No one loves to get a job rejection, especially a position you really wanted to have. But the way you rebound is key. Here are some tips on how to bounce back.
Never take it personally, says Human Resources Professional Jana Tulloch of DevelopIntelligence. Most jobs receive hundreds of applications, and there are many qualified people out there. Systems look for resume keywords, and recruiters (for the most part) skim through the applications for the ones that are an ideal fit with what they are looking for, and who likely also have added qualifications that put them to the top of the candidate pile. It’s a very depersonalized process.
Learn from the rejection to improve your chances the time time around. To learn ask for feedback. If you’ve made it to the interview stage and were not selected, treat it as a learning experience. Always follow up with the interview panel to ask about where they felt you could have done better in the process, says Tulloch. Reiterate your interest in the company, thank them for allowing you to participate in the process and let them know that you’re very interested in the role if the candidate they’ve selected doesn’t work out.
Trying to figure out what went wrong? Ask a friend to debrief the interview with you. Go over your responses, and ask your friend for honest feedback, including comments on body language, tone, etc. While they may not be able to give much of a critique, friends are always great for giving your ego a boost and you might identify some items simply by going out and reliving the interview again, suggests Tulloch.
Tips on How to Bounce Back
–Seek insight about why you were passed over. Ninety percent of the time, the rejection isn’t personal. Internal decisions, budget failures and 1,000 other things that have nothing to do with you can prevent a prospective employer from hiring you. If you are able, ask for feedback so you can uncover anything that might have been about you (i.e. a skills gap, a negative impression, a credential, etc.). Let the person you ask know it’s helpful to your ongoing search for the right thing. The HR contact or recruiter can often help share out this information. Feedback can help you adjust your approach or shift the focus of your search to something that’s a better match. Can’t get any feedback? Move on, advises Stacey Staaterman, founding coach and consultant at Staaterman Coaching.
–Whine for 10 minutes privately with someone you trust. Venting is normal and can help you let go of the experience. But keep whining to a minimum and take stock in the truth that you are not alone in being rejected. It happens literally to everyone — and many, many times over a careers lifetime. Professionals who don’t get rejected are often the ones that never try anything new and never grow their career beyond a certain point, Staaterman points out.
–Get back on the horse. Rejection feels very personal especially when you started to envision yourself in the role. The best way to move past rejection is to engage in more conversations. Don’t put all your energy into pursuit of one role. Today’s job market is packed with job descriptions that even super heroes couldn’t deliver on. The process of meeting candidates helps companies and hiring managers really consider their core needs. Unfortunately, it means many people will be rejected in the process. Do your best to reframe the experience and walk away with new contacts that could be useful at later date, says Staaterman.