5 Tips for Dealing with Job Search Rejection

Getting turned down for a job opportunity is never an easy thing to cope with, especially if it’s a job that you really need or one you’ve been dreaming about for years.

If you think about it, searching for a new job is a lot like dating. You have to be selective, check for compatibility and ensure that both parties will mutually benefit from the partnership.

People often assume that a college degree from a good university is all it takes to secure a good job, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Employers want more than a good candidate on paper.

Among many things, employers want someone whose values resonate with those of the company, someone they can relate to, someone who has a great attitude and someone who can get the job done.

So how do you deal with rejection when potential employers turn you down, or worse when you’re automatically dismissed without the chance to interview?

Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that it’s important not to get discouraged. Of course, this is much easier said than done, so here are five additional tips to keep you motivated.


1. Solicit Feedback

Assuming you’ve had at least one interview, it’s important to ask why you aren’t moving forward to the next round and what you can do to be a stronger candidate in the future.

Requesting feedback can be tough, but it can also be critical in the preparation of future interviews. So let go of your pride and ask what you could have done better.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

Recruiter Name,


While I am disappointed with the decision to move forward with another applicant, I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the conversations and the opportunity to interview.


I am also writing to solicit feedback for the future. Is there anything you could share about how I could have been a stronger candidate for this role?


Thank you,
Your Name

2. Take the Feedback

It’s important to note that not everyone you request feedback from, will take the time to respond. So if they do, make sure that you don’t take this information for granted.

Analyse the feedback that was given to you and use this to become a stronger candidate. I suggest writing all of the advice that was given to you, then brainstorming ways to address each point.

This is also an excellent time to use your resources!

Do some research on your problem areas, then find ways to overcome these barriers. If you have a mentor reach out for advice, and if you’re in school go to career services to get some constructive criticism.

3. Boost your Ego

Getting rejected from a job doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer. But of course, that’s often exactly what it feels like.

My advice is to do something that will boost your self-esteem. For example, you could read through your letters of recommendations, reflect on previous achievements, or even volunteer a few hours of your time to remind yourself of your qualifications.

Regardless of what you choose to do, reminding yourself of how capable you are is a sure way to get you ready for your next interview.

4. Revisit your resume

If you’ve been applying for jobs for months, and haven’t gotten any callbacks, it could very well be your resume.

Resumes are extremely important in a job search. Think about, its the first thing a prospective employer sees, and as such, it ought to be good, REALLY-GOOD!

I am not going to tell you what should or shouldn’t be on a resume because this can vary significantly across all industries. What I will suggest is that you look out for things like grammar, inconsistencies, and unexplained gaps.

Remember that each resume you send out should be tailored to the job in question. (Note, there’s a big difference between tailoring a resume and lying.)

5. Workout

I know, I know… working out is probably the last thing on your mind after a rejection. But trust me it helps!

Working out releases endorphins which helps combat stress, and restore normality. So instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself, put your gym clothes on, and go for a run, or head to the gym.

This is one of my favorite ways to blow off some steam and while I usually hate the first 10 minutes of my workout, I feel so much better after.

Overall, the key is to stay positive.

You are not the first person to get rejected from a job, and I can guarantee you won’t be the last.

While it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook after a rejection, remember that rejections don’t define us.

More importantly, remember that winners are just people who keep on trying! So don’t take it personally, let it go, and keep moving forward towards the job of your dreams.