Girl looking at the camera working at her desk in front of an Acer laptop

Job rejection is something that we’ve all encountered, but knowing this doesn’t make it any easier, especially if you are really ready for a career move. However there are a few ways that you can make the most of your job rejections so that you can both bounce back and land that dream job quicker!

Ask for feedback

The best thing you gain from rejection is an understanding of where you went wrong so that you can change this in the future. This means that first step of any job interview is to ask for feedback. 

This is much easier if you’ve been through a recruiter, however you can still get in contact with your interviewer at the end of the process. Just make them aware of how important feedback is to you through a follow-up email and make sure they know that you are looking to advance and learn from their response. 

If the feedback you received feels a bit superficial or generic, don’t be afraid to ask for a more detailed assessment so you can gain some actionable insights at the end of it.

Reflect on your feedback

Your feedback will help you understand what your interview weaknesses were and gives you the chance to improve. Did you know enough about the company? Were you well prepared? Was their a candidate with better experience and therefore should you have used different stories to back up your example skills and experiences? Were there any questions you could have answered better?

If you’ve had a number of rejections at interview stage, you can gain a better picture of why you are being rejected. Is there one aspect you always fall down on? For example, do you get too nervous, fail to make eye contact and forget to smile? Is there one aspect that you don’t know enough about? For example, do you have enough experience in the marketing side of the business?

Once you’ve identified recurring themes you can then look at improving them. This might include going to a coach who can help you overcome your nerves on the day and spending more time practicing your interview techniques with friends and family so that your body language is spot on. Or maybe it’s taking up a project at work or an online course to help you develop specific skills that you are missing. 

Is this the right job for you? 

If you’ve got to the point where you keep getting rejected whether it’s pre or post interview stage, maybe it’s time to think about whether the jobs you are applying for are right for you. If you’ve never got through to an interview do you have too little or too much experience? Are you applying for too many jobs, most of which are unrelated to your experience? If this is the case you might want to narrow down your options, spending more time researching the role, the company, its culture and the team you will be working to gauge your suitability before applying for the role.

Build resilience

Remember that you are never going to land every job you apply for. Not in a million years. Instead, use the set backs to help you identify ways in with your can grow and develop, and can ultimately more forward in your career. Having the to overcome obstacles is a great asset in any career, and job rejection is a good place to start.

For many people, looking through their CVs is a downward spiral to low self-esteem and feeling like a failure, so a great exercise to help you feel more positive, especially before an interview, is to  write down all of your accomplishments and contributions, and develop three key stories about times when you overcome an obstacle in the past. You might talk about when you stepped up to lead a project, how you landed new business, or started a side project by yourself. By recognising your strengths and ability to succeed in the face of challenge, this simple exercise can instantly shift you from bummed out to totally psyched.

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