“We’ll call you back,” “You’re overqualified for this position,” “We like you, but it’s not a good fit.”
Dealing with rejection in your job hunt can be difficult, especially if getting a “No” is the typical response. Add that to the pressure of finding a job right away and the constant nagging from friends and family, and you can find yourself spiraling in negativity.
The good part is that getting rejected for a job is relatively easier to forget than–let’s say–getting rejected for a wedding proposal. The process of moving on, however, is quite familiar.
Read more: What You Should Never Put on a Resume
The key is to stay positive. Without this, the tips below are all but moot. Staying positive will save you time from making excuses and complaining about everything.
With that out of the way, here are some helpful tips in handling rejection in your job hunt.
1. Know that this is par for the course.
Be tough and resilient. Keep in mind that others have also experienced job rejections–albeit some more than others. But don’t beat yourself about it!
If you’re a fresh graduate, time is on your side. Don’t get pressured to much about getting a job quickly. If you do need to earn right away, there are plenty of other ways to make money these days (depending on your industry of course). My tip: try freelancing if your rejection streak stretches to months. This will let you earn some money while you take time in finding your career path.
If you’re not a fresh graduate, things can be a bit more complicated. By now, you probably have a lot of payables per month. And if you’re out of a job, your emergency fund may run out soon.
First, assess your current financial situation and figure out how much time your funds can last. Then, cut costs in order to stretch your funds even longer. This will give you enough of a breathing room to get out of your rut. Finally, my advice of freelancing still applies here. This will also keep your mind ready and engaged as you go through the gauntlet of interviews again.
2. Don’t limit your chances. Send multiple job applications!
Don’t get fixated on one company, one position, or even one job. When the going gets tough, think volume. The more applications you send out, the more chances you’ll have of landing one.
These days, college degrees don’t dictate your career path as much as it did in the past. Positions are malleable and hard skills are a premium. Even if you finished with a degree in journalism, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go corporate. That also means that if you finished with a business degree, you can dabble in the arts and make a career out of it.
My point is this, maybe the reason you’re not landing a “Yes” is because you’re too picky. Expand your horizons by sending as many job applications as you can to all your contacts–be it friends and family, school contacts, or even just random job postings on the internet.
Here’s a quick video of our tips in improving your job application:
3. Ask feedback, reflect, and improve.
Most employers refrain from sharing feedback if you don’t get the job, this much is true. However, there’s still no harm in asking for constructive feedback. After your rejection interview, muster up enough courage to ask why.
If they don’t reply, you can reflect on what happened by yourself. Were you too abrasive during the interview? Are your skills lacking? Is your resume formatted correctly? This will give you a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your personal branding.
Don’t make excuses. I can’t emphasize this enough: Don’t. Make. Excuses. You didn’t get the job because you didn’t get the job. The faster you accept this, the sooner you can focus on landing that sweet yes.
4. Focus on the things you can control.
You could’ve made all the preparation in the world and sent all the job applications that you could and still couldn’t land a job. Sometimes you’re just unlucky. It happens.
The worst thing you can do is let that get to you. Keep in mind that there are some things you can’t control. Even if you have all the right skills for the job, a hiring manager’s bias is a tough barrier to overcome. If the connection isn’t there, chances are you won’t be the favorite to land the position.
What you can control, however, is your strategy in further increasing your chances of getting hired. You can take online courses to get more skills, polish your interview skills, rewrite your resume, along with the aforementioned tips. There’s a lot you can do.
5. Keep a positive attitude.
As I mentioned before, these tips are worthless if you can’t keep a positive attitude. Being positive lets you turn each rejection into a learning opportunity.
Always remember that your time will come. The real question is whether you’re gonna be ready when that time does come. Getting hired is only the first step. Once you get that sweet, sweet “How soon can you start?” moment, think of all the rejections that you had to go through and reel in a renewed focus in building your career.