When you find a new job opportunity that seems like a perfect fit, you feel energized and hopeful at the possibility of landing your dream job. You tailor your resume to the position requirements, navigate through all the hoops of the hiring process and respond to promptly to requests from the recruiter or hiring manager. And then you wait – and you don’t get the offer you were so sure was coming.
It’s particularly painful to receive a rejection when you were expecting an offer, or at least a next step. Being able to rebound starts with acknowledging that there are many reasons someone else got this job. It could be political, as there may have been an internal applicant who had better relationships with the work team. Or, someone else’s skills, expertise, and abilities were a better fit to the role. Also, maybe you actually were the best candidate, but you couldn’t get the hiring manager to see why.
Naturally you’re disappointed, but there are realistic ways to cope, recover and rebound from this decision. It can actually become an opportunity to grow, leave a positive impression and strengthen yourself as a candidate for future job openings. Here are some practical approaches to help you move forward:
Reach out to your support system. Connect and talk to your close friends and colleagues. Not only will this help you cope with the frustration of not getting that job, but it can also help you gain a new perspective on the subject. It also lets them know that you are looking and may lead to other opportunities.
Resist social media. Don’t spill your disappointment all over the internet. You never know who will see your posts bashing the company for wasting your time or complaining about the recruiter. Take some time to process the experience first.
Reflect on the process. Review the whole experience and put it in perspective. Was this really your dream job or an opportunity that looked good on paper? Were you indeed qualified for the position? Why did you want this job so badly? Can you pick out things you were unprepared for or that you might have done wrong?
Connect with the recruiter. Once you’ve taken your time to process and accept the fact that this job opportunity is gone, reach back out to the recruiter within a few days of the rejection. Thank them for their time and effort and for giving you the opportunity to interview. Keep the door open if you would like to be considered for future vacancies and ask for some feedback, especially if you had progressed at length through the interview process.
Job rejections are never easy to deal with, but by being more optimistic and resilient in the face of rejections, you’ll ultimately learn a lot about your own inner strength and find a position that’ll lead to long-term satisfaction.