How to deal with rejection while job hunting

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How to deal with rejection while job hunting

Rejection is never pleasant and rejection while job hunting is no different. The key is to try to not take the rejection personally and learn from the experience for your next application. Competition has never been stiffer in the job market, so a rejection does not always mean you underperformed, it can often just be down to your competition having more direct experience or skills than you on this occasion. Below are some tips to help you deal with rejection while job hunting.

1.     Job hunting while still employed:

It is easier to get a job from a job. You are still earning so it takes the pressure off your need to secure a new role and so you can be more selective on the roles you apply for. Employers have preference for those currently in employment as they perceive them to be fit for work over the long-term unemployed. Another advantage to job hunting while working is that you are occupied so delays in the selection process do not appear as long as they do when you are unemployed. It can also lessen the blow if you are unsuccessful with your application for this reason.

2.     Ask for feedback and reasons for you application being rejected

Many organisations provide detailed feedback to candidates. It is always worthwhile to ask for this. Be discerning when receiving the feedback – take what is said on board but if some of it does not make sense to you or sit well with you, then ignore it. There are a lot of moving parts to a job application and a lot of internal politics involved. You may have been the best person for the role but you may not have been a good fit with the current team for example. There is little you can do about this and your being unsuccessful has saved you working for a company that is not suitable for you.

3.     Focus on your learning’s from the experience and the positives

It is easy to allow yourself become depressed and dejected following an unsuccessful application. Acting this way adds no benefit or value to the situation so it is best to avoid going down that path. A positive approach is to focus on what you have learned from the experience and use these learning’s to propel you to improve your performance for your next interview. Where did you perform well? What positive feedback did the interviewer give you when you received interview feedback.

4.     Do further research on interviews and/or hire a professional Interview Coach

If you keep doing as you’ve always done, you cannot expect a different outcome. If you find that you are falling down in the same area or reaching an impasse in the job hunting process, you may need to re-evaluate your approach to interviews to avoid further rejection. There are plenty of online resources and articles to help you improve your performance. Preparation is the key to success. The more you prepare, the more impressive your will be in an interview.

Many people benefit from using an Interview Coach as they can identify your strengths and weaknesses quickly and provide you with the necessary tools to take you to the next level or bridge any skill gaps. Investing in something as important as securing your dream job is a sound investment. Performing well in an interview can also mean you can secure a higher starting salary so the benefits are not just around getting the job.

CV template5.     Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

When you are job searching, try and apply for a number of roles and not just one. The more applications you have applied for, the more chances you have of success. You will also be less impacted by rejection of one role if you know that you have other options open to you.

Rejection is part of life – it’s how you deal with it that will define you. Being proactive and positive will ensure you bounce back and increase your chances of success the next time around. Best of luck jobseekers.

Written by Gillian Knight, MD of Kala Management Solutions We focus on helping people write a great CV and perform their best in interviews. If you would like to book a coaching session or help with your CV or cover letter mail or go to for more details.    Send article as PDF   

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