond professionally and prevent yourself from over-analysing the reason to your unsuccessful application. Get rid of thoughts like “What could I have said differently?” or “Was my handshake strong enough?”.
Know that the odds may not always be in your favour – there may have been an overwhelming number of equally excellent candidates or other factors that are beyond your control. Always stay confident in your abilities and know that you’ve got plenty to offer. Remember that the job interview is not a measure of your professional worth.
2. Ask for feedback
When you’re in doubt, ask. You have gone through several rounds of interviews and yet came out short. Ask the interviewers for feedback to help you make your next application better. The information you receive may seem vague at times or you may receive no response at all, ask anyway as you never know when you’ll get something constructive.
If you hear something you disagree with, don’t get defensive and confrontational. Never burn your bridges. Keep an open mind, thank the interviewers for their time and take note of their comments. You may check with a friend or trusted colleague to see if the comments have any merit and work from there to position yourself as a stronger candidate in the future.
3. Trust the system
The process of job-hunting isn’t as straightforward as you might think, so dwelling on something that isn’t within your control will do you no good. Instead, count every rejection as a learning experience and use it to hone your CV writing and interviewing skills.
Remember to respect the interviewers’ decision, as it is possible that you were not a good match for the role on offer. Paper qualifications and excellent interviewing skills are not enough to secure a position with an organisation. It is up to the interviewers’ discretion to ascertain if you’re the best possible fit for the company.
Be humble and use this chance to do a realistic self-analysis on the type of role and work environment you’d be most suitable for. Once you’ve gained perspective on the recruitment process and some self-awareness on your abilities, you’d be able to better market yourself to interviewers at the next job interview. With a bit of patience, you will end up with the right role for your skill sets and personality.
4. Learn from the experience and move forward
Once you’ve fully come to terms with the rejection, start getting back in the game. At this point, you should be armed with a stronger CV, be more adept at handling interviews, and have a more realistic expectation of the process.
Resilience throughout the job-hunting process is necessary, as it is common for an applicant to receive several rejections before securing a job offer. There is no fixed rate of success or any shortcuts. You might get accepted for a job at the first few tries, or find yourself sending out dozens of applications before finally getting a foot in the door. When one door closes, another door opens. Have faith that your tenacity will pay off in the long run.
5. You are not alone
If you need guidance, don’t be shy. Share your feelings and thoughts with your friends and family. They are likely to have undergone similar experience and will be able to offer a listening ear and advice.
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