Job hunting is an emotional rollercoaster. There’s joy in receiving a reply, dread before an interview, and sadness after a rejection. Out of all of these, the last is the worst. It can ruin your confidence and discourage you from trying again. However, don’t lose hope. Business magazine Fast Company reveals that 75% of job seekers eventually land their dream job after an average of three months. This only goes to show that it pays to keep trying, no matter what. On that note, here’s how you can bounce back from a job rejection:
Take a breather
Let’s face it: rejection hurts. Just like when you’re injured and in pain, it’s totally fine to take time to rest. It’s good to let out your emotions in healthy ways. Vent to a friend, indulge in a hobby or take a short weekend trip. Take time to recover from the stress and effort you’ve put into perfecting your resume and preparing for your interview.
If you don’t take time to rest, you’ll get burnt out. This may lead to errors in your next application and interview, causing further damage. It doesn’t matter if your break lasts for one day or one week. What’s crucial is you let yourself breathe.
Don’t take it personally
When you get rejected, it can take a stab at your pride. After all, you’ve spent time honing your skills, gaining relevant experience, and practicing interview answers to the best of your abilities. Still, human resources magazine The HR Digest advises not to take rejection personally. You may ask yourself, “Why did they choose Candidate A instead of me?” or “What’s wrong with me?” These questions will only lead you to spiral further into rejection, so avoid this mindset.
Know that there are many things you can’t control: the hiring manager’s perspective, the trends in the job market, and the other applicants. Most of the time, the stars just don’t align. Instead, focus on what you can control. This brings us to our next point:
Make time for self-reflection
There’s always room for improvement, especially after a job rejection. While we’ve mentioned that certain career aspects are out of your control, this shouldn’t keep you from improving yourself. That’s why LHH recommends identifying your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you remind yourself of what you can do and what to improve on.
You can start by making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself: what are my strong skills? What skills align with my dream job? What can I improve on? A self-reflection allows for a deeper understanding of yourself, which translates into a more powerful presentation of your strengths in future interviews.
Come back stronger
After all of these steps comes the final battle: coming back stronger. Now that you’ve rested, released what you can’t control, and self-reflected, it’s time to put things into motion. Start by fine-tuning your resume after your self-assessment. Ensure that it’s written in a strong voice and that it highlights results rather than responsibilities. Our article ‘Preparing for a Job Interview’ discusses that your cover letter should hold the same standard. Write it in business language to establish professionalism. Include why you’re passionate about the role and why you stand out from the crowd to increase your chances of acceptance.
Job rejections are demotivating, but they’re not the end of your career. By taking a break, releasing what you can’t control, and self-reflecting, you’ll come back stronger and be one step closer to getting hired.