Rejection sucks! Recruiters routinely receive hundreds of resumes for every one opening they post. Going strictly by the numbers, rejection is a part of the process. If this pseudo-statistical tidbit made you feel better, STOP READING this article; go out and enjoy your day. The rest of us take it personally. We’re hurt, disappointed and feeling quite entitled to our misery.
This can easily spiral into a crisis of confidence which, in turn, spurns more rejections, since there are few things less attractive in a candidate. Serious athletes train their muscles; serious job hunters need to train for resilience. Webster’s dictionary defines this as ‘an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.’ We need to increase our bounce-back-ability. When the inevitable occurs, here’s what to do.
- Be professional. Thank the person for the opportunity and the experience. There may be other openings at this company in the future so don’t burn any bridges.
- Politely ask for feedback, making it clear that it is not your intention to debate their decision. If you are lucky enough to get substantive feedback, accept it graciously and consider it seriously. In a litigious society, this type of feedback rarely happens. There could be a thousand reasons why you didn’t get the job, ranging from real to ridiculous. Chances are you’ll never know the ‘real’ reason so stop torturing yourself.
- Write down the things about the interview process that went well. The longer you were in the process, the more important this step. If you went a lot of rounds, you did a lot of things right. Don’t lose track of those things.
- Learn. If there was a stumbling block, an interview question you botched for example, address it by preparing a better answer for the next time. Then, LET IT GO.
- Surround yourself with a solid support system. Stay open so you can actually receive their support and encouragement.
Now, for the next time, repeat after me: A job search is NOT a monogamous relationship! Too many times, I see clients stop their search efforts to single mindedly pursue the ‘perfect’ job after one or two great dates (interviews). There are too many fish in the sea. With over 50,000 jobs open in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, keep pursing leads no matter what. Have lots going on at any given time. It will make you a more confident candidate and ultimately put you in a stronger position when negotiating a job offer.
Rejection sucks. Resiliency makes it suck less. Need help? Email me for a free consultation. View my full profile on LinkedIn. Follow me on Twitter.