You expected another round of interview but it never comes…or you’ve been turned down for a job you were excited about. No matter what stage you are at in the job search, it’s likely that rejection has reared its ugly head in your direction.
Receiving a job rejection can be devastating, especially if you’ve been searching for a while. It’s normal to feel disappointed and discouraged, but it is important to remember that a job rejection isn’t the end of the world. Instead of letting it get you down, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
To succeed in your long-term goal of finding that next opportunity, you need to learn to cope with being turned down. Otherwise, it’s easy to let a momentary setback turn into a major career roadblock.
Tips for Coping with Rejection
- Reflect and learn. Take some time to reflect on the job rejection. Think about how you presented yourself and the experience you brought to the table. Ask yourself, “What can I do better next time?” This will help you to identify areas of improvement and grow as a professional.
- You are not alone. Remember that this isn’t just happening to you; job rejection happens to most workers at least once in their careers. Instead, focus on the one good thing about job rejections: the experience allows you to learn from your mistakes and improve your job application skills.
- Focus on a positive attitude. It’s easy to feel discouraged after a job rejection, but it’s important to remain positive. Remind yourself that this is just a setback and that you will find the right job for you. Learn how to overcome job rejection with a resilient mindset and turn away from the negativity that we all feel when job interviews and employer rejections do not work out.
- Reach out for feedback. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the hiring manager to find out why you weren’t chosen for the position. This can give you valuable insight into your job search and help you make improvements.
- Stay connected with helpful contacts. If possible, try to stay connected with the hiring manager. They may be able to provide you with feedback and advice in the future. Send thank-you notes or emails to the employers who interviewed you, even though they rejected you. Maybe ask them for some feedback if they have time to do so. At any rate, thank them for their time and wish them luck as they continue searching for the best candidates for them.
- Make time for yourself. Sometimes, you'll need to disconnect from the job search to give yourself the space and time you need to reset. Take a day or two to do something that brings you joy and then return to the job search with a refreshed mindset.
Moving on after a job rejection can be tough, but it’s important to remember that it’s just one step in the job search process. With the right attitude and a few helpful tips, you can move on and find the job that is right for you.
How to Respond after Being Rejected from a Job
Here are simple ways as you response to a job rejection email considering the following elements;
- Acknowledge the rejection. It’s important to acknowledge the rejection, both to yourself and to the employer. A simple “Thank you for the update” or “I understand” is a polite way to acknowledge the rejection and show that you understand the situation.
- Express gratitude. It’s important to show appreciation for the time and effort the employer put into considering your application. Keep this portion of your response to one or two sentences. Showing your gratitude is a great way to start the email, so consider mentioning some or all of these things early on in your response.
- Show continued interest. Make sure the hiring manager knows you’re still interested in working for their company. The hiring manager might assume you’ve secured a position elsewhere or that you’re not open to hearing about other positions that may become available. Reiterating your interest helps the hiring manager to confirm that you’d still like to be considered for future opportunities.
- Ask for feedback. Asking for feedback is a great way to learn and grow as a professional. Politely ask the employer for any feedback they can provide on your application. They might not always provide feedback, but if they do - this can help you to figure out what areas you need to improve on for future job applications.
Use the steps and examples in this guide to write a job rejection response to support professional connections in your future. Sending a polite and professional email is sure to reflect well on you professionally and may potentially lead to other opportunities at the company.
For more guidance on how to prioritize your mental health in a job search, see this blog post.