Six tips on how to survive a job rejection

Surviving job rejection

Job rejection – we’ve all been there. Whether it’s being turned down for your dream job or not getting an interview, it can feel pretty rotten.

Though rejection is a normal part of job hunting, it can feed our fears, anxiety, and self-doubt. So how do you deal with it in a way that enables you to move forward without feeling like you’ve failed? Here are six tips to survive a job rejection:

1. You’re not alone

Critical to bouncing back from a job rejection is understanding that you’re not alone. It’s important to remind yourself that everyone faces rejection at some point, and they survive. If you’re feeling crushed, it’s helpful to talk to others about their job rejections so you don’t feel alone. Often other people’s stories can help reassure us that what we’re feeling is normal and spur us on to the next challenge.

2. Ask for feedback

If you’ve made it through to an interview for a job only to find out you didn’t get it, then it’s worth asking for feedback. Most employers will be very happy to provide feedback, particularly if you’ve had multiple interviews. It may be that another applicant had more experience – or it could be that you need to polish your interview skills. You don’t know if you don’t ask – so don’t be afraid to reach out and take constructive criticism onboard.

3. See rejection as correction

Perhaps being rejected is part of your journey, as you move towards another position that’s better suited to you. Often, we get caught up in rejection when we may not really want the job – so be honest with yourself. Are you upset about not getting the job or about the rejection itself? Sometimes it’s only when we’re further down the track that we realise a rejection may have been a blessing in disguise.

4. Review your resume

It’s always worth reviewing your resume and other materials that you use to market yourself. We’re often too close to our own marketing materials to spot an error. It’s worth asking a professional to review and provide feedback on your resume. The same goes for cover letters – are you structuring these in a way that make your standout? Or could you do with some help? A few tweaks here and there could be all that’s needed.

5. Be proactive

If you’re feeling beaten down by rejection, consider alternative approaches to find your ideal role. Don’t wait for a job advert at your ideal company – be proactive. If there’s a specific type of job you’re after or a specific company you’d like to work for, reach out to their recruiters and let them know. Utilise your LinkedIn connections for introductions and invest time in your professional networks.

6. Stay positive

It’s important that you stay positive to survive a job rejection. Reminding yourself of your achievements and experience is essential – it’s even a good idea to have a list to refer to. (Keep in mind that life has a funny way of deciding what’s best for us, even if we don’t feel that way at the time). If you’re struggling to move forward, share how you’re feeling with family and friends – they’re good at reminding us of our value.

Finding out we didn’t make the cut for any job can play on our deepest insecurities and fears, so it’s important to have coping strategies. Regular reminders that you’re not alone and that you are a valuable asset to any employer, can help ease anxiety and ensure you move on. Reaching out for feedback and enlisting others to identify areas for improvement can help us identify address any weak spots and stay positive.


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Filed under: Career Advice Resources
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